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.
Creative Fire Art & Pottery Studio has a roomy workspace where adults and kids can learn the craft of clay. The facility hosts day and evening classes. There’s also open studio time, where students can come and go as they please to finish building a piece or see if their clay pigeon has morphed into a real pigeon. In party packages, you and a group of friends can get a room to yourselves to work with clay under the advisement of an instructor. It’s also worth it to stop in Creative Fire Art & Pottery Studio’s gallery, which feature a number of original pottery pieces.
When a baby room takes the place of a man cave, once-cherished leather couches and entertainment centers often wind up curbside, waiting for their ride to the landfill. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore saves furniture from an untimely demise and stocks new and used building materials, using the proceeds to help to create affordable homes for the city's low-income families. Manufacturers, businesses, contractors, and individuals regularly stop in to donate a variety of items ranging from caulk to file cabinets to paintbrushes. The mostly volunteer staff at ReStore spent 2010 keeping more than 730,000 pounds of usable supplies out of landfills and trash mountains.
At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Naked Furniture’s eco-friendly emporium boasts 17,000 square feet of heirloom-quality home fittings, carefully crafted from real wood rather than particleboard or tacky popsicle sticks. This month’s new products include a comfy eucalyptus adirondack chair ($215) from the Gardenwood Collection and a sturdy 29-inch entry table ($99), ideal for placing next to a bed to besiege a poorly defended pillow fort. The Bay Harbor Collection’s pine headboard ($199) fits any standard queen bedframe, and the solid pine single-door armoire ($559) lends a touch of elegance to otherwise drab spaceship sleep chambers. Naked Furniture’s artisans can outfit scholarly buyers with semi-custom bookcases in a variety of materials, sizes, and styles, or help customers choose from a vast selection of easy-to-use staining and finishing products while they inhale the store’s wholesome, woodsy aroma.
American Heritage Fireplace's chimney technicians scour soot and finesse flues to leave home heaters clean and free of excessive soot and creosote build up. After arriving at abodes, an experienced sweep performs a visual inspection of the chimney interior and exterior, as well as any connected fireplace or wood stove. Then they’ll prep the work area to corral dust and debris and manually scrub Santa chutes with a brush perched atop a graphite rod. The sweeping process ferrets out ash, creosote, and minor clogs, such as bird nests, squirrel nests, and licorice-rope nests; an industrial vacuum devours the falling particles.