Tool Library Accepts $10K Gift From The Grainger Foundation

The West Seattle Tool Library officially opened its doors in June of 2010, offering free community access to a rather decent variety of over 100 tools out of a small storage closet. Just two years later, that modest collection has now grown to over 1,500 tools, serving a membership of around 700 neighbors from a wonderfully renovated workshop space at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Though an incredible amount of volunteer effort, staff time, and member support certainly helped bring this community resource to life, The Tool Library also owes a tremendous deal of gratitude and thanks to its generous donors. These donors include The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, The West Seattle Garden TourAlaska Airlines, and, most recently, The Grainger Foundation.

In honor of The Tool Library’s achievements – and to ensure its ability to pursue all its exciting potential – The Grainger Foundation recently awarded The Tool Library with a extremely generous grant in the amount $10,000. As an organization that encourages sustainability, community involvement, technical training, and disaster preparedness, The Grainger Foundation identified The Tool Library as a natural partner. We couldn’t agree more!

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the entire Grainger organization for all their support and recognition, as well as all the other great work that they continue to support throughout the country.

Pictured in this photo taken in The Tool Library’s Workshop are (from left to right) Bob Noble, Grainger Assistant Branch Manager; Gene Boyington, Grainger Branch Manager; Christina Hahs, SWS president; Richard Garrett, Grainger Customer Service Associate and National Sustainability Chair; Micah Summers, SWS Tool Library manager; and Patrick Dunn, SWS Tool Library Founder.

In response to the demands from our membership and the greater community, The Tool Library will now use these funds to support our education curriculum, continue to develop our mobile operations, and increase our open hours to make The Tool Library even more accessible to all our neighbors throughout the region.

After two full years in operation and with all of this generous support, in many ways we kinda feel like we’re just getting going!

Thank you for your continued support of Sustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Tool Library.


The Seattle Share Fair: Celebrate the Sharing Revolution!

The Seattle Share Fair
Tuesday, February 21st, 6-9pm
The West Seattle Senior Center
4217 SW Oregon Street

You may have recently heard the terms collaborative consumption, meshing, or the sharing economy.  Basically, this is just a fancy new vocabulary for the time honored practice of sharing with your friends and neighbors.  But now local services are springing up everywhere to promote the practice and provide inexpensive or even free access to almost all the various things you might need in your everyday life.  Through these services, it’s now more attractive and simple than ever to share with both your inner circles as well as neighbors you haven’t even met!

At Seattle Share Fair, you’ll learn how to use all these services to gain easier access to thousands of tools and household items, workshops, cars, media, and even land for gardening.  You’ll also learn how to personally start up similar services, just in case you’d like to have a Tool Library in your own neighborhood.  The Seattle Share Fair is the place to get started!

The Course of Events
6-7pm: Share Fair Tabling: Get Involved!
7-8:20pm: Feature Program
Facilitator: Gene Homicki, Local Tools
Speaker: Patrick Dunn, Share Starter
Community Panel:
Billy Thomspon, Zipcar (Car Sharing)
Max Hepp-Buchanan, Cascade Bicycle Club (Bike Sharing)
Micah Summers, West Seattle Tool Library (Tool/Stuff Sharing)
Ken Gollersrud, Seattle Public Libraries (Information/Stuff Sharing)
Peter Rothbart, We Patch (Land/Garden Sharing)
Willow Brugh, Space Federation (Space Sharing)
8:20-9pm: Socialize & Sign up!

Admission: FREE 

How to Share “The Gettin’ There”:
West Seattle Senior Center
4217 SW Oregon Street
If you can’t walk or bike, you might explore a few other options before you drive to the Share Fair by yourself:
Public Transit (Destination, Date, & Arrival Time Already Entered)
Zipcar (Car Sharing)
Avego (Ride Sharing)
If you’d prefer not to use any of these services but would still like to carpool, please comment to let us know and we’ll try to set something up the old fashioned way…by email.

Seattle Share Fair Reading & Resource List
It ain’t all reading and it is totally optional.  Just in case you’re the type that likes to do some prep work….

The Sharing Revolution
What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption
Hardcopy available at The Seattle Public Library.
Audiobook available on itunes.

