User Tools

Site Tools



Welcome to the Milwaukee Makerspace! This Member Handbook contains some important and basic information that will help you at the space. If you find yourself wishing something useful to members was on the page, log in and add it!

The current Board members and Area Champions are listed on the front page of the wiki. To contact the board email

The makerspace has Area Champions who oversee the activities in each of our many areas. They are listed on the front page of the wiki.

Official Documents

Members must review the Member Release Form (PDF file), and bylaws. The member release form must be signed and returned to one of the makerspace board members.

New Maker Checklist

Too much to read? Just watch the Milwaukee Makerspace New Member Orientation video!

- For the New Maker

  1. Get vetted, spend time with others at the space (minimum of 2 separate visits)
    1. Attend public meetings/open nights on certain Tuesdays starting at 7 PM
    2. Attend as a guest of a current member any time.
    3. The building is not open to the public during non-public hours
  2. Complete the 'Member Release Form' and get it signed by two current members
  3. Meet with a Board Member to complete the sign-up process
    1. Find storage that has bright orange signs saying available space.
    2. Email the storage space number to Put “Looking for Storage” in the subject line.
    3. Put the orange sign on the Operations/Facilities Director's table in the meeting room.
    4. Ops Director or Committee Member will verify availability.
    5. Place your name on the shelf using WHITE tape and a black marker (cover previous Label) Don't use a pen. The Ops Director can provide some white tape.

