Introduction to the AMT Shops – Script

This is posted as a resource for members to teach the Introduction to the AMT Shops class. Any member experienced and comfortable in the workshop, or who has taken this class, may teach it. Taking or teaching this class counts as a member’s monthly contribution. Do not skip any sections below.

Ace Makerspace Basics

  1. Ace is a member-supported organization
  2. There is no staff assigned to clean up after you or provide coaching outside of workshops
  3. Please mind the Social Contract
  4. To learn more about How Ace Makerspace works take that workshop
  5. We do most of our tracking and communication via Slack. We highly recommend you have it loaded on your phone

Safety Items

  • If you can’t check-in, don’t go in
    • Exception, hosted workshop when you are checked in by an instructor
  • Always abide by COVID-19 Safety Guidlines
  • Dress Appropriately to work in this space
    • No open-toed shoes
    • No baggy or loose clothing and jewelry
    • Tie back any long hair
  • Always use PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).
    • At a minimum: Hearing protection and goggles/other eye protection
    • Dust masks are highly recommended.
    • Point out communal PPE on the wall near the door
    • Point out personal PPE storage in bins on the shelves above the communal PPE (attach your name and contact info to any bin you use).
  • Point out the first aid kits on the power tool wall (right-hand side)
    • If you use something from the kit, and you notice that something is low, please notify the rest of the community on Slack
  • Point out flammables storage cabinet.
  • Red flammables can
    • For oily rags only. Do not put any other trash in here. Don’t even put a trash bag in the can.
  • Point out the fire extinguishers. They can be found…
    • Near the electrical panel in the main room (over by the sanding station).
    • Hanging on the cyclone frame in the back room.
  • Point out metal detector and demonstrate operation.
    • All wood should be tested for metal before any tools are used on it.
  • In case of an emergency, call 911. Worry about notifying the rest of the community afterwards.

Shop Guidelines

Review the following guidelines with folks.

  • Contributing to the maintenance and usability of the space is expected of all members.
  • Always wear proper attire and use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
  • All wood should be tested for metal before tools are used.
  • Use only equipment you are certified on. When in doubt check the tool requirements to learn about certification.
    • Tools that require certification are: Jointer, Planer, Handheld Power Planer, Table Saw, Track Saw, Band Saw, Handheld Band Saw, Lathe and CNC
  • Follow all usage guidelines posted on each machine.
  • Use only approved finishes and VOCs. Always log use.
    • We’ll get to those shortly.
    • Log sheet can be found near the main shop door.
  • Store flammable materials in the yellow flammables cabinet
  • Put only oiled rags in the red can. Nothing else, not even a trash bag liner.
  • No toxic materials in the shop. Research your wood before bringing it in.
    • has an article on Wood Allergies and Toxicity.
  • Always use properly working dust collection.
  • Report any maintenance issues you find or cause.
    • Use Slack and the /asset command – Show them how by showing the Asset number on the item.
    • Also ask them to log the good and helpful things they do
  • Clean up after yourself. Never leave a mess.
  • Be nice to each other, and make cool things.

Glue Ups, Finishing and VOC rules

Please note that there is an area in #113 General member storage for doing basic finishing. Glue-up should be left in that area so they don’t lock up work benches in the two main areas. Please be mindful that you should use a folding table for this work and NOT the grey metalworking table.

    • These rules are provisional and may be subject to change at any time. So always double-check before starting.
    • Any spraying of accelerated materials is strictly limited – spraying for more than 15 seconds in a 30-minute window is prohibited. this is to facilitate the use of products like an accelerator for CA glue not painting surfaces.
    • The use of non-aerosol water-based finishes or those cut with alcohol, such as Shellac, is permitted.
    • The use of non-aerosol low VOC paint (e.g. latex-based) is permitted.
    • If any other shop user asks you to stop using any product, stop immediately.
    • Log all use of VOC or other finishing products on the clipboard by the door.
    • Limited use of other products may be permitted by request to the steward.
    • Dispose of all rags or other applicators in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines (the red trash can by the planer is for oil rags only).
    • If in doubt as to whether a product is permitted, ask in advance.
    • Often the question of whether a product is permitted will be a question of scale, a cutting board may be fine, a 12′ slab is not.
      • 9 square feet is currently the max permitted.
    • Finished pieces may not be left unattended, and must remain in the workshop until dry or be moved off-site.
      • They CANNOT go into member storage until dry.
    • Dibs must be posted to the Slack #workshop channel prior to finishing activities but do not preclude other members from working in the shop. Please note that dust exists in the shop, and more may be generated while you are finishing.
    • The presence of any product in the yellow fire-proof cabinet is not considered to be permitted to use that product.


Physical Orientation

Move on to opening the shop

  • Point out light switches
    • One by the door
    • One behind the door to the CNC room
  • Point out filtration switches
    • Jet overhead filter remote for main room by the main door
    • Filter over table saw switch near supply closet door
      • This filter is being removed soon.
    • Jet overhead filter remote for CNC room above the lathe.
  • Do a quick clutter patrol, and clean up as necessary.
  • Check to see if there are trash bags by the main door.
    • If not, refill from the gray cabinet in Metal/Member Storage (back of 113). It’s right behind the door.


