The Nimbin Repair Café has prompted an overwhelmingly positive response from the community, not just in Nimbin but elsewhere in the bioregion. Two weeks ago we received a surprise call from Lismore Red Cross asking if we would like to be put forward to Bunnings for a community donation of tools for the Repair Café. A few days later we received word that Bunnings had chosen to support us and would be delivering a selection of tools and equipment.

We had submitted a wish-list of things that would be helpful for the Repair Café and wondered which items Bunnings might choose to provide. So it was with great anticipation that we waited the arrival of the delivery truck last Friday afternoon. A small pallet of boxes was craned off the truck for us to unpack and see what was there. Some very handy tool boxes and chests for storing the growing collection of hand tools, a timber hand saw and two hammers, two sets of wood rasps and a plane, a cordless jigsaw and reciprocating saw with spare rechargeable batteries, two amazing adjustable work benches and a very handy tool trolley. Then there were two big items, a welder accompanied by three protective helmets, plus a surprise item, a massive bench drop saw.

The arrival of this amazing collection couldn’t have been better timed — just two days before the June Repair Café. A big thank you to Bunning in Ballina for their generous support and to Lismore Red Cross for suggesting our Repair Café as a worthy project.

The Nimbin Repair Café came out of the inaugural meetings for starting a Nimbin Artisans Collective for forgotten arts. It was something relatively easy and immediate that could be organised with relevance to a wide sector of the community. The first one in March saw around 50 people come through during the day. Many brought old tools to repair, others brought clothing to mend and someone used the opportunity to sew up their Ugh boots ready for winter. Ian brought his wonderful collection of old hand-operated sewing machines along, which proved exceptionally popular, and were a most fortuitous addition as that day coincided with a scheduled power outage.

Mending clothes, boots, and spinning st Nimbin Repair Cafe

Mending clothes, boots, and spinning st Repair Cafe

The next scheduled Repair Café in April was cancelled due the floods, so this June Repair Café was the second to go ahead. There had been a request on Facebook about repairing pushbikes at the next Café and someone with bike maintenance skills responded that they would come along, so we put out to the community to bring bikes as well as clothing tools on the day. Nine bikes received important care on the day and went home with working brakes, oiled chains and their owners with new skills in bicycle maintenance.

NRC-June-bikes

The donated sewing machine was well used to mend clothes, and a lot of garden tools were maintained and given new life, and someone brought a long their kitchen knives to sharpen up. A few people had fun assembling the flat-pack tool trolley and work benches from Bunnings.

Assembling the tool cart

Assembling the tool cart

The next Nimbin Repair Cafe will be held on Sunday July 2.