- For the Board Member


  1. Access the Member Software app from a computer or tablet (
  2. If they are not paying at sign-up, ask to postpone the sign-up process until they are ready to pay
  3. Verify member's name and address (drivers license, state id, utility bill etc.)
  4. Click the 'Members' tab and 'Add member'
  5. Enter the New Members's information and create a new invoice
    1. Set membership level to 'Individual - 1 Month.
    2. Take member headshot and upload as avatar.
    3. Do not give out any key fobs or punch codes for the doors without receiving payment first!
    4. Punch codes must end with a # character or they will not work
    5. Punch codes should be between 6 and 8 numerical digits
    6. Set storage area fields (free storage & space, ineligible, waiting list or rental storage & space).
    7. Set 5 monthly funding areas.
  6. Click 'Generate Invoice'
    1. If they are paying with Cash/Check, you can manually mark the invoice as paid.
    2. If they are paying with PayPal or Credit Card, leave the invoice unpaid, and save it.
      1. Open up the unpaid invoice, click 'Charge Credit Card' and let the user enter their payment details.
  7. Give the New Maker a key fob or a punch code for the doors (only if they have paid!)
  8. Give the New Maker the spiel
    1. Good topics to cover include:
      1. 3 BIG RULES
        1. Be Excellent to Each Other!
        2. Don't be a Dick!
        3. When in doubt: Ask yourself “What would Mr. Rogers Do?”
      2. What emails you'll get tonight:
        1. Welcome email, with link to member handbook
        2. Invoice/Receipt for first months dues
        3. Invites to google groups
          1. Good time to explain groups.
          2. Can use like a message board or mailing list, depending on your settings.
      3. How does billing work:
        1. Always from the 1st of the month, rounded up or down depending on signup date.
          1. Tell them when their next bill is coming, so no surprises
        2. control panel for member
        3. Invoices come out 10 days before due date, the 20th or 21st usually.
        4. Due on the 1st. If you don't pay by 2nd, you are late
        5. Grace period - door keys cancelled on 7th for non-payment.
        6. Best way to pay is use Paypal/credit card on member control panel.
        7. Finally cash/check
      4. How the door keys work?
        1. 3 Doors that have fob readers
        2. What to do if they get a 'Unknown/Misconfigured/Expired' error - contact BOD, usually payment missing.
        3. The key works 24/7/365!
        4. Your key will be activated in the next 15 minutes when your account is created.
      5. Late night courtesies
        1. Park on the appropriate side of the street, or in our lot
        2. Do not leave the lights on if you are the last one
        3. Do not make loud noise between 9PM and 9AM
      6. Safety
        1. “Who to call” sheets are posted by every exit to the building.
        2. Fire extinguishers and first aid kits are posted throughout the building.
        3. We have used them both before! please know where the nearest one is when you are working in the shop.
      7. Quick overview of why we do things the way we do them:
        1. We are non-profit, non-stock corporation. - Nobody makes money, nobody owns us. Its all by members for members
        2. No employees, not even a janitor, BOD members all pay same dues as you, volunteer their time.
        3. Do-ocracy, if you think the bathroom needs cleaning, you better clean it.
        4. If you have an idea for improvement, encouraged to implement, subject to the “be excellent” rule. Remember to discuss with affected members beforehand!
        5. Your dues pay the mortgage, insurance, and utilities on the building. Tools are loaned by members to the rest of the group. Treat with respect!
        6. Area funding, you suggest where $7.50 a month goes.
      8. Training
        1. You can use hand tools immediately
        2. You cannot use power tools until you are signed off
        3. Good way to get trained is to ask at the end of Tuesday night meeting or post on members-only board.
      9. Explain Area Champions
        1. Someone who is very experienced in a medium or style of working
        2. Probably spends a lot of time in an area/shop
        3. Probably owns most of the tools
        4. Can train you on everything in that area, good to help with projects.
      10. Events:
        1. Space improvement day
          1. Last Saturday or Sunday of every month
          2. Noon to 5pm
          3. No making on space improvement day
          4. Do the crap nobody wants to do
          5. Free food!
        1. Green permit is for projects needing temporary home.
        2. Defaults to 24 hour validity. A member can request to a BOD/Area Champion that it be extended up to 30 days. The champion is allowed to say no, based on group needs.
        3. If expired permit, or no permit - Gets Red Parking Ticket
        4. If 7 day old ticket, goes to impound lot.
        5. Impounded items not claimed after a month will be given away or thrown out
        6. Please don't abandon stuff, it just means more work for me - and sadness for you.
      11. Project storage
        1. Every member is entitled to 1 free shelf OR locker with membership
        2. Talk to facilities director to find an empty space
  9. At the end of the Night
    1. Used the saved “Emails to add to google groups” search to get a list of emails of everyone who signed up
    2. Direct-add to Members-Only list, with web-only subscription (no emails)
    3. Send them all invites to the Google Groups; Public group
  10. OPTIONAL: Add the New Maker to our growing social media empire
    1. If they are Twitter users, add them to the list:!/list/mkemakerspace/members
    2. If they are Facebook users, tell them about the 'Milwaukee Makerspace' page on Facebook
    3. Other information found on the wiki
      Members Hand Book, Bylaws, Parking, Meetings, BOD Meetings, Storage, classes Equipment List, History, Events, Member Profiles…

- For the Area Champion


Coming Soon


Confused by all the words people are throwing around? Take a peek at our glossary to help decipher any unfamiliar terms.
Glossary of Terms

Regularly Scheduled Events

We are open to the public for meetings on certain Tuesday nights starting at 7PM. Please check our calendar for details on the location of the next meeting. On Tuesday nights we have organizational meetings to discuss business and give personal project updates. Agenda items can be added on the meeting agenda page.

In past years we've had a number of groups that would meet at the space. These “club meetings” are open to the public, but facilitated by a member. Some of the groups included: Milwaukee Electric Car Club, Milwaukee Robotics Club, Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup, DIY CNC Club, and MEOW.

As a member you can pick one day a month for several hours to let a bunch of non-members into the space as part of a club meeting or similar gathering. However, you need to create a calendar event and a reservation for the space you will be using. Otherwise other members can ask you to move to another part of the space.

