Tool Testing

Authorization to Use Our Tools

Tool testing is required to use 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 some CNC Equipment.

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.

Testing by shop area

Testing procedures vary by shop. Some use a calendar, some use a listserv. All of our testing is handled by members who volunteer to share their skills with our growing community.

  • Bike Shop: by appointment; email contact posted on the Bike Shop wiki page
  • CNC Shop: currently all tools require training for independent use
  • Electronics & Robotics: every Wednesday 6-8pm during Open Circuit Hacking Night or contact the E&R mailing list.
  • Digital Fabrication: by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar for the laser cutter, and offered as part of the Tool Training for the 3D Printer
  • Fiber Arts: By appointment by emailing Please list the tools you would like to be tested on and your availability.
  • Jewelry: by registration through EventBrite. There is a fee to be cleared for independent use in the Jewelry area
  • Machining: by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar for the mill and lathe
  • Metal Casting: Available through our investment casting classes
  • Metalworking: offered as part of some of our classes or by appointment by emailing Please list the tools you would like to be tested on and your availability.
  • Screen Printing: Available through Screen Printing class
  • Woodworking: offered as part of some of our classes and by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.

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. 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 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 Requests to that list are handled by our members. If any questions or issues arise, feel free to contact

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.