New at the West Seattle Tool Library: Fixers’ Collective!

(Fixers’ Collective founder Greg Kono taking a break from the clock-radio challenge)
Story and photos by Christy True
Special to West Seattle Blog

The first meeting of the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective was lightly attended but productive, as members tried to bring a broken clock radio and an espresso maker back to life.

The collective plans to meet Thursday nights (but not weekly) at the West Seattle Tool Library workshop at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. It’s a new venture for people interested in prolonging the life of the things they own, learning how things work, saving a few resources, or who just love to tinker. It is modeled on a Fixers’ Collective in Brooklyn, New York.

The small crew that gathered Thursday night dissembled a clock radio that would
no longer turn on after it was dropped on the floor.

A look at the innards revealed a broken circuit board. When superglue, epoxy and a soldering job failed to restore power to the clock radio, it was determined that it would probably require an extensive refurbishing and new parts to save and not worth the trouble.

The group – made up of the collective founder Greg Kono, Tool Library Director Patrick Dunn (above left), Tool Library manager Micah Summers (above right) and West Seattle resident Christy True – had better luck with a broken espresso maker.

The espresso maker did not appear to be receiving power, indicating a possible electrical short. After Dunn completely dismantled the maker and checked all the power connections, swapping two switches brought the long-dormant power lights to life!

It was an exciting moment. The espresso maker will require one new switch and possibly some jury-rigging to become usable, but should have a second life in the Tool Library. True, who brought in the espresso maker, is donating it to the Tool Library so patrons can have an espresso drink when they come in to pick up their tools.

And the clock radio may still get some life yet. Summers kept the broken appliance to possibly reuse its functional parts on other projects.

Anyone is welcome to attend the next Fixers’ Collective, on July 7, from 6-8 p.m. For details, visit this page on

For details on the Tool Library – which has regular hours on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as other classes and workshops – visit

8 Replies to "New at the West Seattle Tool Library: Fixers' Collective!"

  • K-witty June 18, 2011 (1:01 pm)

    Great article Christy!

  • SBRE June 18, 2011 (2:00 pm)

    This is great news as I’ve been procrastinating on getting rid of a fairly new electic edger that has died.

    See you on the 7th!

  • Kate K June 18, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    I love the idea of fixing things rather than throwing things away. This is great!

  • Ken June 18, 2011 (2:34 pm)

    Please put up a reminder here of the next meeting. I won’t be able to stay away. I should probably bring a bag of duplicate tools just to make more room at my computer bench.

    • WSB June 18, 2011 (2:37 pm)

      We’ll be adding it to the events calendar, which will generally mean a morning-of reminder. Sustainable West Seattle has an awesome website that includes reminders of things like this too – – I believe we include its feed on our “blogs” page – TR

  • sophista-tiki June 18, 2011 (6:18 pm)

    can we bring lawnmowers. ? I’ve really got to fix mine, weed eating the lawn for the entire summer does NOT sound fun.oO and ive got a juicer to fix too!

  • greg k. June 18, 2011 (7:52 pm)

    sophista, we will work on a electric mower or items that you can carry in. Sorry, no gas powered or over-sized items. But if we can’t fix your mower you can still check one out from the tool library!

  • Sadie June 19, 2011 (12:00 pm)

    Oh my gosh I want to do this !

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