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THE ZEN OF THE METAL PEGBOARD

Q: A pegboard used to hang in my father's garage. However, the hooks would always pull out of the board when you grabbed a tool. Is there a kind of pegboard that eliminates this problem?

A: I have crisp memories of my own father's wooden pegboard that hung in his tiny storage room under our front porch. He had hooks that also pulled away from the board just as you describe. He installed new hooks that had tiny retention clips to hold each hook tightly to the surface, but even these failed over time, enlarging the holes in the wooden material.

Now, pegboard systems come in plastic and steel as well as wood, and metal definitely has solved the problem of hooks pulling out of the board. I used this system in my old house and am about to install it in my new one because it has performed well.

Also, when it comes to accessories, there is a seemingly endless variety. Products include pegboard bins, organization hooks made for special tools and a range of shelving, even some that feature a built-in paper-towel holder. The manufacturers seem to have thought of just about every hand tool that needs to be stored, including gardening tools, and have made hooks that fit the tools perfectly.

If you don't want to invest in new hooks, you can buy metal pegboard with traditional round holes. (Newer versions have sleek slots for the hooks instead of the round holes.)

I'm a big fan of accessories made for groups of tools. For example, my metal pegboard system has special holders that work great for regular screwdrivers, Phillips screwdrivers or nut drivers.

Not too long ago, I also discovered some interesting magnets made for steel pegboard. These magnets allow you to place tools made with iron or steel just about anywhere on the board.

Another thing I like about metal pegboard is its ability to create a striking display. The brand I use comes in a variety of colors with a glossy powder coating. The vibrant colors allow you to theme your workshop or garage, or you can choose white, black or galvanized metal for an industrial look.

Wooden pegboard may be more affordable, but I can tell you my brightly colored metal pegboard not only works well, but it really gets me in a good mood when I'm in my garage and workshop.

Tim Carter is a licensed contractor. To view previous columns or tap into his archive of information and sources of building materials, go to www.askthebuilder.com. You can write to Tim Carter at P.O. Box 36352, Cincinnati, OH 45236-0352.

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TIPS

Pegboard systems

Once you decide to install pegboard, it helps to lay out the tools you want to store on the floor in the manner you want them on the wall. This planning helps you figure out how much pegboard to buy.

I always try to sort tools by type and by how frequently I use them. The high-use tools need to be placed where they are easiest to reach. Try not to cram tools next to one another, as it makes it hard to grab them.

What I really like about my metal pegboard is that it takes both the sleek hooks that fit into the vertical slots and the standard round hooks.

If you have an older hook accessory for your wooden pegboard, it can be used right alongside the newer hooks.

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