Dreams are about to come true for Denverites with DIY projects on hold: The Denver Tool Library is less than a month away from opening its doors at 555 Santa Fe Drive. "It's sort of a swept-up feeling to realize we've come this far," says Denver Tool Library founder Sarah Steiner. "Coming out of this crowdfunding campaign. we have volunteers on board that actually care about this idea."
In November and December, the Denver Tool Library raised nearly $23,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, surpassing its goal of $20,000. And since then, Steiner says, both monetary and tool donations have continued to flow in for the tool-lending library. Tactix, a tool manufacturing company, donated hundreds of brand-new hand tools, she notes, adding that nobody in Denver will ever have trouble finding a wrench or drill bit again.
"A really cool way of contributing we saw was especially in the senior community," Steiner says. "We've had at least three instances of seniors getting ready to move to assisted living homes and they basically decided to donate their whole workshop to us." The "well-loved" tools these people donated ranged from fine woodworking equipment to table saws and drill presses; they weren't donations, she points out, but rather inheritances.
"These people donated things that featured fine engravings like in the movies, and that really impressed me," Steiner adds.
In the weeks since the crowdfunding campaign ended, the Denver Tool Library has been filled with volunteers eager to unpack boxes and build shelves to store the new and donated tools, helping the Denver Tool Library staff prepare for a grand opening in February. So far, more than 500 tools have been catalogued into the Denver Tool Library's system.
"These volunteers are like tool detectives," Steiner says. "They get so excited when they pull things out of boxes, because some of them really know tools or they want to learn about it. They'll be like, 'Oh, awesome, that's a biscuit joiner.' Meanwhile, I'm sitting here wondering where the biscuits come out. We're all learning together here."
Education is the next stage in the Denver Tool Library's plan. The doors will open to the public with the lending system up and running toward the end of February, and soon after the Denver Tool Library could begin offering classes. "We want to be able to offer workshops to people in the community that might be interested in learning how to build things or work with different tools," Steiner says.
"Stage three of this process is offering a communal workspace for members of the community to work on their projects with one another and seek help, as well," she adds.
For more information on the Denver Tool Library or get involved -- the organization frequently rewards its volunteers with doughnuts, beer, ping pong and live shows, not in any particular order -- visit www.denvertoollibrary.org
Keep the conversation going and stalk Lauren on Twitter at @laureneverytime.