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.
Since becoming established in 1990, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles' workforce has constructed or renovated more than 350 homes for low-income families throughout 112 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The organization relies largely on volunteer labor and donations of building materials, home decor, furniture, and appliances, which are used in building projects or sold at the ReStore. These sales not only help raise funds for building projects, but have also helped save more than five million pounds of reusable materials from ending up in local landfills.
With summer spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to stock up on cookware and housewares for outdoor entertaining and to get home-care projects underway. Pick up a Stanley six-piece screwdriver set for $6.99, a VPT rip hammer for $9.49, and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Illuminate the newfound décor with a 12-pack of Ace light bulbs ($21.48), the better to see by as you make use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made for $2.29 a pop.
New York Hardware's knowledgeable staff outfits builders and tinkers with an ample array of new and used decorative hardware, door and cabinet hardware, and vintage hardware. Soft lights reflect off the polished surfaces of cabinet knobs ($4–$125), distracting eyes as they trace the simple geometric designs on other bits of door hardware ($50–$4,000). Switch-plate covers ($20–$200) arm light switches with handsome suits of brushed metal, and heater vents and registers ($100–$5,000) dress up interior climate-control shafts in stylish new duds.
Patrons of Pelican Joe's Bay Boat Rentals don the captain’s hat and man the wood-paneled dash of 18-foot and 21-foot Duffy boats. Professional mariners show renters how to steer and remind them not to pick up hitchhiking penguins before vessels set sail on the waters of Alamitos Bay or waltz along the canals of Naples. Waterproof speakers blast music from iPods plugged into docking stations, and insulated coolers keep beverages cold as passengers fold back awnings to bask in the sun or relax in the shade of the 18-foot boat's canvas surrey top. Pelican Joe's Bay Boat Rentals outfits its floating lounges with complimentary ice and picnic linens and can also provide platters of gourmet snacks for guests to nibble while gathering the courage to toss diamond-heavy necklaces into the waves.