A lot of Ottawa residents are getting up close and personal with hammers and nails these days. While most local homeowners entrust their renovation projects to the experts, many are also personalizing their décor in less permanent ways using creativity and elbow grease.
Typically, though, power tools are involved, such as drills, sanders and routers. As for power saws? Often one doesn’t cut it. There are compound miter saws, table saws, circular saws, jigsaws, chop saws, reciprocating saws and others designed for different tasks.
Before you give up and decide to eat a sheet cake, take heart. You don’t have to convert the basement into a workshop in order to tackle some DIY projects. Go to the Ottawa Tool Library (OTL) instead. A membership at this local library allows you to borrow hand tools, power tools, garden tools and kitchen tools so you can tackle tasks you want to complete. Yearly memberships are $60 for individuals and $90 for households (two users), including GST. The loan period is one week at a time and you’re allowed to borrow more than one tool at once. It’s a space and wallet-friendly alternative to purchasing equipment that’s apt to gather dust.
Not only is the tool library an environmentally friendly DIY option, it’s a convenient one too. This season, the OTL is offering Shop Nights on the second Monday of each month. That’s when you can borrow the tools you need, and also use them on the spot without dragging them home. Better yet, if you need advice it’s available. Tool Ninjas and other Ottawa makers will be on hand to offer expertise and tips.
The tool library also hosts a Community + Demo Night on the last Monday of each month. There are live demonstrations by local gurus, followed by a chance to ask questions and connect with others in the DIY community. You might find yourself giving and receiving tips on carpentry, painting, plumbing, gardening or bike repair, to name a few topics. The live demonstrations start at 7 p.m.
Cofounded by Bettina Vollmerhausen and Frederic Sune, the OTL is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers. Located at Makerspace North, 250 City Centre, in Bay 216, it’s also a community resource that’s a community unto itself. You can meet, connect with and learn from people with similar DIY interests.
You can also get in touch with your Martha Stewart/Bob Vila side without making a big investment. Don’t want to find permanent room in your garage, between the hockey gear and the golf bags, for a saw and a drill and a sander? No problem. Borrow the tools or book a work bench for Shop Night, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. every second Monday. Cost is $5 an hour for members and it’s free for members aged 55 and up.
See ottawatoollibrary.com for details.