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

Tool Library Threads: T-shirts in and sweatshirt sale

An order of our super soft, tri-blend t-shirts are hot off of the South Philadelphia presses. Like our memberships, we sell tee-shirts on a sliding scale: $15-$20.

Our sweatshirts, both crew and hooded, are on sale, too! Originally priced at $40, we are selling sweatshirts for $30 while supplies last.

All Tool Library apparel is made in the USA.

Come get one for yourself, or for a gift this season!

Tool Library t-shirt

Posted in Uncategorized

Give to the Tool Library today and be entered to win a lifetime membership

As you know, the West Philly Tool Library is an invaluable resource to so many Philadelphians. The Tool Library helps members make repairs to their homes and gardens, helps organizations with large projects, and helps public school groups build playgrounds and outdoor classrooms, all while remaining financially affordable for all.

This year, the Tool Library has been in high demand. Between January and November, the Tool Library has:

  • Welcomed 285 members, which already exceeds the total number of members welcomed in 2014;
  • Made 8,358 new tool loans, which again already exceeds our 2014 total;
  • Had a record-breaking month (August!), in which we made exactly 200 more tool loans than in our previous record-breaking month;
  • Hired a new executive director, Charlotte Castle, who has been involved in Southwest Philadelphia community projects for a number of years;
  • Been photographed by West Philly photographer, JJ Tiziou;
  • Been featured in Popular Mechanics (read more here!);
  • Hosted two tool sales with large turnouts; and has
  • Added six new weedwackers to our inventory, along with over a dozen other new power tools.

In order to ensure the continued growth of our mission, this holiday season—between now and New Year’s Eve—the Tool Library will be launching an individual giving drive. For each donation given—no matter the amount given—donors’ names will be entered to win a lifetime membership*.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation right here on our website, or with check or cash by visiting the Tool Library during business hours. For each donation given, we will add your name to the drawing for a free lifetime membership. The lucky lifetime membership winner will be selected during the first week of January.

*Although no donation is necessary to enter the raffle, we really hope you will support the West Philly Tool Library’s mission by making a donation that is meaningful to you.

Posted in Fundraising

We want to hear from you! Lawnmower vs. Push mower

At the Tool Library, during spring and summer months, our lawn mowers are used heavily. With a small staff and a limited budget, it is often challenging to keep up with the repairs and maintenance that our mowers need. A more financially and environmentally sustainable solution is already at the Tool Library: our push mowers (no gas/cord/battery, just a spinning blade).

We want to hear your thoughts about lawn mowers and push mowers.

Please take this quick survey and share with others.


Posted in Uncategorized

Holiday Hours

Mark your calendars, because, this holiday season, the Tool Library will be closed for:

Thursday, November 26

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Roundup: LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day

Saturday, November 14, was the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day. This year, Tool Library tools were used by neighbors of Barkan Park (49th & Spruce) and by neighbors of Cedar Park (50th & Baltimore).

Are you a Tool Library member? Did you and your neighbors use our tools to participate in LOVE Your Park Fall Service Day? Email your pictures and story to info@westphillytools.org.

Barkan Park's clean-up crew

Barkan Park’s clean-up crew

Cedar Park clean-up (Photo courtesy of Cedar Park Neighbors)

Cedar Park clean-up (Photo courtesy of Cedar Park Neighbors)

Posted in Member project

Roundup: West Philly Tool Library community photography project

Yesterday, West Philly photographer, JJ Tiziou set up shop in the Tool Library and captured the faces of our members. Saturday’s event was an opportunity to connect with members and to hear how the Tool Library impacts their lives. From Cami who was borrowing tools to build a window perch for her cat to Abe who was borrowing the tools needed to refinish the floors of his first home to Tony who was borrowing an extension ladder to make roof repairs, there is no doubt that our tools are being put to good use by many.

More photos and stories to follow, but here’s a preview.

A special thanks to Renata’s Kitchen on Baltimore Avenue for donating coffee and cookies for the event. Renata’s Kitchen’s owners are Tool Library members who used our tools to build their new cafe after a fire forced them to close their previous location. Be sure to join them for brunch and coffee soon.

Cuteness overload with this mother-daughter duo

Cuteness overload with this mother-daughter duo who have used the Tool Library to rehab their new home.

Mr. Winston, a self-proclaimed multi-tasker.

Mr. Winston, a self-proclaimed multi-tasker.


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.