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Tool Testing

Certification to Use Our Tools

Members, day pass users, or corporate associates must be certified by a tool tester to independently use tools and shops in our facility. During these one-on-one sessions, testers will review shop-specific safety rules and maintenance information before completing your certification and giving you access to book resources here at Artisan’s Asylum.

When should I sign up for tool testing?

If you have prior experience using a machine, we may be able to test you without registering for a training session. You must be able to demonstrate your proficiency on the tool to receive certification and access. Some of our more complex tools require attending a training session where you’ll be tested at the end of your class. This is often specific to our Digital Fabrication and CNC equipment and all users must complete a training course through us. Computers, hand tools, and vented room equipment do not require tool testing, although we ask new users to schedule these spaces in our reservation system for use.

How do I know if I should sign up for a testing session or register for a training session?

If you are unsure if you are ready for testing, a great first step is to review the Shops and Equipment List to find out what tools you may require. Then review what training is covered by searching for the specific tool training session in our course listings. You can also email us directly to clarify if you need additional training and provide a background on your experience level for us to review.

How do I sign up for a testing session?

Using the information below, you’ll be able to request a testing session with one of our testing staff. Once you request a session, wait until you receive a confirmation email from our tester before arriving at our facility. You do not need to be a member to take a training class or sign up for a testing session. If you’re considering becoming a member, you can plan to complete everything before starting your membership.

Due to the variety and complexity of our different shops and equipment, it may take several sessions to test out on all available equipment in a given shop. Plan ahead as it may take a few weeks to schedule, complete and pass the test to receive your certification. 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.

Once you’ve tested out on a tool, you’ll receive access through our booking system to reserve the equipment for your use. If you do not pass a testing session, you will be directed to the tool training class where you can register for further instruction.

Testing by shop area

Our testing is handled by members who volunteer to share their skills with our growing community. You’ll be guided through shop safety and logistics during your session. Once you’ve been certified on a tool, your tester will initiate the process for you to reserve equipment in our booking system.

  • Bike Shop: By appointment by emailing the shop lead or during drop-in hours on Tool Testing Calendar.
  • CNC Shop: Currently all tools in this shop (CNC Routers and CNC Plasma Cutter) require our training for independent use. Testing is scheduled as part of a class, or afterward 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 (3D printing and Vinyl Cutting): We recommend registering for our tool training sessions to receive certification on this equipment. In some cases, we can consider a testing pathway for users with significant experience on the equipment we have in our facility. Qualified candidates can email us with this request.
  • Fiber Arts: Available by class or by appointment by emailing Fiber Arts Lead.
  • Jewelry: Tool Review and Testing will be held by appointment only for people with prior metalsmithing/jewelry-making experience. Read more about Jewelry Tool Review and Testing here, including how to schedule and what tools and equipment you will be tested on.
  • Machining: For manual mill and lathe by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar. CNC Machining tools may require our training for independent use.
  • Metal Casting: Available through our investment casting classes. Testing (typically done in pairs or small groups) is scheduled as part of the class in coordination with our instructor/shop lead.  Office Hours are available if you have questions.
  • Metalworking/Welding: 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. Personal safety equipment must be brought to your testing session.
  • Prop Shop: Available through the various classes or by appointment on our Tool Testing Calendar.
  • Screen Printing: Available through the Screen Printing class or by appointment by emailing the shop lead.
  • 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 and/or office hours. Office hours can be used for tool testing appointments, or to orient you to the shop or discuss the best tools to use for a project. The calendar will come up in google calendar 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, or need any other help, please email teach@artisansasylum.com, and our education department will help coordinate the scheduling for your test.