Happy Fourth of July- We’re closed

Happy Fourth of July! You may have guessed it but we’re closed. Enjoy this video instead of working on your project. We’ll see you tomorrow from 5:30-8:30

Posted in Uncategorized

**New policy**

In effort to streamline our processes, and in effort to take the absolute best care of our tools, the Tool Library is no longer allowing new members to borrow tools (hand tools or otherwise) until we reach both of the references provided.

For new members, welcome! Please give us about a week to call your references. Haven’t heard from us yet? We may have not been able to reach your references. If that’s the case, give us a call (215-833-3190) or send us an email (info@westphillytools.org)–best yet, call your references and ask them to call/email us.

Thanks for your understanding!

Posted in Uncategorized


Have you been thinking of buying a cut off saw, but haven’t been able to justify the cost? Look no further! The Tool Library is selling two brand new cut off saws, for low prices!

Both were generously donated to the Tool Library, but we don’t have the need for them. The money earned from their sales will be invested in buying new tools that our members need to complete their projects.



Posted in Uncategorized

April at the Tool Library: Tool sale & more!

2016 has already been a busy year for the Tool Library! We have made 1,788 tool loans, we have welcomed 57 brand new members, and we have hosted tool demonstrations and 1 workshop!

We are excited for the momentum, and we hope you will join us at the Tool Library in the coming month:
  • Tool sale (!!):
    Saturday, April 2, 9am – noon
    We will be selling ladders, circular saws, chop saws, tool box, saw horses, and more! The early bird gets the power tool.
  • Raised bed workshop (!!):
    Saturday, April 2, 10am
    After shopping for tools, join Rania Campbell-Cobb, a Tool Library board member and co-founder of Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm, to learn how to build a raised garden bed.
    This workshop is made possible by the generous support of the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation
    more workshops to come!
  • Circular saw demo (rescheduled): 
    April 11, 7pm – 8pm
    The hand-held circular saw is a conventional saw for cutting wood, but it may also be used for metal, masonry, plastic, etc. Great for cross-cutting lumber and for ripping plywood. We will demonstrate how to use it safely + some tips for getting straight cuts, and introduce the worm-drive saw.  
  • Extension ladder demo: 
    April 18, 7pm – 8pm
    This demo will take you through the basics of safety and use, including: the rope for raising and lowering, rung-locks, proper angle, and a secure base. The best part? This demo will teach you how to tie ladders securely for transport.
  • Ideas for classes?
    So far, we’ve heard that you’re interested in concrete pouring, router demo, and a tile workshop. Have another idea for workshops in May and later months? Know a qualified teacher, or are you one yourself?
    Email us at info@westphillytools.org! 

Stay connected! Follow us on Facebook, or check our calendar.

Posted in Classes & Workshops

NEW: Wooden Window Workshop (March 26)

CaptureIn Philadelphia, it’s common for homes to have wooden windows that are in need of attention. Join us here at the Tool Library on Saturday, March 26 at 3pm for the Tool Library’s first-ever Wooden Window Workshop.

This workshop will teach you why you should consider saving your historic windows, and how to completely restore them, including:

  • Removing window sashes from the frame,
  • Stripping peeling paint and removing aging glazing,
  • Cutting replacement glass,
  • Re-glazing window panes, and
  • Painting sashes.

All materials provided.

The workshop is free, and it is being held on a first come, first serve basis with priority to our members. Although, no registration is required, we ask that you arrive on time, because the class has a limit of 10 participants!

The workshop will be led by Andrew Cushing, and it is sponsored by the Penn Design Social Impact Project.

Posted in Classes & Workshops

NEW this March: Tool Demonstrations at the Tool Library!

The West Philly Tool Library is jumping into 2016 with a tool demonstration series that aims to build confidence when using our tools—no matter your prior experience with tools. Please join us in March in the Tool Library at the time and dates below to learn more about our tools and to get all of your questions answered. Join us for one demonstration, or join us for all! These events are free to members and only a $5 donation for non-members. There is no registration required; we just ask that you arrive on time! We welcome as many as our space can hold.

Demonstrations will be 15-30 minutes, followed by Q & A.

(Eye & ear protection provided, but feel free to bring your own.)