Project Storage

  • All floor space rental is coordinated with the Operations Director.
  • The “general membership” level includes free storage up to a total of 9 SF (equivalent 36“x 36” shelf or two Lockers) per household.
  • The “family membership” level does not include any storage as part of their dues.
  • In lieu of shelving, members can store one member-made cart for free - maximum cart dimensions are 38” deep, 46“ long and 34” tall (including wheels), and are stored under the pallet racking in the east room.
  • Pallet Rack, ground level is for carts only. (Must have wheels)
  • Items stored on Pallet Racks must be on a Pallet for fork lift access, not on wire shelf.
  • All pallets shall fit in the pallet racking.
  • All carts must fit beneath the pallet racking.
  • All storage (lockers, shelves, pallets, projects) in the space shall be labeled with your name. Laser-cut name plaques are encouraged!
  • Items are not to be stored in front of pallets, shelves or lockers.
  • Storage is only for members in good standing, storage must be vacated immediately upon lapse of membership.
  • Floor space can be rented for larger projects.
  • For more information, please refer to:

Dues Payment

Membership levels are listed here:

  • You can view all past and outstanding invoices at our member portal site at
  • Please pay using PayPal or Credit Card, through our member portal site if at all possible.
    • This option saves effort for our volunteer Treasurer, and eliminates manual processing errors.
  • As an alternative we accept the following:
    • Cash or check deposited in the Drop Box in our Lobby.
    • Check mailed to our address (Checks should be made out to “Makerspace of Milwaukee” and mailed to 2555 S Lenox / Milwaukee, WI 53207)
  • Payments are due the 1st of each month.
  • If your dues are not paid by the end of the day on the 1st, you can still come into the building to pay your dues, but should not be using tools.
  • If your dues are still not paid by the end of the day on the 7th, your door key will be disabled and membership will be suspended.
  • Suspended members must reapply for membership by completing a new application form.
  • If you wish to set up an automatically recurring payment, you must do so through the member site using a PayPal account. Some members have also arranged for their bank to mail us a check each month, it is easier for us if you use the PayPal solution.

Web and Email Communication

  • We have two Google Group mailing lists, and you should join both of them. Sign up for the public mailing list here, and the members only private list here.
  • Learn to manage the email you receive from the mailing lists at the Email Filtering Guide
  • Get an account for the Milwaukee Makerspace wiki. Contact to get an account. The RSS feed for the wiki is here.
  • To create blog posts to show off your great projects, contact to get your Milwaukee Makerspace website account setup. After your account is created you can login with the link on the bottom of the page here and create a blog post by clicking on the “Posts” button on the left had side of the screen and then click on the “Add New” button. Follow the makerspace blog using the RSS feed.
  • Keep track of makerspace events by following our Google Apps calendar using XML, ICAL, or HTML.

Social Media Sites

Donations and Fiscal Sponsorship

Milwaukee Makerspace is a non-stock corporation operating in the State of Wisconsin. We are a non-profit 501©3. If you are a member you can make a financial donation using Wild Apricot, or by contacting the Treasurer.

If you wish to make a donation of physical goods, please contact the Board of Directors.

Shop Rules and Safety

If you see something unsafe, say something, do something. Speak to the member, unplug the machine, add a label warning about an unsafe thing. It’s hard to draw a box around every case, but the key is to be pro-active.

You must be checked out on every power tool / machine at the Makerspace prior to using it. Even if you are familiar with that machine already, or own one at home. To be checked out on a machine, see:

Training Classes (must be logged into Wiki to view).

If you do feel like you are an expert on a machine. Please consider giving back to the makerspace by volunteering to be a tool trainer and help get other members up to speed.

Please do your part to keep the space neat. Before you leave the space clean up and put away whatever equipment and workspace you may have been using. Projects often involve working on five or more machines, and it is easy to accidentally only clean up 4 out of 5 work areas. To offset this, its best to leave the space just a little cleaner than you’ve found it. A mess, left behind, depresses the other members and damages the sense of community that is the true value of the space.

Feel free to consume the resources of the space (scrap, electronics components, etc.) but be reasonable about the quantity. Please don't go into mass production using the community materials! It’s a great idea to put a donation in the machine shop donations jar when using consumables. If you are burning up end mills with all the machining you need to do, please buy a set just for yourself.