The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing
Hardcopy available at The Seattle Public Library
CD Audiobook available at The Seattle Public Library

The Sharing Economy, Fast Company
In A Down Economy, Sharing Takes OffNBC Nightly News (video)
Steve Case, Founder of AOL, on The Sharing Economy , The Colbert Report (video)
Various Other Articles on The Sharing Economy 

Seattle Tool (and Stuff) Sharing
Share your StuffYes! Magazine
Ten Ways to Save the World: Build a Local Tool LibraryPopular Mechanics
Tool Library Grand Re-Opening At YoungstownWest Seattle Herald (video)
West Seattle Tool Library
Sustainable NE Tool Share
Phinney Tool Library
Seattle Farm Co-op
neigh*borrow Seattle

Seattle Bike Sharing
Seattle Bike Share Feasibility StudyDepartment of Urban Design & Planning, UW

Seattle Ride Sharing
Carpooling a Click Away with Online Ride SharingSeattle P-I
King County Metro Rideshare Operations
Avego’s 520 Ride Sharing Pilot

Seattle Land/Garden Sharing
Garden Sharing: Farming Meet Social NetworksGOOD Magazine
Seattle Urban Garden Share

Seattle Space Sharing & Co-Working
Shared Workspace Gaining Popularity, Seattle Times
The Space Federation
The Hub Seattle
Seattle Co-Working Spaces

How are you participating in The Sharing Economy?  

Leave a comment and let us know!

Tool Library Offers “Handywoman for the Home” Series

Basic Electrical for the Home
January 26th,7-9 PM
Instructor: Amy Ecklund of
Whether you want to change light fixtures or need an extra outlet in a room, this class will teach you the basic how-to steps for safe electrical repair. Learn how to use a voltage tester, change worn outlets and switches, label your circuits and more. You’ll also discuss larger jobs and get tips on doing it yourself. Hands-on experience will give you the confidence to safely try this at home.
Register Here!

Basic Tiling for the Home
February 23rd,7-9 PM
Instructor: Susan Barnes of
Improve the value of your bathroom or kitchen. Learn to select the best tile for your project, prepare and install the tile and then grout to finish the job. You will learn the tools needed for the job and gain hands-on experience on how to use them.
Register Here!

Basic Plumbing for the Home
March 22nd,7-9 PM
Instructor: Amy Ecklund of
Learn the basic how-to steps for repairing or replacing plumbing in your home. Class will cover faucet repair, wax ring replacement, faucet removal and installation plus caulking. Tips on how to do it yourself as well as knowing when it’s time to call a contractor.
Register Here!

Tool Library Offers “Introduction to Beekeeping”

This January, The West Seattle Tool Library is offering The Make-It Workshop Series, exploring a wide variety of unique crafts from beer brewing to beekeeping.  Register for classes online at:

Introduction to Beekeeping
Tuesday, January 24th, 7-9 PM There a lot of buzz around bees these days.  This class will cover basic beekeeping tools and equipment, local laws, getting started, basic hive management, and processing the harvest. Instructor: Brian Allen Cost: $20
Register Here!

Tool Library Offers The “Make-It” Workshop Series

This January, The West Seattle Tool Library is offering The Make-It Workshop Series, exploring a wide variety of unique crafts from beer brewing to beekeeping.  Register for classes online (because they fill up fast) at:

Introduction to Beer Brewing

Tuesday, January 10th, 7-9 PM Learn how to prepare your own beer!  Participants will be introduced to all the necessary brewing equipment while learning how to prepare the mash, cook it, add flavors, and complete the brewing process. Instructor: Micah Summers Cost: $20

Introduction to Beekeeping

Tuesday, January 24th, 7-9 PM There a lot of buzz around bees these days.  This class will cover basic beekeeping tools and equipment, local laws, getting started, basic hive management, and processing the harvest. Instructor: Brian Allen Cost: $20

Register Here!

Power Tools 101

Tuesday, January 31st, 6-9 PM Learn the basics of using small powertools such as circular saws, jigsaws, powerdrills, impact drivers, nail guns, and miter saws.  During the class, you’ll demonstrate what you’ve learned by building a take-home, cedar planter box. Instructor: Amy Ecklund Cost: $20 + $5 for materials

Register Here!

