West Seattle Tool Library goes mobile! Delivery/pickup trailer debuts

July 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | In Sustainable West Seattle, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Tool Library)
As its third year of operation gets under way, the nationally renowned West Seattle Tool Library is adding mobile service – and you can take a peek firsthand during tomorrow night’s “Ask an Expert” event at the WSTL. Here’s the Tool Library’s official announcement:

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 seven- by 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 library@wstools.org 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.

You can check out the WSTL inventory via its website – wstoollibrary.org.
ADDED: Another reason to go!

Also visiting the Tool Library this Thursday evening are the folks from ‘Spark Truck.’ Out of Stanford Design School, they’ve created a mobile unit filled with 3d printers, laser cutters, and other tools to help promote hands-on making and design to youth. They’re currently on a nationwide roadtrip.

5 Comments

  1. What a great service!

    Comment by Kate K — 11:16 am July 11, 2012 #

  2. This is great. I wish we had a toy library too :)

    Comment by Jennie — 2:03 pm July 11, 2012 #

  3. Nice idea. Hope it has some sort of “lo-jack” theft recovery device incorporated into it.

    Comment by Eddie — 2:28 pm July 11, 2012 #

  4. Also there Thursday evening, the SparkTruck! A bunch of fun Stanford design students show your kid (9-14ish, flexible) how to make things, while here in Seattle on their national road trip. See info at sparktruck.org, though this impromptu stop is not listed there yet. $5 per kid for materials. We saw these guys at PSC, and they rock!

    Comment by Matt — 12:24 am July 12, 2012 #

  5. Jennie – come on done to the Tool Library and we’d be happy to help you get one started! Or check out the tool library starter kit (focused on tools, but very applicable to all types of goods), and the lending library management service that spring up around the West Seattle Tool Library: Local Tools.

    Comment by Gene — 11:19 pm July 12, 2012 #

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