Each significant tool or piece of equipment in our space should have (2) identifying tags on it. One is a QC-code that identifies it for reference in our inventory database, and the other is a color coded permissions sticker. Any new tools brought in should be tagged with both. Stickers should be located near the doors to the Classroom and Shop Office from the shop. Please ask an Area Manager, or other Staff if you need assistance in tagging donations or loaned tools.
We have (4) levels of permissions for members to use tools. Each Permission Tag also includes who the owner of the tool is if it is not owned by TC Maker, so that you may contact them with concerns or questions.
Any member can use these tools. In theory, it should be difficult for a reasonable person using these tools in their typical manner to damage themselves, another person, or the tool.
e.g. a ShopVac or coffee maker are pretty hard to hurt yourself with in normal operation.
Any member who has practical experience in a particular tool's family of tools may use these tools. These tools can cause serious injury, death, or severely damage themselves or another tool if used improperly.
e.g. If you know how to use a table saw well enough to use it safely (you're familiar with blade choice, cut depth, kickback, safe hand positions, fingerboards, etc. etc.) then you're welcome to use any Yellow tagged table saws we have in a manner that doesn't exceed your skills. If you've never touched a table saw before, it could kill or maim you. Really. It may look easy, but these are dangerous.
Use of these tools is restricted to members who have either had specific training on this tool or been checked out and approved to use it. These tools can cause serious injury, death, or severely damage themselves or another tool if used improperly, and may be owned by an individual who has loaned them to us, or have catastrophic or very expensive failure or damage if used by an unapproved operator.
e.g. A personally owned custom built CNC machine has a few quirks that even a seasoned CNC operator needs to know about before they try to operate it, or we want to be certain that everyone using our Bridgeport Mill is using what we as a community have decided are best practices so that we don't blame you for something going wrong.
Use of these tools is restricted to the other of the tool or designated TC Maker Staff. These are tools that have been brought in by individual members which they do not feel comfortable allowing others to use unsupervised or without per-use permission. Some tools may be designated this as use by Staff as they contain expensive consumables intended for official use rather than common stock.
e.g. A member spent $$$ on their own welding gas and they expect that this consumable will be there for them to personally use. The may be happy to permit you or a class to use it with their explicit permission. A member brought in a custom CNC machine which is a work in progress. While they may be using it on a regular basis, and have several “Approved Users” those users need to check in before using it to ensure that an update hasn't changed how a critical function works.