Monday, March 18, 2013

Fixers Collective - Friends With Broken Blenders

By Patrick Dunn

Ever had a fancy gadget or kitchen appliance break just as soon as that trusty warrantee expires? It’s a frustrating experience, to be sure, but surprisingly few people actually stop to think whether they can fix the problem themselves.

The reason is simple. When the blender breaks, it’s almost always easier and less expensive to just trash it and head to the store for a replacement. The idea of trying to fix it hardly crosses anyone’s mind. With the advent of fixers collectives, however, and the modern celebration of old-fashioned tinkering, all that may soon be changing.

These groups, which are now popping up all around the world, are taking on this challenge with gusto. By encouraging people to be a little more curious about their otherwise disposable possessions, fixers collectives have introduced whole communities to the amateur tinkerer’s world of curiosity, ingenuity and sustainability. More important, they’ve also allowed folks to have a lot of fun and make friends while playing around with items they would’ve previously just thrown away.  

So, in early February, the PNA decided to join this movement by forming a fixers collective of our own. Its first meet-up took place in February at the PNA Tool Library and concentrated mainly on a broken table saw that desperately needed some tender loving care before it re-entered the Tool Library’s active inventory. After some casual hypothesizing, a couple of crude experiments, and a bit of elbow grease, that same table saw was spruced up and ready to get back to work.

With that initial fix successfully under its belt, this group now invites you and all your broken gadgets and gizmos to our next meeting. You don’t need to know anything about fixing to participate. We’ll help you take them apart, put them back together and – with a little bit of luck – we may even help you fix them!

For more information on The PNA Fixers Collective and future meetings, call the PNA at 206.783.2244, visit the Tool Library’s webpage, or simply email

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