Building Dreams (Affordably) at TechShop
While we've seen tool lending libraries before (the Berkeley one a particularly shining example), we like TechShop for offering more than just the supplies needed for becoming your own handyman. The Menlo Park-based one-stop tool lending center and fabrication shop is membership-based, and for $100/month, its members have access to all the tools in inventory (we're talking serious tools like hot-wire foam cutters and plasma cutters) that they've received training on (classes are $30, taught at TechShop). Members can also pay $30/day for unlimited shop time, sharing the workshop space with other members there for the day or working on longterm projects. A range of advanced classes with tool experts are also on offer for $30/class. The extensive list of equipment means newbies can try their hands at a range of tools without making the hefty investment of purchasing them. According to Cool Tools blogger John Todd, one of the biggest benefits of TechShop is its members: “At any one time, there are a half-dozen people working on fantastic and innovative things, either as hobby projects or as budding startups who have found an inexpensive way to bootstrap themselves into prototyping a better mousetrap.” Several additional locations are scheduled to open up throughout the West Coast – we're hoping they make their way to NYC soon. We've got some soldering we've been meaning to do!