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Look under 'T' for table saw: Group trying to start Halifax's first-ever tool library

Tristan Cleveland says the expression he sees on people’s faces after he mentions the idea of a tool library for Halifax always makes him laugh.

You see, that’s because for many, it’s the first time they’ve put these two words together and it leads to some very perplexed expressions.

A tool library is exactly what it sounds like, a place for people to borrow tools for their handyman endeavors without the costly fees and restrictions of a rental shop.

“Renting something like a table saw can cost more than $200 for a few days,” said Cleveland, co-director of Halifax’s first tool library, while chatting excitably about the project Wednesday. “With us, the maximum you pay for a year is $50 and you get access to that table saw and everything else.”

The idea of a Halifax Tool Library arose from a conversation between Cleveland and other board members like Neil Bailey about community projects they wanted to do.

“The tool library became a project to make other projects easier,” said Bailey. “A platform for people to share resources.”

The library’s founding members are currently holding a tool drive with drop-off locations at The Ecology Action Centre, Parker Street Food Bank and the Dalhousie Student Union Building.

The crew also launched a crowd-funding campaign Wednesday that will stay in effect until May 10, along with the initial tool drive. The goal is to raise $8,000 for things like rent, insurance and tool maintenance.

“To get this off the ground with the good will of residents here and around the city is really exciting to us,” said Cleveland of the community inspired funding campaign.

Although the library’s location is not currently set in stone, the group is hammering away, hoping for a May or June opening in Bloomfield Centre.

“I’ve talked to probably more than 1,000 people in Halifax about this idea,” raved the group’s treasurer Lars Boggild. “That energy and enthusiasm from those we have talked to is what really excites me.”

“Having access to tools is great, what’s going to be amazing is all the community projects it will make possible,” a jubilant Cleveland said about the one of the most exciting aspects of the project for him.

For Bailey, the excitement lies within the finished product.

“Getting to use it (tool library), he laughed. “I want to be a member.”

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