Products show tool storage doesn't have to cost a lot


August 07, 1993|By Gene Austin | Gene Austin,Knight-Ridder News Service

Storing tools is a problem for any do-it-yourselfer but can be especially difficult for those who live in small apartments or condominiums.

A line of lightweight toolboxes and other tool-storage devices from Rubbermaid offers ingenious answers. The devices, sold under the Roughneck trademark, are made of durable, easy-to-clean plastic.

For those who are especially pinched for space, the Roughneck step-stool toolbox is a good choice, since it serves double-duty as a toolbox and step stool for reaching high places in cabinets or closets.

Priced about $20 at some home centers and hardware stores, it has a 16-inch-long bin large enough for a drill, hammer and similar small tools, plus a tray for smaller tools and accessories.

The step stool also makes a fine holder for shoe-shining supplies, kitchen utensils, fishing gear or other small items.

The Roughneck line also includes a series of rectangular toolboxes ranging from 12 inches to 24 inches long. These can be useful even in large shops. Each of the boxes contains one or more storage trays for small tools, parts and accessories.

I use a 24-inch Roughneck toolbox to hold two cordless drills, a power screwdriver and their accessories. Two compartmentalized trays hold bits, battery chargers, screws and other small items. The handle folds into the lid so other objects can be stacked on top of the box, and the lid clasps are large and easy to open and close.

Other Roughneck items include perforated panels with hooks for hanging tools on a wall, and stacked bins for small parts and accessories. The perforated panel, called Perfboard, measures 2-by-2 feet and is shaped to automatically provide clearance between panel and wall for the ends of hooks.

For more information on Roughneck products, write Consumer Service, Rubbermaid, 1147 Akron Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691.


"Mobile Home Fix-It Guide" ($24.95, Foremost Real Estate Co.) is one of a very few books that address the problems of mobile homes, and this book does its mission well. Foremost, a leading insurer of mobile homes, uses a few paragraphs on a back page to plug its services but otherwise stays out of the picture.

"Mobile Home Fix-It Guide" devotes a chapter to the history and construction of mobile homes, then moves to sections that cover exterior repairs, interior repairs and systems such as plumbing and heating. The book zeros in on such specific mobile-home problems as maintaining and replacing skirt panels, keeping a home level, coating metal roofs and proper anchoring.

The guide is well illustrated with drawings and takes a clear, step-by-step approach. A glossary and list of information sources for mobile-home owners is included.

For the book, send a check for $27.95, (includes shipping costs) to Foremost Mobile Home Fix-It Guide, Dept. AM-1305, Box 2450, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49501.


One of the best sources of sanding equipment I've seen is the Sanding Catalogue, a North Carolina company that specializes in sandpaper, sanders and accessories. Abrasives in a wide variety of forms -- belts, discs, rolls, sleeves, sheets, cords, blocks and pads -- are available.

An especially interesting item in the Sanding Catalogue is the Sand-Vac, a hand-sanding block that can be attached to a vacuum cleaner. The vac sucks up dust and makes relatively clean work of such once-messy jobs as sanding cabinets, doors and drywall joints. The Sand-Vac sells for about $30.

To get a free copy of the Sanding Catalogue, call (800) 228-0000 or write the Sanding Catalogue, Box 3737, Hickory, N.C. 28603.

Readers' questions and comments should be sent to Gene Austin, c/o The Baltimore Sun, Box 8263, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101.

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