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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does membership cost?

Milwaukee Makerspace currently offers the following options:

  1. Full-Time Membership - $40/mo. includes 24/7 access into the space and one pallet of personal storage space.
  2. Spouse/Immediate Family Member - $10/mo. additional per person for a second key fob and matching membership status.

How do I become a member?

  • If you're interested, please visit us during our Tuesday or Thursday meetings which are open to the public.
  • We'll give you a tour, answer your questions, and introduce you to some of our members.
  • If you decide to pursue a membership, we'll give you a membership application form to take home and fill out.
  • We ask that you visit us one additional time to complete the sign up process.
  • All new members must be vetted and confirmed by two Board Members.
  • If you cannot make a Tuesday or Thursday meeting, please contact the info@milwaukeemakerspace.org email account. Occasionally we can make arrangements to meet prospective new members on days other than Tuesday or Thursday, but we cannot guarantee certain days and times are available to meet with you. Please remember that we are a volunteer organization and our members have other commitments.
  • You must be present to turn in your completed membership application. Forms left with other members or placed in the Mail Drop Box will not be accepted.

May I buy someone a gift membership?

We do not offer any pre-paid gift memberships. If you think a family member or friend would be an awesome new community member, encourage them to show up to a Tuesday meeting and go through our normal member sign-up procedure.

Can I apply online?

Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Maybe in the future we'll create a form to get the process started, but currently we only sign up new members at the Space and in person. Meeting people face-to-face helps you get a feel for our group and helps us get a feel for you. Each new member is formally endorsed by a current member to ensure we've had a chance to answer any questions they may have and adequately review our policies.

Do I have to have an email address?

Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: An email address is needed for correspondence and invoices. Remember that we are a volunteer organization and we do not have any employees. At 100+ members, asking us to call by phone or send letters through the mail is something we simply don't have the time or resources to do. Thankfully, setting up a free email account online is relatively easy.

How can I pay my dues?

What if I don't want to become a member, but I still want to hangout?

That's cool! There are several people we consider “Friends of the Space” as well as regular guests. Some people have expressed guilt that they can't afford the dues or can't make the time to use a membership regularly or they live too far away. You can still participate on the mailing list, attend meetings and events, however for liability reasons you are considered a guest and will not be able to use any tools or equipment.

I'm a new member and I don't know where to get started!

Where do your tools come from?

Members bring them in and let others use them!

  • That old band saw that gets used one week out of the year?
  • The lathe sitting in your basement untouched?
  • The jointer that you have in storage because you live in a small apartment building without a workshop?

Those are all perfect candidates to be brought in and shared! All of our tools are either property of members or donations. As a result, we ask that everyone take good care of them treat them as you would your own.

How do I get checked out or trained on equipment?

We recommend first contacting the tool's Owner. Each machine has a number and an information sheet attached to it. That sheet indicates who owns it and who can train you on it. If you're unsure how to contact someone, post a message to the mailing list and ask to be trained on a particular machine. When all else fails, ask a fellow member.

I love you guys! How do I donate tools/money/stuff?

Milwaukee Makerspace is a non-stock corporation operating in the State of Wisconsin. We are not a non-profit 501c3 however we are sponsored by a group called School Factory which supports organizations like ours. The donation process is spelled out on their website here: https://atrium.schoolfactory.org/spacefed/node/28962

I want to bring some friends/family by to see the place!

Great! As you may know we have meetings open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 7 PM. Members can bring two guests to the makerspace. All guests must sign the guest liability waiver. Copies of the waiver are available at the front desk in the lobby. Members must supervise their guests at all times. Guests must be at least 10 years of age.

Can my friend help me with my project, even if they're not a member?

Unfortunately, due to legal and safety concerns, guests cannot use the tools or machinery. Your friend can certainly be in the Space and assist you with your project provided they fill out the Guest Liability Form.

Does Makerspace have any events for kids?

We're currently looking into possible events, but we are not yet ready to accommodate groups of children. As stated elsewhere in our rules, guests must be at least 10 years of age and be supervised at all times.

