Tool Testing

Authorization to Use Our Tools

Tool testing is required to use any our tools independently as a monthly member, day pass user or corporate associate. Tool tests are one on one sessions with members that also review our shop specific safety rules, equipment and maintenance information.

If you sign up for testing, you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you know how to safely use the tools. If you have prior experience, we may be able to test you without a tool training, however, some of our more complex tools require attending a class or a tool training to be eligible for testing. This includes but is not limited to our Laser Cutters, 3D Printer, Casting shop, and our CNC Equipment. Use of our computers and hand tools does not require tool testing, although we ask that new users schedule time with our shop leads during their office hours to discuss shop rules & etiquette.

If you are unsure if you are ready for testing, a great first step is to review our Tool Testing Rubrics, which can be found on our wiki here. If you need training on the tools first, please see our current class offerings here.

Please plan ahead to schedule tool testing and any required training. It may take several weeks for you to schedule, complete and pass the tests you need to start working in the shops independently as a member. Membership is not required to take any of our training or tool tests.

Due to the variety and complexity of our different shops and equipment, it may take several sessions to test out on all available equipment on a given shop. Our volunteer shop leads can help you navigate the testing process during their office hours if you are unsure of the process for a particular tool. Office hours also can be used to get familiar with a shop or ask questions about a project.

Testing by shop area

Testing procedures vary by shop. All of our testing is handled by members who volunteer to share their skills with our growing community. Some testing opportunities are provided through our classes. Some of our tools require our training class in order to be eligible for certification.

How to use the Tool Testing Calendar

*Please note that not all shops use the tool testing calendar for scheduling. See above for shop specific instructions. Tool Testing Appointments are listed on the calendar as tool tests or office hours. Office hours can be used for tool testing appointments, or to orient you to the shop or discuss best tools to use for a project. 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. Email front-desk@artisansasylum.com with your request.

Available appointments vary from week to week in each shop, so if you can’t find a testing slot available that meets your needs, send a request to trainers@artisansasylum.com. Requests to that list are handled by our members. If any questions or issues arise, feel free to contact member-services@artisansasylum.com.

How to email trainers@

Some shops and/or tools require you to email our trainers@ listserv to set up an appointment for testing. Please include the following information in as much detail as possible:

  • your email address and phone number
  • which shops and/or tools you would like to be tested on
  • description of your prior experience and initial projects
  • when it is convenient for you to be tested or trained (please provide several days/times)

Our trainers@ email list is managed by a group of member-volunteers who share their time and expertise to make sure new members are safe on our tools. Please plan ahead for your tool testing needs. It takes time to make arrangements for testing sessions, and you may need to wait for an available time that is convenient for one of our volunteers. Incomplete or vague requests may not receive a response.

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