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.

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.

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.

  • Bike Shop: By appointment or during drop-in hours on the calendar. Email contact posted on the Bike Shop wiki page.
  • CNC Shop: Currently all tools require our training for independent use. Testing is scheduled as part of class, or afterwards by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.
  • Electronics & Robotics: Every Wednesday 6-8pm during Open Circuit Hacking Night, by appointment on the Tool Testing Calendar, or contact the E&R mailing list.
  • Digital Fabrication: Currently all tools require our training for independent use. Testing is scheduled as part of class, or afterwards by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.
  • Fiber Arts: By appointment by emailing trainers@artisansasylum.com. Please list the tools you would like to be tested on and your availability.
  • Jewelry: Register through EventBrite for the combined tool training and testing. If you have prior experience, schedule an appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.
  • Machining: by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar for the mill and lathe.
  • Metal Casting: Available through our investment casting classes. Testing is scheduled as part of class, or afterwards by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.
  • Metalworking: offered as part of some of our classes, or by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar. Please list the tools you would like to be tested on and your availability.
  • Screen Printing: Available through the Screen Printing class or by appointment by emailing the shop lead. Contact posted on the shop wiki page.
  • Ventilated Room: By appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.
  • 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. 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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