Repair Cafes

A place to share stories about good guys and to get ideas and information about being one yourself.

Moderators: BarbaraSher, Tituba

Repair Cafes

Postby BarbaraSher » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:52 am

Someone just told me tonight about something called 'Repair Cafes.' They seem to be in many locations here in Germany. Her father is a tailor and one day a month, people can bring things to him that need repairing and he fixes them for free.

She says there's a person in her town, too, who will repair most things once a month. If you have trouble making something work on your laptop computer, for instance. I think that's so nice and cool.

And a great way to meet the kinds of people you might like.
BarbaraSher
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 6214
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 1999 10:01 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby Tituba » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:24 pm

We have a repair cafes here as well.

I thought this was fun

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... 6bc8706fb8
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9627
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:24 pm

I love the idea. It's so much easier to throw something out and buy something new than to fix something that can be fixed. And that's just wrong.

Once, I needed to replace two gaskets in my hot water heater. The repair man said I needed to buy a new heater. It took a ton of convincing to get him to replace the gaskets. (AND a representative from the water company came out and showed him how to replace the gaskets.) Totally ridiculous.

I just looked it up on the net. The repair cafe nearest to me is in Berkeley. That is so cool.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby k8k8 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:19 am

That is a very nice creation. Google tells me in Australia there are some baby ones growing in the big cities in the southern states.

It reminds me a little of the Libraries of Things that have been popping up in the last few years.
k8k8
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby BarbaraSher » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:56 am

Libraries of Things? Tell us more!
BarbaraSher
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 6214
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 1999 10:01 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby k8k8 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:21 am

They are libraries where you can borrow a drill, or a tent, or a chocolate fountain, etc, like you can borrow a book. So you don't have to buy and store something you only use occasionally, or can't afford to buy in the first place.

https://www.facebook.com/7NewsBrisbane/videos/the-library-of-things/493516234500162/

There are a few now in capital cities, and big regional cities.

I think they must need a lot of volunteer maintenance work.
k8k8
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby BarbaraSher » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:23 pm

Fascinating k8k8! And what a great way to meet interesting people! I think I'll put your comment up in the Build Your Community discussion in Wishes and Obstacles. Thanks!
BarbaraSher
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 6214
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 1999 10:01 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby SquarePeg » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:44 pm

Our local libraries have been lending non-media for years. I remember borrowing a Bose music system once. But the terms of use scared me. While the late fee on a book is 15 cents, the late fee on this baby was significant! They offered toys, games and puzzles, which we borrowed for our daughter. They also had tools, too.

A local library recently hosted a Repair Cafe. I repair many things in the house already. I would've been a good volunteer for this! It turns out a lot of electrical / electronic items fail because of a defect called "Cold Solder Joints." A soldering iron and solder is all that's needed to reflow the defective solder joint and get the device working again. Also, fans use motors with cheap sleeve bearings. After a few years, they dry out and seize up. A few squirts of turbine oil restores them to like-new condition.

The most difficult aspect of these repairs is figuring out how to take apart the device so that it can be reassembled with minimal cosmetic defects!

(I'm starting to see seed catalog at librariess, too. This will lead to another, related discussion of libraries....)
SquarePeg
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby k8k8 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:42 am

i have a question. Do they people volunteering at repair cafes, or the organisers, need public liability insurance? especially for electronic repairs?
k8k8
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby k8k8 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:44 am

SquarePeg wrote:(I'm starting to see seed catalog at librariess, too. This will lead to another, related discussion of libraries....)


you mean plant seeds? for swapping or buying or free? you can't really borrow a seed... except i guess in the long term if you do everything right you could return the seeds you get from the plant that grows from the seed - is that how it works?
k8k8
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:48 am

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:36 am

Re seed catalogs: Seed swapping makes the most sense to me. - You brink one packet, take about ten seeds out of it, and give the rest away, in return for ten seeds from say five other packets. Is that what you mean by seed swapping?
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2530
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby SquarePeg » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:22 am

Yes, sorry, of course you can't borrow seeds.

The seeds are kept in small envelopes, usually with documentation that includes the plant name, the date and location of harvest. If it's flowering, the color of the bloom would be included. The most ardent donations include a photo of the mature plant pasted to the envelope.

As a "borrower" you'd take the seed packet home. You'd sow the seeds you need. For a zucchini, that might mean only three. For cosmos, you might use up a couple of dozen. But seeds would be left over. Speaking personally, I'd never use more than half the seeds in the packet. Then, when done, return the envelope with whatever seeds remain.

As a donator, you'd harvest the seeds after the blossoms turn to pods, put them in an envelope and give it to a librarian. Actually, right now, I have 11 Rose of Sharon seeds in an envelope. As well, I have about a dozen pods that each have three to six seeds in them. I even have some photos of the blossoms. I've never donated before, but I think I'm ready to bring the eleven seeds to the library.

This is an especially good way to preserve the lineage of heirloom fruit and vegetables, which is getting ever more important in this age of mass-produced farming.

But this isn't really what I wanted to write about. Although close. :)
SquarePeg
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Repair Cafes

Postby SquarePeg » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:31 am

k8k8 wrote:i have a question. Do they people volunteering at repair cafes, or the organisers, need public liability insurance? especially for electronic repairs?
This is a great question! If I ever find time to get close to one, I'll look into the matter.

I can definitely see the need for it, in the specific case where someone replaces a fuse with another that has a higher current rating, masking the real defect that causes the fuse to blow. (I'd never do this.) After a while, the defect grows and leads to overheating, perhaps a fire. In any case, the device is ruined, whereas maybe replacing a diode, transistor, whatever, might've have prolonged the life of the device.

In the case of modern portable electronics, you have a very real possibility of battery packs over heating or even exploding. I've briefly considered repairing batteries, but then I came to my senses and decided against it.
SquarePeg
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm


Return to Doing Good in the World

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest