The West Seattle Tool Library is pleased to announce that we are going mobile. Thanks to a few generous sponsorships and the ongoing support of our growing 700-plus member community, the tool library has purchased a trailer and refurbished it to serve as a mobile extension of our well-loved collection of tools.
The new mobile unit, sized 7×14 feet, will be stocked with a variety of the most popular tools. The trailer will allow for members who do not have a vehicle, who need a tool that doesn’t fit in their vehicle or simply want the convenience of having it delivered, to do so for a fee of $10 each way. The mobile tool library will also be available to community groups who are working on a project and need a large number of tools on site.
Members will be able to request a pickup or delivery by contacting the library by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (206) 317-4671.
“This mobile unit will dramatically increase accessibility to the West Seattle Tool Library for a number of our neighbors who, for one reason or another, can’t always make it down to the tool library itself during open hours,” said Patrick Dunn, tool library founder. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to reach out to the community and ensure that everyone has access to the tools they need to take on projects of all sorts.”
The bright red unit, which resembles a horse trailer and was purchased in used condition and refurbished to a pristine state by Tool Library Director Micah Summers, will be officially rolled out to the public Thursday night, July 12, at the Tool Library’s regular DIY community meetup and “Ask an Expert” night. It will then be on display at the GreenLife exposition (part of West Seattle Summer Fest ) this weekend in the West Seattle Junction.
Held at the tool library’s permanent location in the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way, the “Ask an Expert” event runs from 6-8 p.m. and offers area residents an opportunity to bounce project ideas off fellow DIYers and receive advice from experts in a variety of home improvement and sustainability fields.
The mobile unit was made possible by grants from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the West Seattle Garden Tour and other donors.
The West Seattle Tool Library officially opened its doors in June of 2010, offering free community access to a variety of more than 100 tools out of a small storage closet. Just two years later, that modest collection has grown to over 1,500 mostly-donated tools, serving a membership of around 700 people from a renovated workshop space at Youngstown.
The tool library also hosts a wide range of educational classes and workshops, a fixer’s collective and social events geared toward the Do-It-Yourself community. Besides Summers, an intern and a number of volunteers help keep the library open and humming on weekends and Thursday nights.
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
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!
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 Sharing Economy, Fast Company
In A Down Economy, Sharing Takes Off, NBC 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 Stuff, Yes! Magazine
Ten Ways to Save the World: Build a Local Tool Library, Popular Mechanics
Tool Library Grand Re-Opening At Youngstown, West Seattle Herald (video)
West Seattle Tool Library
Sustainable NE Tool Share
Phinney Tool Library
Seattle Farm Co-op
Seattle Bike Sharing
Seattle Bike Share Feasibility Study, Department of Urban Design & Planning, UW
How are you participating in The Sharing Economy?
Leave a comment and let us know!
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: http://www.meetup.com/WSToolLibrary
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
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.
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
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
Register Here! SOLD OUT
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
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
by Greg Kono
Emsco Tabletop Dental Drill Restoration
I’ve had this dental drill sitting on a shelf, collecting dust for years. The belt had disintegrated long ago and I always assumed the switch was broken since it wouldn’t shut off when I plugged it in. After doing a little internet research, though, I quickly discovered that the switch was fine; It’s suppose to control the motor’s forward and reverse. The part that was actually missing was the foot controller that turns the motor on/off and regulates the speed of the drill. Armed with that realization, I was able to easily find a replacement for it. By some stroke of luck, I was even able to find the exact size belt from a dental supply company.
After some disassembling, cleaning, lubricating, reassembling, and a little polishing, the drill looks and runs as good as new. With its dentistry days behind it, it now performs well in precision engraving or grinding and is surprisingly more comfortable to use than a Dremel tool. I strongly recommend, however, that you still refrain from using it for DIY dental work!
If you’re even slightly interested in exploring the innards of all sorts of gadgets, gizmos, and tools or investigating why they break and how to (sometimes) easily fix them, you should definitely stop by The Fixers’ Collective. We’ve fixed everything from blenders to blow torches and happily accept all challenges. If you have something in your house or garage that needs a little attention and you’d rather not throw it away, or even if you’re just curious to see how easy it is to fix some of these things, we hope to see you at the next meetup on October 6th, 6-9pm! Everyone is welcome is attend, whether or not you bring your broken stuff with you!
The Fixers’ Collective meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month in The West Seattle Tool Library’s Fixerspace.
Each month, The Tool Library brings together our community and hosts some experienced DIY coaches who are willing to answer any questions that you may have on your current projects, future plans, or anything else you liked to discuss. Our coaches have expertise in a variety of areas, including solar power, water harvesting, green architecture & building, permaculture, and urban gardening.
These open and informal community meetups offer an opportunity to bounce project ideas off fellow DIYers and maybe receive some advice in the process, if you like. It’s also a great time to show off what you’ve been working on.
Though the meetup is scheduled to go from 6-8pm, please feel free to just show up whenever you darn well please. We’ll bring the pizza and see you there!
We’ll have booths for sustainable local firms and local community groups committed to sustainability and for all three days of the festival, we will be hosting demonstrations and presentations on a wide-ranging set of topics including backyard chickens, solar electricity here in Seattle and helping to clean up stormwater runoff.
Due to high demand, Ask an Expert has returned to Thursday nights! Each month, The Tool Library hosts some local businesses who are willing to answer any questions that you may have on your current projects, future plans, or anything else you liked to discuss.
Our Ask an Expert nights coincide with the 2nd Thursday West Seattle Art Walk so come on out and visit us at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on your art walk.
These open and informal community meet-ups offer an opportunity to bounce project ideas off fellow DIYers and receive some free professional advice in the process. As always, you can just show up whenever you darn well please and leave whenever you like. We’ll bring the coffee and pastries!
The West Seattle Fixers’ Collective is a group of folks from all over Seattle who love to fix and mend anything from broken blenders to ripped sweaters to antique dentist drills. Take it apart, put it back together, figure out how it works, refuse to throw it away, have some pizza, and get to know others who do the same! What the collective works on depends entirely on who shows up but there’s often plenty of creativity involved and no experience necessary.
To give a little better sense of what Fixers’ is all about, here’s a great clip that features our friends at the Brooklyn Fixers’ Collective:
So feel free to stop by The West Seattle Tool Library to share your passion for fixing and mending, to have a few things of your own fixed, or simply to check out some of the cool projects that walk through our door!
Join your friends and colleagues at the Tool Library Saturday, June 4, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am for the safety and training course Power Tools 101.
The Tool Library is holding these classes again on Saturday, June 18th, also from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
Join instructor Amy Ecklund, as she welcomes you in to the basics of using small powertools such as circular saws, jigsaws, power drills, impact drivers, nail guns, and miter saws (also called chop saws).
In the second half of the class, you’ll demonstrate what you’ve learned by building a take-home, cedar planter box. After the class ends at 11:00 am, all participants will also have the option to be walked one-on-one through a number of larger tools such as the bandsaw, tablesaw, and router table
This class counts as the required safety credit at The Tool Library’s Community Workshop. RSVP to The Tool Library at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Course fee is $20.