[hackerspaces] New Member Vetting

Daniel Harmsworth atrophy at caffeinator.net
Wed Sep 19 08:52:45 CEST 2012

At Artifactory we have a default allow policy, we are yet to reject a
membership application (however we do have the ability to do so in our

However to get key access one must fill in the dead tree form and pay a key
deposit of 3 months membership (however if you legitimately cant afford it
then of course we make exceptions). We've been very lax about actually
confirming the identities of people applying for key access membership, no
ID checks or the like, just a cursory "Does this person seem legit"
discussion amongst the members present.

We don't have a probationary period at the moment, though it may be a good
idea to introduce one as the membership grows (around 40 at the moment) and
the value of tools in the space continues to climb.

As for tools, we have a general workshop safety induction for new members,
"First aid kit is here, fire extinguisher is here" etc and we ask the
member whether they have used any of the tools previously, if yes then we
tend to believe them and if no then we will show them how. We also have
specific inductions for the scarier tools (CNC router, CNC mill, Manual
Mill, Lathe, 3D printer and Welders) in which you have to satisfy the "Tool
Champion" that you are competent in its operation before you are allowed to
go solo.

We have had a few cases of members damaging tools through improper use with
99% of cases being highly apologetic and offering up front to pay for the
repairs (usually unnecessary), though we did have one serial offender who,
amongst other things managed to install a circular saw blade backwards and
use it (carbide tooth wood cutting blade) to try and cut through a steel

On 19 September 2012 09:59, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM, Ron Bean
> <makerspace at rbean.users.panix.com> wrote:
> > Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> writes:
> >
> >>That is why, I think, we have to emphasize to people that
> >>bringing in their own equipment to "share" with others isn't going to
> >>end well (they aren't around enough to maintain it, while no-one else
> >>is going to fix your shit to your satisfactoin, even if they broke
> >>it).
> >
> > Everything at Milwaukee Makerspace belongs to some member or other-- the
> > space itself doesn't own anything. We do cooperate on repairs (notably
> > laser cutters, these days-- we have three in various states of
> > non-functionality, but two of them should be working again soon).
> >
> The model for Noisebridge is that for big projects, people raise the
> money separately, and buy collectively, then (I guess) effectively
> donate it to the space. I'm not sure that means the space owns it -- I
> suspect people have a more vested interest in something they bought.
> > There is no way we could exist at all if the space had to buy
> > everything.
> Yeah, just to be clear, everything in the space is donated.
> >
> >>In the
> >>end, despite an understandable desire to define the success of a
> >>hackerspace in terms of how much cool stuff they have, there are some
> >>items where people at Noisebridge end up going "you know, you might be
> >>better off just inviting people over to your garage, or using
> >>techshop's version of that".
> >
> > There's no way Techshop could survive financially here either-- their
> > startup costs are way too high for the number of members they'd be able
> > to attract. We did operate out of people's garages for a while, but you
> > can't offer 24/7 access that way.
> >
> I was going to add that some of this is determined by what else is
> around. One of the things that amazed me was how much stuff comparable
> to a hackerspace or makerspace there was, but not called that, and
> only spread by word of mouth -- tool hire collectives, co-owned
> garages for people to do car repairs. I think you end up evolving into
> the niche that isn't served by other environments, but it's hard
> before you start to know what people are missing, or what is out
> there.
> d.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Discuss mailing list
> > Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> > http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> >
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Daniel Harmsworth
Treasurer, The Perth Artifactory Inc.
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