There are few problems that derail the ability to employ whatever negligible handyman skills one may or may not possess in order to complete some minor repairs around the house than that of not having a single solitary tool with which to do so. That’s why Dina Gjertsen has decided to create the area’s first rental library for tools, based out of the “family hacker space” Parts and Crafts in Somerville. And if you’ve ever used a regular library, the idea is essentially the same.
“Most people don’t need to own a tool; they need to use a tool,” she says. “So [this is] for the three times a year you need a drill, or a saw, or a sander, or a specialty tool.”
The new “tool library” is membership-based, and for 50 dollars a year you can borrow up to seven tools for a week, and renew them as needed. There are late fees if you keep them too long, and renters are responsible for replacements if any are lost (you know how you’re always misplacing power drills).
“I’ve been trying to get the tool library off the ground for a year, and this is a great spot to do it,” Gjertson says. “People are here and ready to work on things, and they have storage space here. We’re a little sub-part of it.”
If you have tools to donate, Gjertsen says she’ll make you a member and waive the membership fee so she can work on procuring a bigger variety of new and used tools. She’s already received a $750 grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund that will help procure items like a chop saw, shop vac, DeWalt drill batteries, and other items she isn’t getting from donations. But in the end, it’s about finding and providing the tools people are directly in need of.
“What people really want are automotive and bike tools so that people can borrow those and just repair their cars, bikes and motorcycles,” she says. Caveat: Ladders are a no-go due to regulations.
“It’s the one thing I’m not allowed to loan, and I know that people really like to have them,” she says.