Repair jewelry, bicycles at Sunday event

Volunteers to show participants how to fix common items

PORT ANGELES — Your favorite necklace with a broken clasp. The toaster sitting on your kitchen counter that won’t toast. The bicycle with the wobbly wheel that keeps you from riding it.

The solution isn’t to throw them away or let them gather dust. Instead, people can learn how to fix them at a free repair event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Around Again, 22 Gilbert Road in Sequim.

Volunteers skilled in repairing bicycles, jewelry, broken vacuum cleaners and electric lamps, sharpening dull garden tools, sewing torn seams and fixing holes in sweaters will be on hand to show participants how it’s done.

“The hope is that the person learns from the person doing the repair,” said Mandi Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, which, along with Around Again, is sponsoring the event. “The goal is to have that knowledge exchanged.”

People can bring up to two items to the event. They must sign a waiver and will be directed to a repair station where a volunteer will troubleshoot the problem and demonstrate how to fix it.

The Marine Science Center began its popular repair event series in Jefferson County in 2022. The decision to hold an event at Around Again was spurred by the number of Clallam County residents who attended them and requests to have one closer to home.

The most popular items brought for repair are lamps and vacuum cleaners, Johnson said.

Gavin Wuttken, president of Around Again, said the store is usually closed on Sundays, but the event is a good reason to open it and dedicate the day to furthering the nonprofit’s mission of reducing waste by repurposing and recycling items that would otherwise end up in landfills.

People donated perfectly good items to Around Again because they don’t know how to fix them, he said, like bicycles with flat tires.

“People bring in lawn mowers because they won’t start,” Wuttken said. “They don’t realize the gas goes bad over the winter and they think it’s broken.”

In addition to selling donated items — from building supplies to exercise equipment to wood furniture — Around Again has a free tool library that loans out almost 200 different kinds of tools for do-it-yourselfers. Through its Fresh Start Art program, it displays works made primarily of used materials and takes no commission so all of the proceeds go to the creator.

One of the biggest surprises for some who bring items to events is that they can’t be repaired, such as IKEA furniture and new household appliances.

“Many items made in the last 20 years aren’t made to be fixed,” Johnson said. “You have to break all the plastic just to get to the components.”

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at paula.hunt@peninsuladailynews.com.

Repair event

Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Rules:

• No more than two items per person

• You must be present during the repair

• Items must be clean

• Bring manuals and any components

Repair stations:

• Bicycles

• Garden tools

• Jewelry

• Miscellaneous household items

• Sewing and knitting

• Small appliances

• Small household furniture

• Tool sharpening

Do not bring anything that is dirty, leaking fluid or hazardous. Items must be carried easily by one person.

More information about the event can be found at www.aroundagainstore.org.

Organizers are seeking another volunteer to work on bicycle repairs; if interested, call Around Again at 360-683-7862.

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