April 2024 - Tool Stewards & Trainers Meeting

04/06/2021 - Tools Stewards & Trainers Meeting

04/06/2021 - Tools Stewards & Trainers Meeting


  • Dave (Auto & Metal Shop)

  • Jake (Wood Shop, CNC, 3D Printers)

  • Bailey (Electronics, Lasers, Vinyl Cutter, Textiles)

  • John (3D Printers)

  • Matt (3D Printers)

  • Brad (CNC, Lasers, Vinyl Cutter)

  • Carlin (Metal Shop, Wood Shop, Leather)

  • Derek (Metal Shop)

  • Jason (Wood Shop, Textiles, Leather)

  • Caroline (3D Printers, Electronics, CNC, Metal Shop)

  • Conor (Stained Glass)


  • Isaiah (Wood Shop)

  • Ryan (Metal Shop)

Recent History

  • The meeting began by recapping recent developments:

    • A budget for 2024 has been made and will be voted on at the Member Meeting (happening immediately after this meeting). It plans for each tool area spending $500, and also sets aside funds for a large tool buy.

    • Wood Shop has been getting new tools, most notably the new dust collector.

    • We applied for a Prairie Meadows grant for a new laser.

    • We've been spending money to upgrade the Lead CNC.

    • John and Dave met with the Greenleaf group, that occupy the Whittier school building. This makerspace's first location. The head of Greenleaf works with people writing grants.

Ideas for Things to Spend Money On

  • A "Mill Drill," a table top drill similar to a metal mill, but smaller. Support for this idea was neither gung ho nor against it. Some attendees wanted to make sure the large mill we already have become operational before pursuing this.

  • Upgrades to the sand blaster cabinet in the Metal Shop. Derek already purchased a new gravity gun for it. Carlin wants to make it into a bottom fed system rather than siphon fed.

  • A Metal Dust collector of some kind. The Metal Shop has some shop vacs, but they can't keep up with the metal dust that's generated, especially by the belt grinder. Jake said he has a small dust collector they can use.

  • Get the air compressor a run over to the Metal Shop. This idea has been talked about since we moved into this building. After some discussion, all agreed we should make this happen. First we should identify everything we need - Carlin has some supplies and Jerry has some pipe - then pick a weekend to do it, rent a scissor lift for that weekend, and do it. The run will have to be assembled in the rafters.

  • Derek found a DIY muffler build that could quiet the air compressor.

  • Note: All of the above ideas were discussed. Except for the air compressor run, nothing was decided for certain.

Area Comments and Large Tool Buy Suggestions From Individuals

  • Dave (Auto Shop)

    • Large Tool Buy Suggestion: screw jack stands and a taller transmission jack (would be about $300)

  • Bailey (Electronics, Textiles)

    • Part of the Electronics room is being converted for Stained Glass use. Connor will be the Steward; member Ben will build the furniture for in there.

    • About 2 years ago a member started fixing the automated knitting machine but then disappeared. Bailey is ready to sell it.

  • Caroline (CNC/Metal Shop)

    • Would like to get a replacement for the SpectraLight. There's a better machine; it's good for aluminum and would reuse parts from the old Lead CNC machine. Jake then said that he intends to make this new machine himself and then let the space use it.

  • Brad (Lasers)

    • Plan for the Laser area is first to upgrade to a 100W CO2, then to a fiber laser machine. Carlin recommended the fiber laser be a 50W JWT MOPA.

    • Also plans to convert the current defunct right-hand laser to use LightBurn, then eventually all machines will use the same software.

  • Jason (Vacuum Former)

    • He will not finish the vacuum former. Other people have volunteered to help. At one point Cody was working on it.

  • Caroline (3D Printers)

    • The latest iteration of the MMU (Multi Material Unit - allows for printing in different colors/materials) is working well. John is using it every week.

    • She sees no major expenses or purchases needed in the near future. The Voron machine is finished and enclosed. The Prusa machines are working well.

    • The space still has an old 3D printer of Reg's that's been abandoned. The group decided the 3D Printing Stewards can get rid of it however they see fit.

  • Jason (Leather)

    • He still has 1 bench left to build for the Textiles room. Carlin found some leather working tools he'll bring in.

  • Jake (Wood Shop)

    • The new dust collector is certainly an improvement over the old model.

    • The planer needs to be releveled but its future is not decided.

    • Remarkably, after the recent large purge of stored lumber in the Wood Shop, not one person has given feedback on it.

More Discussion Topics

  • When Stewards & Trainers train people we should emphasize cleaning up.

  • All Stewards and Trainers should have access to the Tools spreadsheet where all the training is recorded.

  • Once Dave and John finish setting up the Synology drive (which will allow members to share files between computers) it will also be set up to give Stewards some private storage space.

  • There is some shelving and table tops available for any Stewards who want to use them.

  • A long long time ago, the Board approved getting stuff for more metal tables. We have the metal to make the legs, but still need to purchase metal for the table top.

  • Jake is looking at more parts we need to get for the Rotary Phase Converter. Jason said we don't need to get the Power Quality Meter.

  • The CEC offered to help add more QR codes around the space for more information.

  • Brad offered to make signage for any areas that want it. Carlin offered to provide some materials for that.

  • Dave mentioned that many areas still haven't made a number for the large classroom wall clock.

Storage Discussion

  • Storage by members and Stewards will be decided by each individual area.

Tool Fee Discussion

  • Brad has heard other Stewards floating the idea of raising the Wood Shop fee to $100. He, instead, floated the idea of getting rid of the tool fees altogether. Here were his main arguments:

    • Tool Fees are not being tracked well. The automation to connect the PayPal payments to the Tools sheet broke months ago and hasn't been fixed. (Although there is some Google Apps Script automation to update the Tools sheet based on recorded PayPal payments.)

    • There is no penalty for not paying Tool Fees and a majority of members don't pay them.

    • If the Wood Shop fee went up to $100, it would only be penalizing the members who do follow the rules.

    • To Brad, a $100 tool fee feels like we, as a space, are catering to middle and upper income levels instead of all of society.

      • Jake pointed out that even at $100 a year the Wood Shop is still be an incredible bargain. The Wood Shop has many thousands of dollars in equipment.

      • It was also pointed out that just as we have Starving Hacker Rates (SHRs), members should be able to apply for SHRs on the tool fees.

  • In the ensuing discussion, all agreed that the process is broken.

  • It was argued that even though we have a process in place for tracking tool fees, since people aren't implementing it, it doesn't work.

  • Carlin suggested the idea of a Heavier Use Fee, in which people pay more if they use the area more.

    • It was pointed out that someone who knows how to use the Wood Shop equipment well could spend two months in there and still cause less wear and tear on the tools than a newcomer does in 1 day.

  • To wrap up the discussion, it was decided to

    • Create a committee to work on the problem (see below)

    • Brad will continue sending out emails containing what members have been trained on and what tool fees they've paid.

    • Access control to the Wood Shop should be the highest priority.

    • It was mentioned than the Wood Shop has taken on a new Steward named Isaiah.

Creation of the Committee to Work On A Better Tool Fee Solution (CWOABTF)

  • Brad and Carlin volunteered for this.

  • It will probably use a different acronym than in this section heading.

Meeting Adjourned

  • "If it smells like chicken, you're holding the soldering iron the wrong way." - Jason

  • "All I can do is hand you the match" - Jason, tongue in cheek, describing his frustration constantly maintaining tools in the Wood Shop

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