New Member Guide
This page is your personal manual to navigating the (mostly) organised chaos that is the Makerspace. We have a fairly solidly put together Wiki but it might be a lot to take in at once, so this is the pocket version.
The foremost area of everyone's concern is usually the Kitchen, wherein resides the teamaking facilities and various consumables. Tea is freely available, help yourself - if the place isn't too packed it's generally polite to offer to do the round; if the Main Room is full however, you may end up injured in the resulting stampede. Don't forget to wash up anything you've used before you go home.
There is a rough organisation as to which crafts take place where. The main room is generally 'clean' crafts, eg electronics, lasering, leatherwork, drawing, and so forth. There is some leeway with dust-free work in the secondary area, but the main table should be kept as clean as possible.
We're not limited to what we currently do - if no current provision seems to exist for something you'd like to do, ask around, member interests range all over the place! Many people have more specialist tools at home which they may be willing to bring in, and if there's enough interest the Space will endeavour to provide the core requirements for feasible activities.
Use of Resources
Core consumables are provided to allow making to occur, and we have a motley array of ... most things really. If you use anything from the communal stockpiles bear in mind that it's there because somebody either donated it, or bought it. Both of these avenues require user contribution to remain sustainable - try to replace what you use, either in kind, or commensurate donations. Some consumables are directly costed, such as laser food or 3d printer filament.
Certain craft materials are also costed, notable the paper and cardstock, as to maintain a usable quality stock of these requires demand-driven purchases. We should be receiving a stock of leather and paints within a couple of weeks, and these will also have to be costed. As with the laser wood and filament, the prices asked are close to cost, so it's very important that you remember to pay for what you use. Any excess made is sunk into increasing the available range, and if we have a shortfall, then the resources can no longer be available.
Use of Tools
Some tools are dangerous, expensive, fragile, or all three - consequently we have to manage training and access to protect both users and property. This is achieved through the use of
trained rodents the Tool usage policy, which is one of the pages that cannot be summarised - you should read it now, and as if by magic, the coloured wall charts will make a bit more sense.
AKA 'The Other Side', woodwork and all dusty work is sent into exile here in an attempt at keeping the place in order. Most of the powerful machinery lives here, and you will need training for use of most of it, as explained on the page you should just have read. The Workshop wiki page is comprehensive and will save a lot of time, mistakes, and potentially injury, if you review it occasionally.
Bear in mind that it will take some time to clear up; don't work up until the last minute. There are always other days. Similarly be aware that the time estimates for both 3D printers and the Laser Cutter are not as accurate as you might hope.
Anything you'd like to store at the Space is best kept in your box; your box must be clearly labelled with your full name or a unique nickname.
Things you should not store in your box
Dangerous / Flammable Chemicals. With Committee permission, these can be stored under the sink, in sensible and labelled containers, for no longer than needed.
Perishable food - this can be stored in the kitchen, ideally with a label including your name and date left.
If you’re taking up a lot of space with a project, you should ask someone from the Committee for permission to store the item.
Oversized items need to be clearly labelled with your name, and there is an assumption that they are being worked on. We don't want to have a Space full of abandoned projects!
The Space is what we make it, quite literally. Share knowledge - maybe formally via giving talks, or writing tutorials / guides on the Wiki, but just helping on projects or sharing advice with people is usually appreciated. Have a look at things we need occasionally in case you have something going spare that would be of use to us, and remember to update the replenishment requests list so we don't run out of core supplies unexpectedly!
Help cleaning and tidying is always appreciated - we don't have a maid! Have a look at the Maintenance page to see if there's anything you can help with.
If you discover something that you wish you'd known earlier, whether that's the location of Mr Laserducky or where the calipers are usually found when they're 'missing' (hint: try whoever's building a 3D printer, or in the Workshop), add it to this page. Talk to Jon if you don't know your Wiki account information.