Garages are a second home for many people. It is a place to work on projects, store things, and protect your car from the elements. There are a few things that everyone should have in their garage. These items can be helpful in several situations, and it’s always good to be ready. This blog post will discuss some of the essential items that you should have in your garage. Keep reading for more information!
The first thing you should have on hand is a workbench since it will be essential to the majority of your projects. A DIY workbench can be as basic as mounting an old solid-core door or plank of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) on two sawhorses. However, hundreds of commercial options are available if you want something more advanced. To make things even simpler, companies like Simpson StrongTie and 2×4 Basics provide pre-assembled kits that enable you to construct a sturdy workbench in no time. You can also find workbench components in unexpected places. For example, although less durable than MDF, IKEA’s Pronomen, Lagan, and Numerar solid-wood countertops sell for around $50 and make great workbench tops. If you decide to buy a workbench, they usually range in price from $100 for a beginner version to more than $600 for a high-end bench. Home centers offer the cheapest choices, which typically include two tool storage drawers, a backboard with built-in lighting, and a thin particleboard or MDF work surface. These benches are easy to assemble using only a screw gun and some wood screws, but they’re not particularly sturdy. If you have the money, it’s worth upgrading to a better model.
Inadequate lighting may reduce the quality of your work and result in time-consuming or costly mistakes. Fortunately, changing the lighting in your garage isn’t complicated or expensive. Start by browsing for 4-foot T8 quick-start bulbs with large reflectors or diffusers. Then, single-, double- or four-bulb hanging shop lights that drop down from above your workbench to illuminate where you need it most. Adding one of these lamps to an otherwise dimly lit garage may improve visibility significantly. A portable work light, such as the Might D Light, is also essential, even if you aren’t going to peer into cracks or under your vehicle. If you’re prone to dropping and losing tiny pieces of hardware, a quick survey of the floor with a powerful portable light can save you time and frustration.
The slab of cement you call a garage floor is quite functional as is. However, an improved finish will be more forgiving of dropped items while also making your floor more appealing and protecting it from spills. Epoxy paints are popular among some people, but modular tiles are often a better option. Tiles are considerably easier to install, and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles, which means you can create interesting patterns. If you’re determined to keep that drab and easily stained slab the way it is, at least consider putting an anti-fatigue mat in front of your workbench. Your feet and legs will appreciate it. Industrial supply distributors have the greatest range of anti-fatigue mats, while retail bands like Craftsman’s are ideal for general use.
When it comes to a vise, you’ll need one that can endure years of keeping your ideas in place. So when shopping for your first bench vise, keep the urge to go for the cheapest model at bay. Unfortunately, cheaper vises are frequently low-quality and unattractive. If you don’t already have one, there are a ton of excellent American-made vises you can find for sale on Craigslist or in garage sales. If you plan to work on bigger projects, a folding clamp, such as Triton’s Superjaws or Rockwell’s Jawhorse, might be ideal for you if space is a constraint or you work with extensive materials and you require a portable solution.
Having various tools makes it hard to keep everything in order—nothing is more aggravating than spending an hour searching for a tool you need for a 15-minute job. That is why a tool chest is essential in every garage. However, it can be difficult to choose which one you want with so many different options. One excellent option is the six-drawer Craftsman ball-bearing chest. It has plenty of tools and ample room to expand, making it ideal for first-time homeowners. Its 26-inch depth lets you store long-handled tools without requiring too much floor space. The top two drawers are perfect for smaller tools, while the bottom four are great for larger items such as sockets, wrenches, and air tools. If you’re a DIYer with a more extensive haul of tools, consider a roller-cabinet-and-chest combination. Another great option from Craftsman is their 52-inch roller cabinet. It has 18 drawers, four of which are extra-deep for power tools and other more oversized items.
A shop vac is the workhorse of any garage or workshop, whether you’re cleaning up woodworking debris or sucking up liquid spills before they have a chance to cause staining or damage. While most shop vacs are adequate for general cleanup, a few features make some models more user-friendly than others. For example, a detachable blower is handy for blowing leaves from gutters and cobwebs from corners. A dust-sealed switch protects the vacuum’s innards from sawdust and other debris, while a crevice tool helps clean tight spaces. Finally, if you frequently work with liquids, look for a model with an automatic float shutoff that prevents the vacuum from overfilling and spilling dirty water on your floor.
Your garage is a great place to store all your extra belongings. However, with the right tools and organization, it can also be a great space to work on projects as well. With these things in mind, you’ll be sure to make the most of your garage space. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find that you have more space than you thought!