The Make-It Workshop Series: Whaddaya Know?

Why keep your skills a secret, especially if you can earn a little revenue by sharing them?  We’re constantly looking for new instructors on unique topics to be part of The Tool Library’s ongoing Make-It Workshop Series on Tuesday nights.  Propose your class, anything from beekeeping to homebrewing, and we’ll try to find a spot for you.  Instructors receive 50% of the proceeds, which could mean up to $150/class.  To propose a class, please feel free to write to us at to let us know your interest and qualifications.

Roundtrip Airfare Raffle @ The Tool Library

On February 21st, Sustainable West Seattle will be giving away 2 roundtrip tickets good for anywhere Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air fly. Raffle tickets will be awarded to all those who complete any of the following before the date of the drawing:

Raffle tickets can also be purchased at The West Seattle Tool Library during open hours.  Those who sign up or renew their memberships on the web will automatically be entered in the drawing.  There is no limit to the number of times any individual can enter, through whichever means.  SWS Board Members and their relatives are ineligible to participate.


Tool Library Offers “Homemade for the Holidays” Series

To continue in the spirit of Barter Fair this year, The West Seattle Tool Library is offering Homemade for the Holidays, a series of workshops taught by your neighbors on how to make hand crafted items for holiday giving. From soap making to homemade liqueurs, from basic jewelry design to easy canning, learn to make handcrafted goods at home in the spirit of a do-it-yourself holiday season.

All classes are held Tuesday evenings at the West Seattle Tool Library workshop at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

Workshop Schedule:

Introduction to Holiday Canning: Nov. 29th, 7-9 PM

Learn how to preserve your harvest.  We’ll cover all the basics of using a hot water bath canner.  Each participant will get to take home a few jars of what we can in class.
Instructor: Christina Hahs
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Register Here! SOLD OUT

Introduction to Backyard Booze: Dec. 6th, 7-9 PM

Learn to use fruit and simple ingredients to make homemade specialty liqueurs such as Fig Bourbon, Rumtopf, Cranberry Spice Vodka, or Pineapple Rum.
Instructor: Vanessa Primer
Cost: $20
Register Here! SOLD OUT

Introduction to Jewelry Making: Dec. 13th, 7-9 PM

Learn the basics of beading and wirework. Techniques learned include crafting clasps, wire wrapping and beading to begin creating a bracelet or necklace to complete at home.
Instructor: Jill Sundberg
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Register Here!

Introduction to Soapmaking, Dec. 20th 7-9 PM

Homemade soaps make great gifts!  Join us as we demonstrate the basics of traditional soap making using all-natural herbs and essential oils. These are tried and true, simple methods you will be able to use at home. If there’s enough time, this class will also cover the basics of making bath salts, scrubs, teas, and oils.
Instructor: Vanessa Primer
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Register Here!

Tool Library Hosts Sawhorse Revolution, Youth Carpentry Program

This autumn, The West Seattle Tool Library is proud to be hosting Sawhorse Revolution, a youth carpentry program that aims to bring the spirit of self-sufficiency and craftsmanship to the city during the school year.

Every Wednesday night, a handful of volunteer counselors gather for three hours in the Tool Library’s workshop, teaching wood-working skills to West Seattle highschoolers. Because this is the inaugural after-school event of Sawhorse Revolution, the theme of the 2011 pilot program is  ”building a workshop” and the primary focus is basic joinery.

The students are learning how to shape their own mallets out of alder and then wield them, along with pull-saws, combination squares, and chisels, to design and cut mortise and tenon joints into table skirts and legs of clear fir. The Tool Library’s large collection of tools is being put to good use on hardwood unhesitatingly donated by the Blackstock Lumber Company of West Queen Anne.

Sawhorse Revolution is affiliated with the Rubicon Foundation, a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) that has hosted programs in carpentry, wood-working, and construction for Seattle youth from West Seattle, Chief Sealth, and Franklin high schools. Until now, all activities have been at the Smoke Farm, a former dairy situated along the Stillaguamish river in Arlington.

If you would like to know more about Sawhorse Revolution, the Rubicon Foundation, and the second iteration of the pilot program, due to appear next spring, please write to Kyle McCarthy Nunes and Maria Palomo at