Repair Cafe at the Fireweed Market Reuse and Repair Fair

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YuKonstruct was pleased to bring our Repair Cafe to Zero Waste Yukon‘s Fireweed Market Reuse and Repair Fair in Shipyards Park on Thursday August 24.

Volunteers Michelle, Garnet and Glenn had a terrific afternoon meeting interesting people, fielding questions (some quite puzzling) and, of course, helping people fix their stuff!

A steady stream of people came to see what YuKonstruct was all about, and quite a few brought items they wanted to repair, including:

  • headphones with a broken plastic frame (that still put out great sound),
  • a high-end OttLite lamp (that had a frayed wire in its articulated support arm),
  • a vintage toaster (with a broken wire in its popping mechanism),
  • a Hoover vacuum cleaner (with a broken power switch),
  • two manual typewriters (one with a broken/missing carriage return spring, the other seemed to work just fine),
  • a camera (that had beer spilled on it), and
  • a blender (with a worn drive disk).

There was a wide range in what people expected.  One participant was an engineer that tried to repair his appliance, but ran out of time and ideas.  Another was a young woman who simply wanted help getting her appliance apart because she had a good idea of how she could repair it.  Often, just getting a malfunctioning item open is the biggest part of the challenge because so many consumer goods are not designed to be repaired, let alone by their owners.  In other cases, having several people pondering the problem, pooling their experience and insight leads to an understanding of what is supposed to be happening, why it’s not, and what to do about it!

It was really encouraging to see women and girls coming by the booth who were into tinkering and keen to get their hands dirty exploring the technology that so many people take for granted.

One couple from England, now living in Whitehorse, told us about a fascinating old British TV series called The Secret Life of Machines– a hilarious, but still informative introduction into the nature of machines all around us.

As usual, it was a lot of fun getting out to meet new people and help where we could.

Don’t forget there is a regular monthly Repair Cafe at the makerspace!  Come on down – we’re looking forward to fixing more stuff!

Special thanks to Rowan for hauling our folding tables to the market in his truck!