Can I borrow tool as of April 29th 2021?
Yes! We’re open for borrowing.
What day can I collect tools?
Leith tools can be collected on Fridays with booked appointments. Portobello tools can be collected on Thursdays, with booked appointments too. Read more below on how to reserve tools and book a time slot.
When must I return tools?
Tools must be returned on Mondays, clean, disinfected and at the same location you’ve picked them up from (at the same time if possible).
Is borrowing only for the weekend?
Yes, by default, borrowing is for the weekend but if the tools aren’t in high demand, we’ll happily extend the loan for another week from the due date. Ask the volunteers when collecting. We will set the due date for, not the coming Monday, but the one after.
Please only ask when you really need the tools for that extra week. Maybe the weekend will still be enough?
Can I renew a loan myself?
You can’t renew online at the moment, instead send us an email by Monday 13:00 pm on email@example.com. We’ll check if the tools are not in high demand and renew them for you if possible.
What’s going to cost me a late return?
It can go up quickly. Late fees are £1 per day per power tool and 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!
Every tool late is another member who can’t borrow that tool. So all late tools will be charged a late fee, no exceptions. This is not how we want to make money, it is how we make sure you don’t forget next time!
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.
Where is your Portobello space?
We are located off Portobello High street, a 2 minute walk from the Town Hall. The address is – 19 Windsor Place EH15 2AJ
Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/WXn4D7sM9BdnXSUA9
Where is the Tool 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
Is there parking at the depot or in Portobello?
There is limited on street parking in both local areas. Please park responsibly. ETL takes no responsibility for damage or theft of vehicles or for any endorsements received for illegal parking.
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.
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.
Do you 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.
Can I pay in cash?
No, at this time card payments only.
How long in advance can I reserve tools?
We only accept reservations submitted on or after Tuesday (anytime) for a pick up on the same week, so no more than 3-4 days in advance.
Is there a reservation deadline?
We only consider reservations submitted by Thursday 10:00 am for a pick-up on the same day for Portobello tools and on Friday for Leith tools.
How many tools can I reserve?
You may reserve as many tools as you require, but only make one reservation request please. Multiple reservation requests will be deleted. This is because, to help maintain social distancing, we are limiting the total number of reservations, so multiple reservations would mean fewer people could benefit from the tool library.
Where can I browse the tools?
You can browse the tools online right here.
How do I reserve tools?
1. Log in to your tool library account here
2. Start a cart
3. Select a pick-up day (Thursday for Portobello, Friday for Leith)
4. Select a pick-up time
5. Browse the inventory (Please note that we don’t have the capacity to move tools between Leith or Portobello. So make sure to browse the tools from the location you want to pick up from).
6. Review your Cart once you added all the tools you need
7. And don’t forget to click ‘Submit’ reservation!
How do I know my reservation has gone through? You’ve just received an email from us recaping the tools you’ve asked to book.
When do I know my reservation has been taken care of? You’ll receive an email by Thursday evening confirming the tools are ready.
How do I book an appointment for collecting tools?
This is integrated in the reservation process. Once you’ve clicked on the date, you’ll be able to select a pick-up time. We’ve split the session into 15 minutes slots, three pick-ups per slot. We ask that you return your tools on the Monday during the same time slot.
RECENT UPDATE – How to request a cargo bike delivery?
Have a read through our dedicated page here and if the deadlines and fees are working for you, prepare your reservation as usual, add all the tools you need (only tools from our Leith location), and when asked to choose a pick-up time: please select the last time slot – 23:00 to 23:15 so that we get them ready for Farr Out to pick up.
Why should I become a member?
You should definitely become a member if you want to borrow tools and access the workshop (even once). If that can help, you’re more than welcome to pop by our spaces when we’re open to have a proper look yourself. Volunteers will be pleased to give you a tour and answer any questions you might have! You can also read about membership benefits on this page.
How much is a membership or renewal?
Regular membership is £30 and £20 on renewal, concession membership is £10. If you want to pay it forward, or donate more, any contribution is gratefully received.
Are there any discounted membership options?
We 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.
