If you want to start a tool sharing program yourself here are some ideas to make it successful:
1. Take an inventory of everyone's tools. Figure out what everyone has to avoid future duplications.
2. Put together "tool kits". We happen to have everything to do a light tile job, my husband's parents have everything you need to paint. This way you can have one go to place for each job.
3. Chat with others before you purchase something. Often if a friend or neighbor has an upcoming job they'll be willing to chip in on the tool cost. As for 10-20% of the upfront cost assuming they will use it later on.
4. Pay attention to space. If someone has a huge basement let them store the large items if they are willing, just be sure to label the items you own with your name to avoid future confusion when everyone forgets who's is who's.
5. Be flexible and help out. If everyone is refinishing their deck one summer make up a schedule and work with everyone on everyone's projects. This will make it go faster and be more fun.
This is a great way to make friends with people who love home improvement and to save a bit of cash in the mean time.
(Image: Strange Fragments)