By Eric Capstick
In search of a measure of order in the midst of a frenetic year-long campaign to rejuvenate an old family cabin, I recently reached out to a company called Racor Home Storage Products, a giant in the storage solutions universe. Racor has been singularly focused on providing long-lasting space saving solutions since they introduced their first garage storage device, the SR-2 Ski Rack, way back in 1985. For those of us who might have been in school back then (my seven-year plan at the University of Michigan covered 70% of the decade), that might not seem like so long ago. Yet it’s been 27 years since that first piece of helpful hardware hit the wall, the same year that Bruce Springsteen rocked the country with a number one album called Born In The USA. It turns out the Racor company has echoed that theme by investing the spirit of American ingenuity into the design of their products. That Ski Rack consisted of the simplest sort of intelligent design: small, light, durable and capable of holding two pairs of skis, boots and poles neatly off the ground and out of the way. One good idea is often all it takes to get things going and Racor now has over 50 ingenious products to help people make the clutter of a full life more manageable.
Racor products are extremely durable and distinguished by solid steel construction that provides stability along with an epoxy finish that is corrosion resistant. The RacorStorageSolutions.com website is itself organized into five categories with a mind-boggling assortment of practical and creative devices; Bike, Garage and Sports storage, along with incredibly handy Tornado Hooks and the clever interchangeable storage potential of the Racor Snap2It line of products. I used all sorts of these products in the cabin to great effect, and often found ‘off-label’ uses for many of them. The bottom line is that each and every product the company makes is of sound construction and offers a wide range of versatile uses. For example, I was able to use many of the Tornado Hooks in my fledgling workshop, which helped me to transform a 5’ x 12’ space of utter chaos into a well organized storage area for the mind-boggling assortment of tools one needs to complete a renovation project. I found the various assortment of different shapes and lengths of the Tornado Hooks to be remarkably useful and versatile as well. For example, I mounted one of the Tornado Ladder Hooks on the wall above the main work area to hold my circular saw out of the way. The hooks are really strong and the 7.25 inch Ladder Hook was able to handle the saw easily and securely. I employed the Extended U-Hook to solve a problem that I had with all the heavy clamps I keep around. These were previously stored in a drawer which had made it difficult to open and close. I decided to try a 5 inch U-Hook with a two prongs and a fairly narrow gap to suspend a dozen or so of these clamps in a place where they are not only out of the way but also easy to access. One of the tools I require most often at the cabin is a cordless drill that habitually sat atop a pile of other stuff on the workshop table before I began to organize the space with the benefit of the Racor products. I selected a small 2.75 inch U-Hook for the drill and it can now be found in the same convenient place whenever I need it. One brilliant distinguishing note on Tornado Hooks; the fasteners that come with each hook are re-designed EZ Anchors that have been fashioned into one piece by fusing the screw head into the anchor itself. I had never seen this innovation before and found it extremely helpful as it made mounting the hooks a simple and painless exercise.
My personal experience with the Racor product line extended to building the Extreme Sports Rack for organizing balls, Frisbees, bats and cleats; mounting the 450 Rack, capable of holding 450 pounds of tools and materials as well as ladders; utilizing the Garden Tool Rack for managing long handled gardening tools; and using Snap2It solutions such as the Tool Rack, Hose Rack and Catch-All Basket. The Snap2It interchangeable storage system is uniquely designed to allow multiple WallDock anchors to be placed in convenient spots allowing the devices to be moved as necessary to the places where they are needed. I was also able to find multiple uses for the Wheelbarrel / Ladder Hanger, and employed a variety of other Tornado Hooks to hang my old-fashioned scythe as well as an old school manual plowing device safely out of the way on the wall of the porch. I also made great use of the Fishing Rod Rack which now holds four of my spinning and fly rods in a convenient spot on the underside of the porch roof for my use whenever I feel the urge to wet a line in the Brodhead Creek, which flows right beside the cabin. Racor also offers many other creative space-saving devices such as the Ceiling Storage Lift which can suspend up to 250 pounds of stuff off the ground; the GaragePro 9 Piece Universal Storage System which is rated to handle up to 1000 pounds of equipment; and the Ladder Lift which enables storage of large ladders overhead to free up floor and wall space. Then, of course, there are a wide array of bicycle storage options – at least a dozen different models at my count – which enable cycling enthusiasts to store bikes overhead, on walls or on the ground in a variety of simple but effective single and multiple bike rack storage solutions.
Here’s a news bulletin announcing a new Racor product that will be available in September, 2012: The SecureHold holder for long-handled tools. The idea here is a holder that is superior to hooks in strength and holding power for keeping tools safely out of the way of children as well as preventing tools from falling off the wall and potentially damaging cars or causing injury in the garage. These new items – which come in three models capable of holding one to three long-handled tools – are made with rugged steel construction and include a patented retention feature that is an industry first. Each tool passes through a steel “spring” opening and is held securely in a deep V-groove. This design prevents the tool from being accidentally dislodged from the holder and is estimated to be 35% stronger than traditional hooks while securely holding tools up to 65 pounds in weight. I plan to use a double SecureHold holder for my two axes and a single to store my favored pick axe out of harms way. Whatever your storage needs may be, I encourage readers to check out all that the Racor Home Storage Products people have to offer, at home centers, hardware stores and on the company website. A few minutes spent perusing the online catalogue will surely stimulate ideas for more efficient organization of all the stuff that can often create clutter and disarray in an active life.
Available at http://www.racorstoragesolutions.com