Fixers’ Collective Tinkers with Purpose

Christy True

Top photo: Tool Library Director Patrick Dunn and Tool Library Manager Micah Summers collaborate on fixing a broken espresso machine. Bottom photo: West Seattle Fixers’ Collective organizer Greg Kono takes a break from trying to fix a broken clock radio.

2011-06-17

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, which plans to meet Thursday nights at the West Seattle Tool Library workshop (Youngstown Cultural Arts Center), is 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, Tool Library Manager Micah Summers 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 http://www.meetup.com/West-Seattle-Tool-Library/events/21903891/

For details on the Tool Library, visit
http://www.sustainablewestseattle.org/tool-library/