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Originally published Friday, June 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Father's Day gifts for the workman

Home Fix: Dwight Barnett, a home inspector, offers gift ideas for Father's Day.

Scripps Howard News Service

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For more than 25 years, I have been giving suggestions for Father's Day gifts.

Most of the time, I recommend a small battery-operated hand tool or some new and exciting specialty saw, but this year I'm going to reveal to you what most dads would really like.

This year I did all my shopping online.

A refrigerator for the garage or workshop: While working on a project, a cool beverage is right at hand if you have your own personal refrigerator. No need to wash up before going inside the house for a cold drink, where distraction almost always takes you away from your project.

Rubber or tile flooring for the entire garage: Having a soft, clean surface to work on is important for your posture and is easier on your back and legs. The floor covering also makes cleanup a breeze. Interlocking rubber tiles by Gladiator or rollout rubber matting by Rubber Flooring are two suggestions of many that are available. Gladiator sells for $211 for 48 square feet, while the rollout rubber flooring ranges from $2 to $4.30 per square foot.

A sturdy workbench: Several manufacturers offer ready-made workbenches and cabinetry for the DIY workshop. I'm not talking about a set of sawhorses with a piece of plywood on top. I would like a strong, heavy-duty metal-frame unit with built-in storage and a heavy woodworking surface. Costs range from $250 to $2,500 for a custom-made bench. Gladiator, at, offers a wide variety of garage essentials.

Weed trimmer: If yard work and gardening is what Dad likes, I did find a weed trimmer I really like. Black & Decker's newest line of 36-volt tools includes a hedge trimmer and a sweeper, but the string trimmer really caught my attention. The interchangeable 36-volt lithium-ion battery has the power and run time for most residential needs. This would be a great gift for $170 and is available at major home and hardware stores. For more information, visit• ShopBoss by Fiskars: This is something less expensive but very handy, especially when installing that new garage-floor covering. The titanium cutting blade cuts through light metals, carpeting and copper wiring. The ShopBoss is a handy pair of shears that would be welcome in any workshop or toolbox. Retailing for $29.99, the ShopBoss and other Fiskars scissors and shears are available at www.fiskars.comand

Dwight Barnett is a certified-master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Send home-improvement questions to or Dwight Barnett, Evansville Courier & Press, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, Ind. 47702.

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