Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Head coach and founder Charles Randall is at the helm of a highly decorated staff of fencers that teaches the sport of saber fencing to legions of participants new and old. His team’s efforts have earned the facility a spot in the United States Fencing Association and bragging rights for two-time National Saber Champion and resident instructor Malia Hee. Potential saber-wavers can sign up for classes for all experience levels to develop agility, balance, discipline, and problem-solving. Whatever their sword-wielding powers, all fencers learn new skills in a specialized, air-conditioned facility complete with a floor that reduces stress on the ankles, knees, hips, and emotions.
The Dirty Works team blitzes big, small, and reoccurring projects with multi-sided expertise while helping homeowners cross off line after line on their "To-Do" lists. The business, promising to be timely and professional no matter what the job, updates interior spaces to be safer and more organized, whether its staffers are repairing drywall, removing junk, or simply handling general repairs. That same know-how extends outdoors, as well, when Dirty Works is called upon to pressure-wash exterior surfaces or scoop gunk out of gutters. After parties, they're available for major cleanups, and around the holidays, they string lights from roofs and sweep any stray white whiskers out of chimneys.
For three hours on a Friday or Saturday morning, master dotter of visual is and crosser of aesthetic ts Judith Spychalski will instruct you and four to nine other students in the ways of Venetian-style lime plastering; she will also teach how to apply crackle finishes and the potential uses of glazing and paint. The 10-people-per-class limit ensures personalized tips and attention for each aspiring decorator. Ideal for hardened do-it-yourselfers, this class can help you start on the path to crafting your home to your individual taste, glamorizing walls, ceilings, woodwork, cabinets, and the dog. For examples of the type of garnishes you'll be taught in these lavish lessons, check out the academy's project gallery.
One sunny day, Rob Kelley's kids did something characteristically adorable: they decided to make juice from berries they'd picked in the fields. Not so adorably, they spilled the pitcher of just-smashed berries all over one of his dining-room chairs, and the dark purple juice spread across the upholstery. Luckily for the kids, their father owns Sweet's Chem-Dry, and after a session with the company's hot carbonating extraction system, all evidence of the accident disappeared. Kelley documented his success in a small Facebook album.
His team employs the same carbonation system, along with a green, nontoxic cleanser, to lift dirt and debris from carpets, area rugs, and car interiors. Propelled by a truck-mounted machine, the system's microscopic bubbles delve deep into fibers to push grime to the surface, where hot-water extraction flushes it away. Since this system does not leave residue the way cleaning a carpet traditionally or just letting the birds have at it does, carpets stay clean longer. Fabrics dry in up to two hours, and optional protectant shields carpets and upholstery from future stains.