If I had a hammer (or a table saw).

November 11, 2008

Now that I’ve come down (sort of) from last week’s landslide victory for the certain changeling pictured below, it’s back to the Small stuff — like planning my kitchen reno. ‘Cept it’s kinda tough when I don’t have power tools (hello, tiny house), nor a whole lotta know-how when it comes to both constructing and deconstructing — though, that’s where my finish carpenter brother-in-law comes in. Lucky ducky, I know.

It turns out that the Phinney Neighborhood Association here in the Emerald City rents out tools. Trouble is, I don’t live in Phinney, and if I’m down on dollars, I can’t complete my project.

But bust my buttons if Portland, Oregon, doesn’t have a leg up (again!) on Seattle in the Small sense: Here it is, the Northeast Portland Tool Library, a volunteer-managed cache of free-use power tools for those strapped for cash or short on space. Sure, overdue fines apply, and you have to be at least 18 with a valid ID. But hey! Such a deal, and such a great way to build community around, well, building.

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9 Responses to “If I had a hammer (or a table saw).”

  1. The Choir said

    I have done this in Berkeley, which also has a tool library–good thing, and quite amazing–garden tools, power tools, hand tools, etc. I helped a plumber-friend work on his neighbor’s house with a humungous pipe wrench that, trust me, was so large it SHOULD have had power wired into it to help use it more effectively.

    I can supply some power-tool help on the fine-finishing front during the holidaze and after, also. Today, a thermostat box–tomorrow, THE WORLD!

    Nice saw–but one question: “What kind of wood is that?”

  2. Laura said

    Wow! What a wonderful way to save resources and still get stuff done. I am envious!

  3. Thanks, Choir, for the offer of help. I might have you come up to assist with the kitchen (dinner provided as payment, of course). I look forward to all of your advice, which I won’t take, because we are perpetually at astral loggerheads.

    Laura: I agree! And I’m envious, too, because I reside in neither place. Perhaps we should each set up our own libraries. Only there’s not space enough to do it. Blast. Back to square one.

  4. Jonathan S said

    Tools are cool. Cooler still? Using in a post, the phrase, “bust my buttons.” Well done.

  5. Justin The (Tool) Man (Taylor) said

    Choir busted my buttons and beat me to the punch. I was going to mention Berkeley’s Tool Lending Library. It’s part of the Public Library System (maybe Mr. Living Small could tackle that one…)

    Can’t wait to see the new kitch.

  6. Demelza said

    LS – If I lived near you, I’d be happy to lend you all the power tools we’ve accumulated over the past six years (!) of our tiny house renovation. Every time I think we’ve got them all, my husband convinces me we need another. “It’ll pay for itself the first time we use it,” he says. And I will pay for it for a long time to come, apparently. :)

  7. Didn’t know the Berkeley Tool Lib was part of the public library system — very cool.

    Thanks for the support, D. Do you have space to store all of these tools, even in your little house?

  8. Demelza said

    We have a little garage, but we can’t fit our car in there.

  9. Of course! The garage full of tools. But they’ve made your little nest so much cozier, right?

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