F.A.Q.

Edinburgh Tool Library
When can I collect tools?

Tools can be collected on Fridays 2pm–8pm, starting from the 5th of June at the Spey Street Lane Depot.

When can I return tools?

Tools must be returned on Mondays 2–8pm, starting from 1st June, to the Spey St Lane depot.

Is borrowing only for the weekend?

Yes, borrowing at this time will be from Friday evening until Monday evening; 72 hours

Can I pay in cash?

No. In the interest of hygiene, at this time we are taking card payments only. If this is a problem for you, please drop us an email.

How many tools can I reserve?

You may reserve as many tools as you require, but only make one reservation request. Multiple reservation requests will be deleted.

Why can I only make one reservation?

To help maintain social distancing at Spey Street Lane, we are initially limiting the total number of reservations to 30. Multiple reservations would mean fewer people could benefit from the tool library.

Can I renew my membership at Spey St Lane?

Not at the moment. Online renewals only. Again, if this is an issue for you, please contact us.

Can I buy a membership at Spey St Lane?

Unfortunately No. Whilst we welcome new ETL members, it is ONLINE only at this time. Under normal circumstances we would require you to fill in a paper form as well, but to avoid the potential transmission of coronavirus, we will just require the online form for now. Please still bring ID and proof of address when you come to collect tools for the first time. All new members will have their card details stored on our secure server as a means of security for the time being. Please contact us if this is an issue for you.

Can I use the workshops at Portobello or Leith?

The workshops remain closed for now, as required by the Scottish government. Below is our planned phased reopening of the services we offer, in line with the Scottish government’s phase exit of lockdown.

F.A.Q. 1

Can I collect or return tools to Leith or Portobello?

At the moment only the Spey St Lane Depot is in operation. If you have tools from the Portobello library that are getting in your way, feel free to return them to Leith, or hang on to them and drop them back when Porty reopens.

I am worried about cross contamination from tools. What are you doing to keep me safe?

All tools will be disinfected three times before being lent out. Once by the previous member and twice by us (on receipt of the item and on the day before it goes out). All tools will sit untouched for 72 hours after they are initially cleaned by ETL staff or volunteers

How long does a membership last?

1 Year.

What precautions will be in place to avoid spreading of Covid-19 between persons?

All ETL staff and volunteers will wear gloves, face masks, and visors when dealing with the public and handling tools

There will be a Perspex screen between staff/volunteers and members

Lines will be marked 2m apart for the queue outside the depot

I am showing or a family member is showing symptoms of Covid-19. Can I still collect or return tools?

If you are experiencing ANY symptoms of COVID19 or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, please do not borrow tools from us, and please do not come to Spey St Lane. If this affects you returning tools, please drop us an email to hello@edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk

If this affects a reservation you have made, please tell us so we can free up the tools for someone else to use.

I need a tool for longer than a weekend, can I renew/extend the reservation?

Renewals or extensions are not allowed at the moment.  All late returns will be fined.

Where is the Spey Street Lane Depot?

We are located off Pilrig Street, a 5 minute walk from Leith Walk.
The Address is – 9 Spey Street Lane EH7 4QB
Google Maps link https://goo.gl/maps/Db2RLANrSoU4Vt9NA

Are there any discounted membership options?

We are thanking NHS staff by offering free membership to anyone displaying their NHS badge or payslip, up until the 1st of September. You will have to set up an NHS membership before booking tools, however. This will be possible from June 1st, by selecting ‘NHS Membership’ when given the option.  The first time you pick up tools, we will ask to see your NHS ID, another form of photo ID, and a proof of address. Thank you all so much.

We also have a concession membership rate of £10 for people in receipt of benefits or in full time education. We ask you to please bring evidence of this when you first come to borrow tools.

How much is a membership or renewal?

Regular membership is £20 on renewal, concession membership is £10. If you want to pay it forward, or donate more, any contribution is gratefully received.

I am an NHS employee and already have a paid membership, can I get a refund on my membership?

Unfortunately not. Whatever the reasons you joined ETL, they still stand, so we hope you still feel it is worthwhile.

How long does a free NHS membership last?

This is a one year membership. We would ask you to join as a regular member upon renewal.

As there is currently limited use of the tool library facilities, is there a reduced membership cost?

Unfortunately not. We are still paying rent on all our workshops, and are a charity, so we need every penny, and we think you will agree that you are still getting an amazing deal! The average household in the UK spends £110 a year on tools according to the ONS, so even paying full whack, you are saving £80!

I do not need to use the workshop spaces. Is there a membership option just for borrowing tools?

No. You are paying to be part of this community. How you choose to use that membership is up to you. We would totally recommend you trying out a session at one of our workshops though. Beginners are more than welcome, and we can assign you a volunteer to help you through any issues you may have with using tools. There are also free inductions as part of your membership, so we can train you how to use the larger machinery.

Do you sell any tools?

We generally don’t sell tools. People donate them to us out of good will, and in order to maintain that good will, we give away our excess tools to other tool libraries that are setting up, or other charities that need them. Very occasionally we have antique tools for sale, as these are more ornamental than are needed. If you are interested in antique tools, please drop us an email.

F.A.Q. 2
Some of our excess tools were sent to a refugee camp in Lesbos. Here you can see a group of young Syrian refugees being taught woodwork with our donated tools.
Do sell any consumables?

Yes, we have some consumables for sale, which you can check when you collect the tools. It is tricky to do this as we have such a range of manufacturers and models that is impossible to have something that fits every tool. If you use consumables provided with the tools, we would ask for a small donation for things like sanding sheets and belts.

Do you sell PPE (including dust masks)?

We currently stock ear defenders, ear plugs and goggles, all £3 each. We sell them because we think everyone who is using noisy tools should have their own pair, and we are particularly aware of the risks in sharing wearable equipment. Once the COVID19 crisis is over we will stock dust masks too.

I will have to bring my children when I collect/return my tools. Will this be a problem?

Not at all, but please bear in mind everyone must stick to the social distancing rules in place.

Is there parking at the depot?

There is limited on street parking in the local area. Please park responsibly. ETL takes no responsibility for damage or theft of vehicles or for any endorsements received for illegal parking.

I will be late with my return. What’s that going to cost me?

All late tools will be charged a late fee, no exceptions. Late fees are as follows:

£1 per day per power tool. 50p per day per hand tool.

So if you have a drill and a sander out and you forget to bring it back, you will be shelling out £14! This is not how we want to make money, it is how we make sure you don’t forget next time – every tool late is another member who can’t borrow that tool.

I’ve realised I am not going to be able to return my tools on time. What can I do to avoid a fine?

If you know you can’t return tools, or you have realised you missed the return day, contact us at the first available opportunity. If you are super apologetic, and we haven’t had to disappoint someone else or chase you up, you might get away with a wag of the finger and slightly disapproving look.

Will there be a debit card machine at Spey Street lane, or will payments be taken through the website?

We use Stripe to process our payments, so we can do this in a contactless way, keeping both you and our staff and volunteers safe.

I’ve realised I can’t collect my tools on Friday after all. What should I do?

Cancel your reservation via MyTurn, or if you don’t know how to do that, email tools@edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk.

If you have any other questions not addressed in this section, please email us at hello@edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk!