Do we hold members accountable for damage in the wood shop?

I feel like just checking logs shouldn’t be enough to accuse someone of abuse.

The makerspace has a lot of beat down on tools, sometimes you are just the unfortunate person using it when a tool breaks.

An uninformed user might not know if they broke it or if the tool finally broke after much use.

Let’s not start burning people at the stake because they were the last user.


By all means, rise up and teach some classes! I see a lot of people telling us how we need more mentors (volunteers), RFID’s (500-1k per rfid), or more training (money and volunteers). What I don’t see is a tremendous amount of people showing up for maintenance days or offering to teach.

We are a community workshop with a bit under 2k members. Is it frustrating to see this much breakage? Sure. Do we do what we can with the resources available? Yes.
Is there room for improvement? Always. But we need more money and/or more manpower to help them out.

If you do want to volunteer, reach out to the woodshop chair. I’m sure they would be more than happy to help you help others.


No no, I was thinking more along the lines of timeline of events and whom used it the last few times so someone would not have to review hours of video logs. You get a time and user, then check the video log, and then ask the user what happened and why xyz was not reported.

Going in knowing I “checked” a tool out for use and if the tool was busted before hand I would speak up because I would not want the blame. Also if I broke something I would certainly speak up rather then wait until someone came to me telling me that the logs showed I used the tool last, you left it broken and did not report it and that is in violation of our rules. Maybe that sounds a bit harsh but I’m not finding the right words to say what I want to say.

Rfid on every tool or at least ones that continue to “break”, I would think would help reduce the breakage over time. But then we would need more people to help police the breakage issues. Maybe it’s just easier to keep pouring money into repair or buy cheep throw away tools? Not an easy answer I fear.

Yep I hear you and I had no idea the cost on the RFID lockout. $500 - $1000 per, ouch.
Myself and the Mrs. spent half a day this past Sunday in the Science lab organizing and cleaning. I personally have my eyes on getting to the Wood/Metal/Machine shops soon. I would also be down to teaching because I am starting to learn that my father taught me more than I ever realized or I just learned how myself. I rebuilt and drove a 1965 Mustang in HS.

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Thank you so much for helping in Science. If you ever need help with questions about teaching at the space please reach out to me. We can always use more teachers!

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Yeah, seems like everyday it becomes more a question of ‘what is working?’.

Woodshop is probably the most popular committee so it suffers the most from uncaring/ignorant users. Laser seems to have a lot of breakage of things like lenses. Some of that would be avoidable if they would use a lens with a higher focal length which moves the lens away from the flame-outs and smoke (even with or without air assist), but that’s just my informed opinion. Metal shop suffers from rule breakers like those who grind the wrong metals on the wheels meant for a specific task or basically standing on the horizontal saw trying to ‘help’ it cut faster. I’m sure they have some horror stories when it comes to welding. Machine shop loses quite a few bandsaw blades for the same reason and a lot of endmills and drills for a lot of reasons which would be considered stupidity at real machine shops. These are just some of the other examples that happen.

that’s DMS in a nutshell. We don’t have people standing around to play tool guard or ready to solicit advise. That would be volunteerism and that is way down these days. Let me say this - probably 99% of people are willing to help if asked. That doesn’t mean they are willing to step in if they see something going wonky or see the abuse. In most cases everyone, yo EVERYONE is authorized to enforce the rules - either by pointing out the rule in a nice way (i.e. saying ‘hey you need to put on your safety glasses’) or not so nice sometimes if it is about to get someone killed. That doesn’t mean people do it. They’ll sit back and watch it happen and are only concerned with what they are needing to get done. that’s that customer mentality we keep talking about. It’s the same thing in the real world - sometimes people don’t want to get involved but the consequence is the tool we all need is now broken.

If you can find a mentor - go for it.

amen to that.

Was at Home Depot recently and didn’t realize that so many from DMS hung out there. IMO, you can completely judge a person’s worth as a human being by what they do with a shopping cart when they’re done.



Don’t have to go to Home Depot, Walk through the woodshop and look at the tools strewn through out the shop.


@Edenblue, I would gladly offer myself as a mentor, or part-time shop steward if DMS would meet me half-way and come up with a system of limiting access to tools to those users who have demonstrated the competence to use them. However, without limiting access to DMS’ wonderful (and expensive!), high quality tools, “mentoring” alone will never work. The tools will continue to be broken more often than not. It has to start with a mutual understanding that things can’t continue as they have been and that some people may lose privileges that they have so far taken for granted. And if and when that happens, I am sure there will be many others besides me who are willing to step forward and offer to help those who want to learn more.

This is a solvable problem! The DMS is a great space, but we aren’t a club of 60 people who all pretty much know each other anymore. We have 2000+ members. We can’t run things the way we always have.

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@nicksilva, I appreciate the comments. I enjoy following your posts in the Show and Tell. Very interesting work! I aspire to be as prolific as you.

@Engnr, with regards to checking the RFID logs: They can only ever provide a piece of the puzzle. I agree with @PearceDunlap that sometimes a member could be just be the unlucky user when a worn-out tool breaks. But we have video. We need to train everyone to make sure they report it ASAP if they come in and and find a tool broken. It makes it much easier to review the video logs and figure out what happened.

No one wants to be the tool nazi, and no one wants to work in fear of the tool nazis, but we have to change. What we’re doing isn’t working. We have to be willing to give up some freedom to regain control of the Woodshop.

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I know. I get it. I honestly don’t understand what’s so hard about cleaning up after oneself. I knew how to do it before I was 8. And you can’t “shame” anyone, because apparently an entire generation (two?) thinks feeling ashamed is a bad thing?

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What we need in woodshop is a “guild”. Gate-kept tools paid for by the guild members (not DMS). Locked up and only accessible to those who (a) have helped pay for them and (b) are responsible enough to pay for damage they cause regardless of bullshit excuse.

All DMS tools completely accessible after required safety classes, of course.

That sounds like something that would be perfect somewhere else! I know of some cheap warehouse space down the street for this!


Not a thing at DMS could keep this from happening. I’ve got 32,000 square feet of space across the parking lot where I could keep the tools for check-out and there isn’t a thing an Officer of the Corporation ™ could do about it.

Doubt that you are as “all powerful” as you want to come across as here. I get that you don’t like authority. Thats great, but don’t presume to tell us what we can and can’t accomplish. There are too many catchall’s in the bylaws to fix such an issue.

Unless DMS prohibits personally-carried-in tools there is literally nothing to stop it.

And don’t forget that “we” includes “me” and many like-minded people.

We do have a say in what goes on under our roof…I appreciate that you think otherwise and thats great. But why the attitude? You have shown time and again you are interested in not having the space as equal access for all. Our jobs here are to make access easier, not harder. You don’t have to like it, and I get that you don’t. But jeez man, just being an ass…Brings to mind a drunk I know…

Of course. You aren’t “we”. You are 1/2000 of “we”.

Better question, if you rent space across the way, why come to DMS?

I don’t think anyone gives a fig if you want to buy your own tools and start a club. If you are taking them with you and not storing at the space who cares? DMS just won’t buy them, fix them, or let you permanently store them.