If you damage something that you cannot repair, please post to one of the mailing list about it. Don't leave it for someone to find. In some cases the damage can be repaired and you can learn a whole lot in the process. Even if it can't be repaired the other members will think far more of you for admitting a mistake than if you remain silent. Remember that all of the machines in the space were leased by individual members – would you want damage to your machine to go unreported? Likewise, please don’t move or modify any large equipment in the space without approval from the area champion and equipment owner.

All major equipment in the space is leased to the space by its members. If you'd like to lease something to the group, ask first, then fill out this form equipment lease form and give it to a board member. Please do bring your personal tools into the Makerspace, but if you want them to live in a public spaces, you must allow members to use them (with proper training of course.) If you plan on being the only one using a tool, you should keep it in your storage area when you are not actively using it, and yes, the rules about non-members still apply, even if it's your own tool.

Guest Policy

Members can bring two guests (10 years of age minimum) to the makerspace. (Looking for stuff for kids to do?)

All guests must sign the guest liability waiver.

Note that members must supervise their guests at all times. No leaving a guest in the Wood Shop while you walk off to work in the Electronics Lab, etc. Guests are prohibited from using any electrical or heavy machinery, so table saws, the forklift, and even power hand tools are prohibited. Guests are permitted to use non-powered hand tools.

Perhaps you'd like to ask a friend or family member to join you at the space and help you with a project? They are welcome, but the member must be the one who uses the equipment. A good example would be your friend holding boards as you screw them together or spot you as you use the table saw. If you wish to teach a class open to non-members that is welcomed, with some specific rules laid out in the following section.

We don't want to make things difficult or exclude people from being part of our community here, but we also don't want to take unnecessary risks. We can't be certain of a guest's training, skill-level, judgment, or knowledge of our policies and procedures. Just because someone knows how to use *a* lathe doesn't mean they should assume they know how to use *our* lathe. Every machine is different and checking members out on equipment is how we work to ensure people are knowledgeable and safe.

Teaching Classes

Perhaps you'd like to teach a soldering, welding, or sewing class? That's awesome, and a big part of what keeps the space vibrant and successful. If you want to teach a class to members only, that's easy and simple. However, you can also open up your class to the public, allowing non-members into the space to see what we're all about. Teaching a structured class to non-members is an excellent opportunity for them to find out we exist and convert them into members so that they can come back and keep making after the class is over.

If you want to teach a class that is open to the public, we just ask that you observe a few rules:

  • You must propose your class to the BOD ahead of time and get approval in writing before running it. You can email the BOD at We don't want to cramp your style, just make sure that the class is safe and appropriate for all the students. Depending on the activity and the inherent hazards within, you may have to produce a formal lesson and safety plan.
  • The usual limits about 2 guests per member do not apply. You can have as many students as you wish.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure that ALL GUESTS sign sign the space's liability waiver.
  • Your students must be under direct supervision of you, or a fellow instructor at all times.
  • You may require that students make a donation to MMS or a specific area in order to participate in the class, but it is up to you.
  • If you charge money for the class, and it goes into your pocket, you are no longer covered by the space's liability policy and you must get your own insurance coverage. Guests still have to sign the liability waiver for the space even if you have your own coverage.

Voting and Elections

While our By-Laws spell out the rules and what is required for voting and elections, they do not say exactly how to meet those requirements. For that reason, the Board of Directors has adopted the following guidelines which have been in use for the past several years.

  • Note:
    • The By-Laws supersede other policies.
    • If any conflicts or discrepancies exist in the following information, the By-Laws will always take precedence.
  • Duration
    • Votes are accepted for a period of one week
    • Voting opens immediately following a Tuesday meeting
    • Voting closes one week later at the next Tuesday meeting
    • Nominations for positions are handled in a similar way
  • How to vote:
    • A member may email their vote to info at (only the Board will see the vote)
    • A member may reply to the voting thread on the members-only mailing list (those on the mailing list will see the vote)
    • A member may also vote by ballot, in person, at the relevant Tuesday meeting (nobody will see who the vote came from)
  • Proxies
    • A member may designate another member to serve as their proxy
    • A proxy voter is counted once for themselves and once for each member that they represent
    • All votes cast by a proxy are counted toward the same position or candidate (a proxy voter cannot apply some votes to one option and some votes to another)
    • In the spirit of transparency and fairness, the Board of Directors requires that anyone who declares a proxy to email us (info at and clearly state the name of the member who you are giving your proxy to
    • A member may designate another member as their proxy in person at a meeting while a vote is in progress
  • Abstention
    • Members may declare they choose to abstain from a vote
    • Abstentions are recorded, but do not count toward or against any position
    • Abstentions do count toward achieving a quorum

