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Wall systems, putting vertical surfaces to good use

Drywall is a thing of the past for shop walls. Learn several more upgrades that take your shop from drab to dramatic.

Choose your wall solution carefully.

Choose your wall solution carefully.

With cabinets and worksurfaces in place, a lot of tools and shop paraphernalia now have homes. But a lot of typical garage "stuff" is too big or awkward to store in cabinets. Unfortunately, things like recreational gear, yard equipment, and garden tools end up leaning against the wall or in corners, consuming valuable floor space. The trick here is to keep that stuff easily at hand, but up and out of the way.

Bare drywall--or, in some cases, open framing--requires that anything hung there be anchored to a stud. However, the typical 16" spacing of studs gives only a limited number of vertical locations (and few, if any, horizontally) for mounting hooks and hangers.

A number of wall solutions are available. Perforated hardboard (commonly called Peg-Board, a trademarked name) is a favorite for hanging hand tools. However, this doesn't provide a worthy solution for heavier tools stored in most of today's garages.

A quick-and-easy upgrade is to attach 1/2" plywood to the walls, anchoring the plywood solidly to the garage's existing framework. After fastening the plywood, screw mounting hooks and brackets, or hang shelves wherever you like. As you update your tool inventory, alterations are just as easy: Just unscrew mountings and move them to new positions.

Bare plywood doesn't look that appealing, and changing the tool layout later leaves unsightly screw holes. Plywood is difficult to clean and is vulnerable to moisture from wet yard tools and dripping hoses. A couple of coats of paint helps, but that's more work. On the plus side, all the materials you need are inexpensive and right around the corner at your hardware store or home center. Better yet, construction is simple. If your budget is limited, and you don't mind a bit of maintenance, this may be your best ticket.

Continued on page 2:  Consider a slatwall system for a professional look.


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