Storage in the Garage
Where to put the torque wrenches, hacksaws, and socket sets? One solution is to have storage built to your specifications. If you're after an industrial look, there's the real thing, from Snap-on, which is famous for its red cabinets and storage chests that make most guys weak in the knees. There are also a host of choices from Whirlpool Corp.'s Gladiator GarageWorks, which has designed a new line of wall-storage compartments, workbenches, and floor-standing units with an industrial metal appearance for residential garages. And there's always Sears Craftsman, which has been supplying heavy-duty tool storage to homeowners and pros for decades. Here's a TOH story to help you plan for more storage TOH story. Speaking from experience in addition to a Jetta and a Suburban, my father had squeezed into his two-car garage a gas-powered electrical generator, rolling floor jack, electric arc welder, air compressor, floor-mounted drill press, commercial tire changer, as well as multiple grinders, tool boxes and vices. There are few limits to how much equipment you can store.

The truly committed can buy four-post lifts. These lifts are designed to facilitate automotive service as well as vertical storage for two cars. Just drive a car onto the lift and jack it up high enough to drive a second car beneath it. Eagle Equipment has a large selection of lifts that can be used in residential settings, some of which can even accommodate pickups and standard SUVs.

Of course you'll need cold storage. Batteries last longer at a controlled temperature, don't they? Coincidentally, so do most liquid refreshments. One solution is to move the old refrigerator into the garage. But Gladiator GarageWorks has another idea: specially made refrigerators for the spaces that aren't temperature-controlled. The line not only features graphite-gray metal-plate exteriors, but mechanical guts engineered to withstand extreme climate. For your planning purposes, Gladiator's web site states that its smallest refrigerator, the 6-cubic-foot Beverage Box, has room for 170 12-ounce cans.

On the other hand, if you decide to keep the old refrigerator, you can give it a whole new personality. PWM Enterprises offers what it calls a fridge conversion kit that helps you make the old ice box look like a large commercial tool chest or a very large gas pump, complete with hose, nozzle, face plate, and logos.

With all these options, there's no reason to limit your automotive doting to designer waxes, rolling two-ton car jacks, and home-entertainment-in-a-car systems. Fix up your garage because there's no rule that says your hobby has to be dirty and uncomfortable.
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