  • MONDAY, MARCH 7, 7pm:
    Tool self-reliance 101: Perfect for beginners, together participants will select ten essential tools and learn how to use them safely and properly.
  • MONDAY, MARCH 14, 7pm:
    Drills – Hammer drills, drivers, and rotary drills: Sometimes you need to drill a hole, sometimes you need extra oomph for screws/other fasteners, sometimes you need a hole in brick or block, and sometimes you need to chip up tile or remove some masonry—not sure which one does what? Then, this demo is for you! Also, many Philadelphia row homes and twins have brick & mortar walls. This demonstration will teach you how to go easy on your walls by teaching you when to use a drill and when to use a hammer drill, and more!
  • MONDAY, MARCH 21, 7pm:
    Angle grinders: This versatile tool is hard to beat when you need to grind or cut metal or masonry. We will demonstrate how to use it safely to grind metal, cut pipes and brick/block.
  • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 7pm
    Circular saws: Hand held circular saw is the most conventional saw for cutting wood, but is also used for metal, masonry, plastic, etc. Handy for lumber, plywood, and more. Easy to use, allowing for accurate, straight cuts. We will demonstrate how to use safely + some tips, and introduce the worm-drive saw.  
  • MONDAY, MARCH 28, 7pm
    Pneumatics (air tools and air compressors): We will look at air compressors and the demonstrate use of various air nailers including brad and finish nailers for trim and moulding, framing nailer, palm nailer, and flooring nailer and stapler.

See you then!

Posted in Uncategorized

UPDATE: CLOSED for snow: Saturday, January 23 and Monday, January 25

The West Philly Tool Library will be *closed* on Saturday, January 23 and Monday, January 25.

>> But what about my tools that are due on Saturday? They will be due on Tuesday, January 26 (5:30-8:30pm).

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Photo by: philly.com

Photo by: philly.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Member project: New life for an antique chair

This weekend, Aaron, a West Philly Tool Library member, emailed us to share how he had used our tools most recently. Aaron reported that he had acquired a beautiful antique empire armchair in great condition, except that the bottom was falling out. With help from the Tool Library, he brought new life to his antique chair.

Aaron borrowed our upholstery kit (recently donated to the Tool Library!) and a staple gun, and followed the steps below to rejuvenate to his antique chair. He says the project not only was gratifying, but it was much cheaper to do it himself. Thanks for sharing your project with us, Aaron!

How has the West Philly Tool Library helped you finish indoor projects this winter?
Email us your projects to info@westphillytools.org.

STEP 0: Old chair seat

Old dust cover (which previously had been bolstered with denim)


Old dust cover

STEP 1: Remove old dust cover and old jute


Old jute, after removing the dust cover


Halfway finished

STEP 2: Stretch new jute webbing and add a new dust cover


New jute webbing


New dust cover

STEP 3: Have a seat!


Good as new!


Posted in Member project

Member highlight: PowerCorps PHL

Since joining the Tool Library in March as an organizational member, PowerCorps leaders have become familiar faces at the Tool Library, regularly stopping by for our extension ladders, rakes, and extension poles. PowerCorps has used Tool Library tools to rehab recreation centers across the city—last winter, they rehabbed 45 using our tools!

PowerCorps PHL is an AmeriCorps program designed to support the City’s environmental stewardship initiatives, as well as the City’s youth violence prevention and workforce development priorities. Partnering with EducationWorks and the Philadelphia Youth Network, PowerCorpsPHL annually enrolls 100 individuals, ages 18-26, in a 9-month program: 6 months of full-time service as AmeriCorps members with City departments followed by 3 months of intensive job placement support.

Rec Center Rehab - PowerCorpsScreen Shot 2016-01-04 at 7.29.25 AM


Posted in Member project

Reminder: Holiday hours

As previously posted, the West Philly Tool Library will be closed:

Thursday, December 24
(Friday, December 25)
Saturday, December 26

New Year
Thursday, December 31
(Friday, January 1)
Saturday, January 2

Please note, our normal business hours are:
Monday – Thursday, 5:30-8:30pm
Saturday, 9:00am-3:00pm


Posted in Uncategorized

When are we open?

Monday - Thursday:
5:30pm to 8:30pm

Saturday: 9:00am to 3:00pm

Where are we?

1314 S. 47th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143

We are in a warehouse on the west side of S. 47th Street about 200 feet south of Woodland Avenue.

View Larger Map

Who are we?

The West Philly Tool Library loans tools to community members so they can perform simple home maintenance, tend their yards and gardens, build furniture, start projects, and learn new skills in a safe and affordable manner.