CSH’s Rolling Barn Doors featured on Food Network’s ‘Save My Bakery’  

As featured on MyFixItUpLife, Custom Service Hardware got some love on the popular renovation-themed show ‘Save My Bakery’ on Food Network. In an episode entitled “Connection Disconnection”, up-and-coming bakery & tea room  Lori’s Sweet Sinsations got the upgrade treatment – in part with Rolling Barn Doors via CSH. Continue reading “CSH’s Rolling Barn Doors featured on Food Network’s ‘Save My Bakery’  “

Drawer Slides: A Variety of Uses

Drawer slides can be used in a variety of ways. From mere pennies to more than a hundred dollars, you can find a drawer slide that fits your needs. Here we break down the weight capacity, cost, and potential uses for different types of slides.

So Light and So Cheap-Cheap

If you're simply in the market for basic slides, you have cheap and lightweight options to consider. European epoxy slides are especially inexpensive. However, they're designed to only be able to handle lighter loads, due to their nylon wheels. These slides can technically hold up to 75 pounds, but you should aim for lighter loads for long-term use. Ball bearing drawer slides also come in less expensive designs and have the added perk of being a bit stronger than European epoxy slides. These slides are great for home office situations or basic kitchen and bath drawer installations. Typically you will find full extension slides so that you can easily access the contents of your drawer without rummaging blindly.

Middling Ground

This more mid-to-heavy range of drawer slides can be used for more mobile purposes. While light drawers can be used easily, the higher weight capacity slides holding extremely heavy items aren't meant to be used as frequently. That makes these kinds of medium range slides a great choice. For around $20 to $50 you can get durable 150 pound slides for such things as office use or to store cast iron pans. Scores of paper and files can easily be managed with mid to heavy range slides and still accessed with ease.

Weight Lifting Champions

Did you know that you can buy heavy duty drawer slides that have a 500 pound weight capacity? It may sound crazy, but there are many uses for these super strong and durable slides. There is a lot of delicate, heavy, and complicated equipment involved in computer servers. If you have a storage closet or room, you can set up the server in shelving or drawers to organize. Using the strongest, most heavy weight slides allows you to securely store all your delicate equipment and keep your server running smoothly.

Whether you use your garage as a project space or just keep your tools out of the house, you need sturdy storage options. Heavy duty drawer slides are a great idea to store just about any tools, no matter how heavy. With a 500 pound weight capacity, you won't have to worry about anything clattering onto your feet or

flying out of the shelf. Need to keep a generator stored on your trailer for emergencies or extra assistance? Utilize sturdy slides for keeping items you need accessible and also security stored when not in use.

A Guide to Drawer Slides

drawer slides

What would we do without drawers? Our storage options would be a bit more limited and our homes would be a bit messier. In order to make the most of the drawers in our homes, we need to make sure they are easy to open and close. This greatly depends on the type and quality of your drawer slides.

Drawer slides are devices that make opening and closing your drawers easier. They are usually mounted underneath the drawer or on its sides. They prevent your drawer from accidentally being pulled all the way out off the hinge, thus spilling the contents of the drawer on the floor. Your drawers should easily move and be able to hold a specific amount of weight, so it's important to choose the right type of drawer slides.

There are a variety of different types of drawer slides. You can classify drawer slides by their material (plastic, wood, elaborate bearings), the amount of weight they can hold and how they are mounted.

First, we'll start with how they are mounted. The bottom-mount drawer slides (in which two rails are installed on the bottom of the drawer on each side) are the easiest to install, but can't hold a large amount of weight. Since the mounts are hidden from sight, they are a popular and attractive option. Center-mount drawer slides have one rail in the center on the bottom. These are also easy to install and are best used for smaller drawers. Side-mount drawer slides have two rails installed on both sides of the drawer. These types of drawer slides can hold more weight, making them great for bathrooms and kitchens.

Then there are a variety of other ways you can customize your drawer slides. You can choose the colors (popular options are brown, white or wood-colored), the material (wood, metal and plastic are commonly used), and the accessories (including sockets, drawer spacers and locking devices).

Two popular brands of drawer slides are Hettitch drawer slides and Blum drawer slides. Hettich makes innovative drawer slides that hold any loading capacity. They make ball-bearing slides, roller wheel slides and concealed slides. They also have a mechanically assisted opening system and slides for domestic appliances. Blum makes concealed drawer slides that offer four-dimensional adjustment and an exceptional load capacity. The soft and quiet opening and closing action makes them a favorite among many homeowners.