Other Information

  • First and foremost: Be excellent to each other!
  • Also: Don't be a dick. (see first bullet point)
  • The group has no tolerance for members (or their guests) performance of illegal activities at the space, or using space equipment in the conduct of illegal activities.
  • Put some money in the donation jar if you take a beverage out of the fridge.
  • Lock up the Makerspace if you are the last person to leave. Turn off all of the lights. Close the garage door. Make sure all doors are locked.
  • There are many books in the library on various topics (software, hardware, machining, etc). Members who donate books to the library should put their names on the outside of the pages or in the cover so we know who the books belong to.
  • Don't remove materials or tools from other members’ squares or pallets without that person's permission.
  • If you must leave project outside your personal storage area, be sure to label it with your name and the date of your return, otherwise it may be moved or accidentally thrown out.
  • Donations go to the hack-rack, but remember that rule is if you donate something to the hack-rack you must take something away of equal volume. If its something larger or you don't want to take anything from the hack-rack you should post to the public message board first before donating. Only donate if you can find a person interested in the donation.
  • Leave your politics and religion at home. We are a maker space and don't want to start political or religious “discussions” Just make stuff!
  • Due to city permitting issues, extended maintenance cannot be performed on gas vehicles. (Electric is fine).
  • Per city ordinance, you may not sleep at the Makerspace, as it could result in revocation or alteration of our insurance/occupancy permit.
  • There are fire extinguishers around the space. Please memorize their locations.
  • Wear proper eye and ear protection when working in the shop area.

Code of Conduct

In order to keep things civil and respectful, the Board of Directors has adopted the following guidelines for discussions on the message boards and other social media:

  • Follow the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated!
  • Keep criticism constructive.
  • Please refrain from name-calling or derogatory statements.
  • The group has no tolerance for discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Any conduct that the Board determines to be offensive will be addressed as necessary.
  • Serious issues, including violence, threats of violence, performance of illegal activities at the space, or performance of illegal activities using space equipment will result in an immediate suspension of membership, with subsequent action per the By-Laws..
  • Other issues will result in a warning on first occurrence. Subsequent occurrences may be cause for suspension of membership per the By-Laws. Examples of behavior in this category include:
    • Harassment of members, guests, or neighbors
    • Vandalism
    • Damage to property
    • Unauthorized use of tools and equipment
    • Theft
    • Physical altercation
    • Violation of shop safety rules
    • Violation of group policies and procedures
    • Allowing guests/non-members to use tools

Anti-Harassment Policy

Milwaukee Makerspace is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of people at our events or space in any form.

Sexual language and imagery should only be used for positive purposes in accordance with best practices advocated by professional sex educators (if you’re not sure what those are, don’t do it).

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention. Continuous unwanted interactions can lead to members and guests feeling uncomfortable at the Makerspace. It is every member's right to enjoy the Makerspace with or without interaction from other members if they so choose.

If you are comfortable doing so, you are encouraged to tell any individual who is harassing you or another member to stop their behavior. If you are not comfortable addressing the harasser directly, if the harasser does not immediately stop their behavior, or if you believe that the harassment violates the code of conduct, please contact the Board of Directors (in person or in email) or fill out and submit an incident form. The Board of Directors will treat your incident seriously and respectfully. The Board will never publicize your request or name without your permission, and the Board has zero-tolerance for members being retaliated against.

newmemberpamphlet.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/22 14:58 by tony3