What if I want to bring in tools for my own use only?

That's fine too, but we'll ask that you mark your property with your name or initials and keep those tools separate from the rest of the group's. You'll need to keep them in your personal storage space; pallet or otherwise.

I have this tool I want to bring in! Who do I talk to?

The Facilities/Operations Director is in charge of handling new equipment. The Board of Directors will review any large equipment being proposed (i.e. anything that you need help to lift should be discussed before you bring it in) and decide if it's useful to the group. Your proposal may be turned down if we don't have space, don't have the money to install it, don't believe it would be used often, or we already have a similar tool.

What if I need more space than a single pallet?

Whoa, I see something that doesn't look safe! What do I do??

Tell someone! Even if you're not certain it's a problem, it's better to err on the side of caution than let it go. Find a member or someone on the Board of Directors the moment you spot something and let them know. If you're a member and you aren't sure about something, you can post to the message board. Unplug that machine, wrap that sharp edge with tape or foam, or leave a note on that item to let people know what's going on and then tell someone. We also have red, hard plastic “lockout tags” on a peg board outside the Wood Shop that can be zip-tied to tools and machines. See our page here for more information: http://wiki.milwaukeemakerspace.org/newmemberpamphlet#shop_rules_and_safety

Whoa, I see someone doing something that doesn't look safe! What do I do??

  • SAY SOMETHING
  • Talk to the person doing what you consider unsafe and let them know. Just say “Hey, I am not sure that is the safest way to do that.”
  • No one should be offended by this.
  • We all want to avoid damaging equipment and ourselves.
  • We're all here to learn, and if we can learn to be safer by watching out for each other, that's a good thing.
  • If someone dismisses your concerns, please confer with another member or members in the space at the time. Also consider contacting the Board of Directors.
  • What sorts of things could be unsafe?
    • Failure to wear proper safety gear (personal protective equipment: goggles, gloves, earplugs, etc.)
    • Misuse of tools and equipment (get trained, know how to use a tool and its limits)
    • Heavy or large items (ask for help)
    • Rotating machinery
    • Open flames
    • High voltage
    • Dangerous chemicals
    • Unstable or poorly supported items (use clamps, jacks, lifts properly)
    • Ladders, lifts, and scaffolding
    • Sharp objects (knives, saws, blades, drill bits)
    • Ideas
    • And more…

What if there is an accident?

  • If there is an immediate danger to life, health or property: CALL 911
  • If necessary, pull a fire alarm station located at each exit door and evacuate the entire building.
  • Fire extinguishers and exit lights are located through out the building as required by building codes.
  • First Aid Kits are located by the West Room safety cabinet, by the Front Lobby Restrooms, and the Meeting Room.
  • After the situation is under control, please inform the Board of Directors via email at info@milwaukeemakerspace.org.
  • A Board Member will need to fill out an accident report form as described here.

Can I hire you to build something?

Short Answer: No one ‘works’ at Milwaukee Makerspace we’re all just members, and we are not a business. If you want someone at Milwaukee Makerspace to make something for you, or help you make something yourself, your best bet is to come down to a Weekly Meeting at 7pm on a Tuesday and introduce yourself, talk about what you want, and see if anyone is interested in helping you out. You never know, you might find someone up for a new challenge, or just as excited about your potential project as you are.

Long Answer: http://milwaukeemakerspace.org/2013/03/can-you-guys-build-me-a/

I still have more questions!

First, read through our Member Handbook here: http://wiki.milwaukeemakerspace.org/newmemberpamphlet If you still have more questions, email us! We can be contacted at info at milwaukeemakerspace dot org

Can I host my event at the Makerspace?

If you are a member you may host a club meeting once a month. Attendance of more than 10 people should be scheduled one month in advance. (Examples include the Milwaukee 3D Printing Meeting, The Milwaukee Electric Car Club, and the Milwaukee Energy Optimization Workshop. See a list of groups/clubs.)

If you are not a member, or your event includes the public, please see this: http://wiki.milwaukeemakerspace.org/events/hosting

faq.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/03 16:39 by raster