Since leaving Philly we wax nostalgically about the Tool Library, wishing we could check out a paint tray and drop cloth when working on my mother's condo or shovels and rakes when putting in landscaping to get Bill's mother's house ready for market.
While we haven't found a Tool Library here in Loudoun County, Virginia, a friend volunteered to be our own personal power tool library. Borrowing—not buying—a mitre saw, table saw, portable work bench and saw horses has saved us hundreds of dollars. (Thanks, Tom.)
Since then, we've borrowed an extension ladder from our mountain neighbors. Buying it for a one-week roofing job would have cost upwards of $150; borrowing it means returning it gratefully with a six-pack of Coors. (Thanks, Angela and Mark.)
What we haven't been able to borrow, we have bought. Our first tool investment: an electric chainsaw. We looked on Craigslist, but people were asking almost what they cost new. Bill picked out a 16" electric model (lighter weight and easier to maintain than gas, I learned) with good reviews. He started by cutting up fallen limbs to clear the tiny house site—but within an hour took on felling a 100-foot tree that was leaning precipitously over our building site.
Our goal with this chainsaw is to be able to loan it out to other people with a little clearing to do. Sharing tools doesn't just save money; it can build community.