Tool Training & Testing
If you already know what you want to build and you just want to learn how to use the tools you need safely (or if you just want a refresher), Tool Training sessions are for you. Classes are kept small so each student get a lot of personal attention, and each training session is themed for a certain set of tools – just take the sessions you need to get going. See links to registration below.
If you already have training on this equipment and just need to be checked off to use it at the Asylum, you can sign up for one of our free testing sessions. Testing is also required for those who have completed the training class, before they can use the equipment unsupervised.
To sign up for testing, follow this link to view the Tool Testing Calendar. The calendar will come up in gcal alongside your personal calendar (if you have one), with available testing appointment slots visible in grey. Click on a slot to select it – your name will automatically appear in the “Who” line. Press “Save” in order to save the event to your calendar and claim that slot. If you do not have a google account, a front desk volunteer can reserve a slot for you if you speak to them in person or by phone during our open hours.
Testing is currently available for Basic Power Tools (Thurs), Basic Woodworking Tools (Thurs & Sat), Advanced Woodworking Tools (Thurs & Sat), Metalworking Support Tools (Thurs), TIG welders (Mon), and the manual Mill and Lathe (Sat). More coming soon.
Tool Training: Basic Power Tools, training alternate Saturdays, 12-2pm; testing Thursday evenings – Basic safety, basic shop layout, drill presses, sanders, bench grinder, and hand power tools. Both training and testing necessary for use.
Tool Training: Basic Woodworking Tools, training alternate Saturdays, 12-2pm; testing Thursday evenings & alternate Saturdays — Basic training on panel saw, compound sliding miter saw, scroll saws, and woodworking bandsaws. Both training and testing necessary for use; see registration for exact dates available.
Tool Training: Advanced Woodworking Tools, training alternate Saturdays, 3-5pm; testing Thursdays and alternate Saturdays — Basic training on jointers, planers, routers and router tables. Both training and testing necessary for use; see registration for exact dates available.
Introduction to Wood Lathe, see Current Class Offerings for current session — Woodturning is the art of curves and cylinders, smoothness and symmetry. This 3-week class will teach you how to use the Asylum’s wood lathe safely and effectively, providing a survey of tools, techniques and tricks. You’ll learn techniques for turning wood on a spindle and a mandrel. And along the way you’ll make a few pieces to take home.
Tool Training: Metalworking Support Tools, training alternate Saturdays, 3-5pm; testing Thursday evenings — Basic training on sheet metal tools, chop saws, hand grinders, cutoff wheels, metal bandsaws, and spot welders. Both training and testing necessary for use.
Metalworking Intensive, 4 sessions, Wednesdays, see Current Class Offerings for current session — In this class, the instructors will guide students through professional-grade steel construction skills in the building of industrial steel stools, storage racks, and work tables for the shops of the Asylum. By the end of the session, students will have learned all the skills necessary to building load-bearing steel structures, including cutting, grinding, jigging, and MIG welding. For the current session, check the current class offerings page.
Introduction to TIG Welding, 4 sessions, Mondays, see Current Class Offerings for current session; testing available Monday evenings — TIG welding is a precise type of welding generally used to make space frames (like bicycle frames) and small pieces. Students learn operation of a TIG welder and a large range of supporting equipment for a variety of materials and joint types. For the current session, check the current class offerings page.
Tool Training: Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Cutting, & Heating – The oxy-acetylene (O/A) rig is arguably the most versatile, potentially dangerous, and misunderstood piece of equipment in any metal shop. This one-shot class will demonstrate welding, cutting, brazing, and heating, and teach you how to set up, operate, and shut down an oxy-acetylene rig without harming yourself, other Asylumers, or the equipment.
Introduction to Brazing, see Current Class Offerings for current session — Brazing is a uniquely useful metal joining process that allows for joining dissimilar metals and joining metals that could not otherwise be joined by welding. Learn about joint design, brazing technique, and practice joining dissimilar metals; join very thin steel (.010 thick!) to thick steel plates, and join thin walled steel tubes without welding. For the current session, check the current class offerings page.
Tool Training: Manual Milling Machine, training 7-9:30pm alternate Wednesdays; testing alternate Saturday mornings — One-session basic training on the Asylum’s Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machines. See registration for exact dates available. Taught by Danaan Metge, mechanical engineer, maker, prototyper, and Artisan’s Asylum member.
Tool Training: Manual Metalworking Lathe, training 2:30-5pm alternate Saturdays; testing alternate Saturday mornings — Basic training on the Asylum’s Colchester/Clausing Metalworking Lathe. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available. Taught by Paul Carson, professional engineer, metalworking enthusiast, and bike builder.
Tool Training: CNC Mill, training 2:30-5pm alternate Saturdays, training required to use the tool — Basic training on the Asylum’s Sharp Vertical Milling Machine with MillPwr CNC Servo Controller. Requires previous training on manual milling machine operations. No additional testing necessary. See registration for exact dates available.
Tool Training: 3D Printer, training Sundays, 4-6pm, training required to use the tool — Learn everything you need to know to print 3D models and prototypes on our new uPrint SE Plus 3D printer! This class covers everything you need to know to safely and properly operate the printer as an Asylum member. No separate testing necessary.
Tool Training: CNC Plasma Cutter, training 7-10pm alternate Mondays, training required to use the tool — Learn how to use the Asylum’s new computer-controlled, water-cooled plasma cutter to cut any shape you want out of a 4′x8′ sheet of metal! In this class, we’ll show you how to translate your hand sketches and CAD drawings into patterns cut out of any metal sheet up to an inch thick at rates of up to 200 inches per minute.
NEW! Introduction to the Multicam Industrial CNC Router, see Current Class Offerings for current session — Want to build big? Learn to use the industrial Multicam CNC router! Able to cut 2- and 3-dimensional shapes from full-size, inches-thick sheets of wood, plastics, and aluminum, this machine is the largest computer-controlled cutter currently in our shops. In this month-long intensive training, learn everything you need to know to operate the machine safely and independently. HSMWorks training a prerequisite.
Tool Training: CNC Woodcutting Router, training available some Sunday afternoons; testing arranged separately — Interested in learning how to use a CNC router like the Asylum’s Blackfoot? This class will teach how to use these awesome and powerful computer-controlled machines through hands-on instruction. Each student will take the machine through an entire workflow cycle, from starting up and homing the machine to part removal and clean-up, leaving with a small product they made themselves. No software experience of any kind needed. Testing arranged separately.
Hot Glass Tool Training, see Current Class Offerings for current session – This is the intermediate step necessary for anyone looking to use the lampworking studio at Artisan’s Asylum. Students will review and demonstrate the safe handling of gas tanks, steel tools, brass tools, graphite tools, as well as general safety precautions pertaining to work in that space. Prior attendance in Hot Glass: 1-Day Introduction (or the equivalent with permission of the instructor) is required as a prerequisite.
Tool Training: Hot Craft Studio Jewelry Shop, Thursdays – Students will learn the proper use and location of all the tools in the studio and to operate the acetylene gas tank, set up a soldering area, turn on and off the tank, use the polishing set up, the rolling mill, and the flex shaft. The perfect way to get trained up to operate independently in the Jewelry shop if you don’t have time for a long-form class. Testing necessary to be checked off to work on your own — available by appointment, see below.
Tool Testing: Hot Craft Studio Jewelry Shop Thursdays – Students will demonstrate proper use and location of all the tools in the Hot Crafts Jewelry studio, including setting up and operating the acetylene gas tank, setting up and breaking down a soldering area, and using the polishing set up, rolling mill, and flex shaft. Tool Testing is necessary for all students and prospective members before being allowed to work independently in the shop.