We require members to have their card details filled in online to reserve tools. Please contact us if this is an issue for you.
How long does a membership last?
Can I buy a membership? and where?
Yes! We welcome new tool library members. We require you to create your account and purchase your membership in advance online at this time. Then pick any opening days and bring photo ID and a recent proof of address. Under normal circumstances we would require you to fill in a paper form as well, but that’s not happening anymore to avoid the potential transmission of coronavirus. Visit the membership page and get started today.
Do memberships auto-renew?
By default, no. So, if you’ve not ticked the auto-renew check box when signing up, you will receive several emails when your membership is about to expire and we would LOVE for you renew online here or email, or let us know in person!
Even if you have finished your home renovation, for example, and don’t think you will use us much this year – by supporting us annually you help to make us a robust resource for everyone and ensure that we’ll have what you need when you DO need us again!
Can I pay in cash? How will payments be taken?
No cash. In the interest of hygiene, at this time we are taking card payments only. 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. If this is a problem for you, please drop us an email.
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 once they are back open. 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.
How do I cancel my membership?
Membership revenue is one of the biggest ways our programs thrive as we are a charity. However, we understand that life is unpredictable; we would never want to lock someone into a membership they can’t afford. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.
How can I use the workshops?
From the 13th of July we will have bookable regular open, beginners and women’s & non-binary workshop sessions for you to enjoy as part of your membership. As Covid isn’t out of our lives yet and the safety of our members and volunteers is central to us, the sessions will be a bit different than you’re used to.
- During Open Workshop session you will have access to your individual workbench, large format tools and you will work on your own project.
- The Beginners sessions are perfect for anyone new to woodworking, if you could use a wee refresher to our workshops or for anyone who prefers a guided project to get them started.
- Women & non-binary woodshop sessions are like the open workshop sessions, only specifically for women & non-binary makers.
- All the workshop sessions will have a limit of 4 participants. This will allow for social distancing and help reduce the risk.
- All members, even those previously inducted, will have to attend a new induction before attending our open.
How does the new induction system work?
The first hour of each session will be a compulsory safety induction of the machines and the health and safety of working in a community workshop. It has been a long year for everyone so we want to make sure you still remember how to use the machines safely and follow our workshop etiquette. Everyone who has attended the induction will receive a badge and won’t be required to attend the first hour on their next visit, unless it’s for a session where they would like to get a higher level induction. Inductions will be valid for both the Porty & Leith workshops and badges will be kept on site.
*** Please note that these sessions are volunteer run and access to machinery will depend on the level of induction of the workshop monitors & leads. Each session will have induction level from 1 to 5 that will indicate which machines & tools you will be able to use and be inducted in during the session. Keep an eye out for the level number when booking your workbench.
- = basic health & safety, hand tools
- = handheld power tools, standing sander
- = mitre saw, band/scroll saw, plunge saw, drill press
- = table saw, planer, router (table & handheld)
- = lathe
How can I book a workshop session?
Tickets for sessions will be bookable at 9am on Tuesday the week before on our Eventbrite page. As they are volunteer powered it depends on our volunteers availability if sessions will take place.
These sessions are free and out of courtesy to other members we ask you not to book two weeks in a row. You can cancel your booking 48 hours in advance. This will give us the opportunity to offer a workbench to another member on the waitlist. If you fail to attend the session without cancelling, we have the right to deduct a no-show fee donation of £5 from your registered myTurn card.
Covid 19 procedures
What precautions will be in place to avoid spreading of Covid-19 between persons?
All ETL staff and volunteers will wear face masks and follow social distancing measures when dealing with the public and handling tools. They will ask other members to do so too.
When picking up tools, there is plenty of space for queuing safely. We’ve also set up a time-slots system to avoid long queues.
I am worried about cross contamination from tools. What are you doing to keep me safe?
All tools will be required to be disinfected by members before return. Then all tools will sit in quarantine for 72 hours before they are lending out again.
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 the tool library. If this affects you returning tools, please drop us an email to email@example.com
If this affects a reservation you have made, please tell us so we can free up the tools for someone else to use.
If you have any other questions not addressed in this section, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.