Dust Collection

  • Point out the mini dust collection cyclone, hose adapters and vacuum at the sanding station.
  • Point out the mini dust collection cyclone and shop vac at the table saw. (Review yellow power box)
    • Vacuum gets plugged into the vacuum power port.
    • Table saw gets plugged into the tool power port.
    • Plug each of the pig tails into separate red reels for best performance.
    • Switch on yellow boxes should be set to “Auto”.
    • Point out the black breaker switches on the red reels and the yellow box.
  • Point out all gates for the main cyclone system.
    • 2 near the planer
    • 1 for the band saw
    • 1 for the panel saw
    • 1 above the cyclone for the CNC
    • For best results, have two gates open…even if you’re only using one tool. The cyclone will be strained otherwise.
    • Point out the cyclone collection can.
    • Point out the cyclone power switch (to the left of the machine).
    • Point out the filter clean out (see image below). If this is full, use a screwdriver to remove a cap and vacuum it out.
  • Point out the Dust collector for the miter saw and the spindle/belt sander.
    • Point out the two gates for the dust collection hoses.
      • Only 1 needs to be open for this system.
    • Point out the power switches for this system.
      • They’re on the little box facing the back wall: Green for On, Red for Off.
  • Check how full any piece of dust collection is BEFORE using it.
    • If it’s more than ⅓ full, empty it before using.



  • Since you’re already in the back room, talk about project storage.
    • Blue Tags – be sure all pieces of your project are properly tagged.
      • Name, date and contact info
      • Anything not tagged is considered up for grabs.
      • You may re-tag a piece only if you have come in and continued to work on it. No coming in and just re-writing the date.
      • Projects stored over two weeks will be red-tagged. You will be notified using the contact info on your blue tag.
        • You MUST remove the items from the space. No working and re-tagging at this point.
        • Members may call dibs on red-tagged materials, but stewards/the org have dibs priority.
      • Red-tagged items over two weeks old are considered abandoned.
        • Expired materials may be claimed by other members, absorbed by the org for projects, discarded as trash, or sold to support the org.
        • If a member has called dibs, they only have the right to claim the materials the day the red tag has expired. Otherwise, the materials are up for grabs
          • These materials must be removed from the shop. No re-tagging.
    • Lumber storage over the miter saw
    • Sheet goods storage
      • Bins 1-4 are general use, bins 5 & 6 are rental only.
    • Small project storage over by the CNC computer
    • Additional storage options in the back of 113, including more rental space.
      • Rental storage can be purchased through the AMT website.
    • No glue-ups stored in the workshop. They have to be moved to member storage in the back of 113.
    • Projects with wet finish cannot go into member storage, and must not be left unattended within the space

Cleaning up after a session

  • Clean up after yourself.
    • Clean-up time should be factored into your work schedule in the space.
  • Clean and put away all tools used.
  • Pack out your trash.
    • What can go in the trash cans?
      • Pieces the size of or smaller than what you can find in the clamping caul bins under the yellow flammable storage cabinet. If it’s bigger than that, pack it out.
      • If what you’re going to put in the trash can will fill it by more than ⅓ , pack it out.
    • Any project waste that doesn’t meet the above criteria needs to go home with you. That’s why we provide trash bags.
    • When full, the trash can bags can be tied off and thrown in the dumpster outside. If you fill it, empty it (and replace the bag).
  • Dust, sweep and vacuum
    • Point out dusting tools, brooms/brushes dustpans and red hamper behind the band saw.
    • Remember to check the walls, benches, under benches overhead pipes, lighting fixtures, etc. for any dust build up.
  • Empty any dust collection units you used.
    • The red hamper is to hold open a trash bag for you while emptying a dust container or vacuum.
    • Bags of dust and material from the cyclone bin MUST be taken home. They can not go in the dumpster.
  • It’s a good idea to save vacuuming for after emptying any dust collection.
    • Just like the dust container, check the vacuum’s level BEFORE you use it. It won’t do you any good if it’s already full.
    • When you’re done empty the shop vac into your take-home trash bag.
  • If you’re the last one leaving the space (check upstairs in clean fab) make sure that the door is closed and locked behind you.


Finishing up

  • Remind people that taking this class counts as their contribution for the month.
    • They should use the “/task” command in Slack to note that they’ve done so
  • Any member experienced and comfortable in the workshop, or who has taken this class, can run it in the future as their contribution.
    • They should contact Crafty if they’re interested in doing so.
    • There’s a script on the wiki that they can use
  • Take some time to answer any questions people might have, or point out some of the less noticeable items in the shop…
  • Examples:
    • Roller stands near the miter saw to feed the table saw
    • Support blocks for the chop saw
    • Dolly’s and sheet good trucks stored on the floor under the big workbench in the main room
    • Consumables, books and other items in the supply closet
    • Various power tools under the big workbench
    • Router collets cabinet near the CNC computer
    • Drill bits, files, etc under the bench by the power tools wall
    • Power tools in the gray bins under the flammables cabinet
    • Breaker panel near the sanding station
    • Not part of the shop, but remind members that they get a 10% discount at MacBeath Hardwoods on Ashby…bring your FOB!

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