Tool Testing

Authorization to Use Our Tools

Tool testing is required to use any of 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.

  • 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 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 (3D printing and Vinyl Cutting): Anyone interested in using these tools must email 3dprinters-lead@.
  • 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 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 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 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 coordinator will help coordinate the scheduling for your test..

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 teach@artisansasylum.com. Requests sent there are handled by our education coordinator, who coordinates our tool testing, and will get you in touch with the relevant shop lead.  They will be able to get you in touch with the resources to help you sign up for testing.  If any questions or issues arise, feel free to contact member-services@artisansasylum.com.