What is lurking in your cellar? Broken appliances? Wobbly chairs? Lamps that don’t work?

On Saturday, April 6th, the Wellesley Rotary Club held another “Repair Café” and put many damaged or broken items back into service.  They are helping to add a 4th “R,” making it Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repair!

Never heard of a Repair Café They are free meeting places that are all about repairing things (together) rather than tossing them out. At the Repair Café event, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make many effective repairs to clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, gadgets, toys, etc. You’ll also find volunteers with repair skills in all kinds of fields. There are currently over 1,300 Repair Cafés worldwide, with more communities joining regularly.

Here’s how it works: Registered guest visitors bring their broken items from home. With the help of the volunteer specialists on site, they start analyzing the damage, deciding whether the repair can be done, and then picking up tools to attempt their repairs right there in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process for everyone. If you have nothing to repair, you can just drop by to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while you watch and learn. Or you can even lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get some repair inspiration at the reading table – by leafing through available books on repairs and DIY.

At the April 6th Wellesley event, specialists were available to repair the following items:

  • Toaster
  • Chairs
  • Microwave Oven
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Phones
  • Food Processor
  • Toys
  • Doll Bed
  • Lamps
  • Weather Vane
  • Other Small Appliances

Needham resident Anne Hayek brought two broken fans, both with the same problem – when she turned them on, she could hear the motor running, but the fan shafts did not turn.  The repair team found the problem – seized bearings – and fixed both fans, explaining every step of the process to Anne.  Not only did she walk away with two working fans, Anne also learned something about how electrical motors worked, and how they can be repaired.

The Wellesley Free Library had a representative at the event, with a table full of repair books, and some repair-related items from their “Library of Things” such as Toolkit sets – there are 100+ items in the collection!  Minuteman Library card holders could check out a book or a toolkit right there.

The Repair Café will hopefully become a regular event in our area.  Maybe we could even have one in Needham!  So, next time something breaks, don’t throw it away – bring it to a Repair Café!

Wellesley Rotary Club hosts Successful “Repair Cafe”
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2 thoughts on “Wellesley Rotary Club hosts Successful “Repair Cafe”

  • April 18, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Check out the April 17th NY times Climate Forward for One Thing You Can Do: Fix It, a timely article on this topic, including a link to iFixit an online resource for do-it-yourself repair.

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