Home Improvement : Little Tips Offer Big Help in Storage

<i> From Reader's Digest</i>

“A place for everything and everything in its place,” is a good rule to follow in your workshop. Proper storage of tools and supplies will make your workshop a neater--and safer--place to work.

Here are some simple tips on storing tools:

* If you store tools on wall hooks, paint the outline of each tool on the wall or pegboard to remind you and others where to replace it.

* If you have small children, store all tools in locked cabinets or drawers. As the children grow, introduce them gradually to the safe use of hand tools. But continue to lock up power tools until the children are old enough to be trained to use them properly.


* To make a handy rack for screwdrivers and other small tools, drill a series of holes, one-half to two inches in diameter, through a one by three board. Mount the rack on the wall with angle brackets screwed to the bottom of the board.

* Need a storage receptacle for sharp or pointed tools? Cut a block of plastic foam from the lining material in an appliance carton.

* Do your tool drawers pull out and spill their contents? Screw a small, rectangular piece of wood to the inside of the drawer’s back panel to act as a stop. Turning the stop to a vertical position will keep the drawer in place. Turn the stop to a horizontal position to remove the drawer.

* To protect the teeth of a handsaw blade, cut a length of old garden hose as long as the blade and slit it lengthwise to fit over the teeth.


* To prevent metal tools from rusting, store them in sealed wooden bins with camphor and sawdust. Or after each use, wipe a light film of oil on the tools with an oiled cloth.

* Paint your initials or engrave your name on tools that you lend to friends and neighbors.

Here’s how to store workshop supplies:

* In your garage, or basement if you have one, you can store lumber and pipe between exposed ceiling joists. Screw wooden cross members across the bottom edges of the joists to support materials you wish to tuck up and out of the way.


* For convenient storage shelves, use the unfinished stud spaces of your workshop walls. To make shelves, nail pieces of 2 x 4’s horizontally between the studs.

* Jars with screw tops--especially plastic peanut butter jars--are ideal for storing small items such as nails, screws, nuts and bolts. You can double your shelf capacity by screwing the lids to the underside of shelves. Place a lock washer under the head of the screw so the lid won’t turn when you unscrew the jar.

* If you need a rack to store circular abrasive discs, cut off one-half of an aluminum pie plate and fasten it to the wall, bottom side out.

* Monitor your supply of paints, glues and other liquids in opaque containers by wrapping a rubber band around each container at the level of its contents. Remember to adjust the rubber band as the level changes.


* A good way to organize washers and nuts is to hang them according to size on large safety pins, straightened heavy-duty paper clips or on wire coat hangars whose necks have been untwisted.