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Repair Cafe: Volunteers Repairing Misc Items for Neighbors

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  • Repair Cafe: Volunteers Repairing Misc Items for Neighbors

    Happened across a NYT article about Repair Cafes. These sound like MakerSpace gatherings, with the difference being that instead of working on your own items, the purpose of the events is to use your knowledge, skill and tools to work at repairing damaged objects brought in by members of the community.

    Apparently, Martine Postma founded the concept in the Netherlands in 2009. Since then, it has spread to numerous communities around the globe. A quick check shows that there does not appear to be a group near me, but that one is operating in Calgary.

    .

  • #2
    Pretty cool concept.
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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    • #3
      We have several of those gatherings around here. I have never been to one but have read about them in the newspaper.
      How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Black Forest View Post
        We have several of those gatherings around here. I have never been to one but have read about them in the newspaper.
        Bring your TPG to the next one.
        George

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        • #5
          Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
          Bring your TPG to the next one.
          Exactly.

          In certain respects, what takes place at a Repair Cafe seems much like what goes on here (though I suspect there is a geater chance of meeting girls at a Repair Cafe.)

          While Mr Bulliss' remark may have been made TiC, it is not impossible that BF might happen to hook up w/ someone at one of those events who happened to know all about his TPG.

          After all, look at the broad cross-section of expertise demonstrated here. Physical vapor deposition? Check. Musical instrument repair? Check Sheep shearing? Check.

          .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
            Bring your TPG to the next one.
            There's one in every crowd! Funny guy.
            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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            • #7
              We have those regularly around here too, but they're known by a different name: "Bring that over to Max's, he can probably fix it" LOL
              Max
              http://joyofprecision.com/

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              • #8
                I am retired now !

                I spent a working lifetime making and fixing things. Now I simply want to" do my own thing at my own pace" . The neighbours can take their stuff to whoever they like, just not me! Regards David Powell.

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                • #9
                  It's one thing to fix something up for a closer sort of friend. It's another to do this for strangers out there these days.

                  The issue could arise that someone gets something fixed either correctly or incorrectly by the well meaning volunteers that might have questionable skill levels.

                  If the item goes on to fail and cause damage who is responsible? Or what if the item works just fine but is mis-used by the owner and they blame the damage on the repair and sue the organizers and the worker if they can be found?

                  I fully appreciate the concept and would support it if there wasn't this whole sue crazy mentality out there. But there's simply too much risk of a financial attack to risk being a good Samaritan these days.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mars-red View Post
                    We have those regularly around here too, but they're known by a different name: "Bring that over to Max's, he can probably fix it" LOL
                    You have that problem too, eh? I'm almost at the point I'm going to start paying people to not tell anyone else I fix things for free.
                    www.thecogwheel.net

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                    • #11
                      Can't argue, I even get to make my own coffee
                      Mark
                      (Think they like me too much since they discovered I do electrical testing for companies)
                      Last edited by boslab; 01-19-2017, 04:55 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I like the aspect of meeting those seeking assistance (and fellow volunteers) at a neutral location, rather than hosting an "open shop" at my location.

                        The team approach eliminates the prospect of one person having to tackle all the repairs, all the time. When you are in the mood and able to participate in a Repair Cafe event, put your name up on the roster. Otherwise, stand down.

                        I like the idea that where possible, rather than just fixing something for someone while they watch, volunteers facilitate those who come in for assistance to make the necessary repairs themself. Like the old chinese proverb: "Teach a man to fish ..."

                        .
                        Last edited by EddyCurr; 01-19-2017, 05:36 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                          It's one thing to fix something up for a closer sort of friend. It's another to do this for strangers out there these days.

                          The issue could arise that someone gets something fixed either correctly or incorrectly by the well meaning volunteers that might have questionable skill levels.

                          If the item goes on to fail and cause damage who is responsible? Or what if the item works just fine but is mis-used by the owner and they blame the damage on the repair and sue the organizers and the worker if they can be found?

                          I fully appreciate the concept and would support it if there wasn't this whole sue crazy mentality out there. But there's simply too much risk of a financial attack to risk being a good Samaritan these days.
                          I wouldn't be too worried about it. I actually have recently spent $$ in consultation with a lawyer regarding liability concerns for a product I want to bring to market. Lots of details, of course, but it's not as bleak as you might think from reading anecdotes and internet stories. In the USA, there are "good Samaritan laws", which vary from state to state, but generally protect an individual from liability if they were trying to help and did not receive any monetary compensation. Things can get a little more complicated if - for instance - you were a master electrician and wired someone's house incorrectly for free. Even though you didn't take pay, the fact that you should have known better does matter in court (in most states).

                          Even product liability isn't as terrible as some people have posted on this forum. Most states do have some language about failure under "reasonable misuse" - and that's generally what gives rise to all the stories and fear regarding liability. As an unrealistic and silly example: this would be like using a #1 Phillip's head screwdriver in a screw meant for a #2 and then suing when it rounds the head. You might have a case because - although you are misusing the product - it was a "reasonable" misuse. If, however, you used the metal shank as a substitute for a fuse and then sued when your appliance caught on fire, you would have no case because trying to use a screw driver as a fuse is a ridiculous misuse.

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                          • #14
                            Reminds me of when I lived on a sideroad near Stirling, Ontario. There were nine farmers lived on that road, and me. Once the news got around that I had a welder, I averaged a farmer a day from spring right on through to fall, with broken cultivators, broken ploughs, broken tractors, you name it. Of course, when the gardens came in, I had fresh cucumber, fresh corn, fresh onions, etcetera from the farms. All in all it worked out quite well for everybody.
                            Brian Rupnow

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