What is a Tool Library?

tool library(source)

If you take the time to think about it, the concept of a library is quite clever. Simply renting a book to read for a short period of time saves you both money and the hassle required if you were to purchase the book for yourself. The basic idea behind a library is often applied to a variety of other items, including companies that let you rent designer dresses for weddings or Redbox, which allows you to rent movies for a single viewing.

A that has just been brought to my attention are tool libraries. Much like a library where you rent books, these stores or set-up shops allow residents to rent tools from their inventory. These tools can include a wide variety, such as automotive tools, woodworking items, electrical tools, home maintenance tools and much more. The majority of the tools are donated from people who are done using them or use them very infrequently.

Not everyone who owns a home needs to spend their money on a full set of tools or hardware, especially with the high cost of certain products. Tool libraries help residents stay on their budget and cut unnecessary spending costs. Usually, the tools are rented by a “pay-what-you-can” cost or small membership fee, although each community has different rules and guidelines. You will also save money in the long run by fixing or updating an item with the tools instead of throwing it away and buying a new one. More often than not, doing-it-yourself is the best way to go.

Tool libraries come in handy specifically for those random, one-time home projects that we all deal with. For example, there's no need to spend the money on a pressure washer when you end up using it once every few years. These items just take up space, collect dust and waste your money.

These tool libraries not only help the residents with their home remodeling projects, they also are great for the environment. Re-using products helps to reduce our carbon footprint on the Earth by saving resources and energy. Think of all the gas you'll be saving by walking down the block to rent a tool than driving to Home Depot to look for one yourself. Think of all the materials that can be saved when you borrow a paint sprayer instead of purchasing one.

These community libraries also encourage others to become more familiar with the different types of tools, as well as using them properly. Some communities provide workshops or educational guides along with the tool libraries, which can be helpful for those of us who aren't contractors or repair men.

To find a tool library near you, this is a good starting list. Try searching online or speaking to your local representative to find out if your area has a tool library. If not, why not volunteer your time and help create one? This website has some helpful tips.

A Guide to Clamps

Clamps are a popular tool used by many hardware experts and novices alike. Their basic function is to hold or secure objects together to prevent movement. Whether you are working on a home repair project involving wood, metal or another material, you may often need to use a clamp. However, choosing the proper clamp is very important. Here is a short guide to clamps for your next hardware project.

bar clamp

Bar clamps. Bar clamps, which are sometimes also known as “F-clamps”,  are usually used in woodworking projects where a permanent attachment is being made. They also are used for metalworking projects  including welding or bolting. They have a wider opening capacity compared to other clamps, which comes in handy for certain projects. The jaw is mounted on a flat bar and the large screw on the bottom lets you tighten and release the clamp to your pleasing.

toggle clamp

Toggle Clamps. Toggle clamps are different than the basic clamps in that they operate with a pivot and a lever, handle or another push/pull mechanism. The handle controls the device and the holding bar grips the work piece. These clamps are very secure since once the toggle clamp is locked on the pivot points, it will not release until  the lever is moved. Toggle clamps are very common in the areas of woodworking, carpentry, construction and even metalworking. They are popular for welding, milling and drilling.

pipe clamp

Pipe Clamps. Pipe clamps are commonly used in piping, cabinet or other woodworking projects. You will often see them used for gluing edges of wood together or assembling boxes or cabinets. They are made from clamp heads that are mounted on a common pipe. One clamp head is fixed (which features the screw for tightening), while the other slides on the opposite end of the pipe. Pipe clamps are similar to the bar clamps mentioned above. They actually are usually less expensive and seem to be a bit more versatile in terms of the length of the pipe.

spring clamp

Spring Clamps. Spring clamps are ideal for small work and light pressure projects. They typically are used to hold two or more objects together, such as corners or oddly-shaped objects. If you are gluing two pieces of wood together, for example, a spring clamp would be the ideal tool to use to apply pressure and hold them in place as they adhere to one another. Spring clamps are often used for woodworking, so if that's what you are planning to use them for, try to find spring clamps that are specifically made for working with wood (you don't want the clamp to crush the wood and ruin your project).