Workshop Office Hours

Office hours are hosted in the workshop to provide members assistance with their projects and in navigating the shop itself. Office hour hosts are there to promote community within the organization and good practices within the Workshop. Members can get advice on a project, find help locating and understanding tools, and (if the host is comfortable) receive assistance with tool use and construction towards the completion of their project.

Office hours are hosted once a week based on volunteer availability, check the Slack channel for the monthly schedule and who is hosting. Office hours are typically hosted on a weekday evening or weekend afternoon. Please remember that our hosts are volunteers. If you plan to attend seeking help beyond general project advice or space use, it is best to contact the volunteer and get their agreement ahead of time. They reserve the right to decline requests for help outside of their comfort zone. Please respect this, as it helps to keep the shop a safe place both physically and socially. Please also remember that while tool access may be limited depending on the number of users present, there is always time for questions and project planning.

Become an AMT Shop Hours Host

If you are interested in hosting office hours in the workshop, a full description can be found below.


  • AMT member for 3 months or more preferred, but may be waived based on experience.
  • Workshop 101 level of certification on tools
    • Table Saw, Jointer, Planer, & Bandsaw
    • Additional certifications helpful, but not required
  • Have read the “Introduction to the AMT Shops” tour script
    • Previous attendance or hosting counts
  • Expertise is not required, just be there to help within your skill level on the tasks below, but be honest with yourself and the people you are helping regarding that level.



  • Staff the space for 2 hours in a time slot of your choice.
    • Should be a weekday evening or weekend afternoon.
    • Schedule is coordinated via a spreadsheet. Volunteers selects a week that is not yet staffed, and fill in the date and time of their choice.
    • Schedule is posted to the Slack #workshop channel for general membership.
  • Your primary concern is to assist other AMT members in the space.
    • Help them locate tools and materials.
    • Provide pointers on using the shops tools when requested.
      • For example, it might be someone’s first time using the jointer since acquiring certification. Maybe they want someone to guide them their first time.
    • Talk through design and construction methods when requested.
    • Answer general questions about the shop.
    • If you are comfortable doing so, provide physical assistance with material handling and construction.
      • This is not required. If asked and you are uncomfortable or incapable, just say so.
    • If comfortable, operate machinery you are certified on for people who aren’t certified (i.e. cut something on the bandsaw).
      • This is not required. If asked and you are uncomfortable or incapable, just say so.
    • Help in any other way you are comfortable.
  • If no one is in the shop or requires your assistance, spend 1 hour on shop maintenance.
    • Things that need to be done in this case (do each):
      • Clutter Patrol
      • Check fill levels of all dust collection and shop vacs
        • Empty as needed. You (as the “on duty” person) are not required to take the dust home. Leave on the main bench with a sign (“Take me home”) and post to Slack indicating the bag’s removal as contribution opportunity for members.
      • Check dusting tools, and replace with clean covers as needed (can be found in gray metal cabinet in member storage/metal)
        • Place dirty covers in bag with a sign (“Take me home to clean”) on the main bench, and post to Slack indicating the bag’s removal as contribution opportunity for members.
      • Dust one frequently ignored area. Remove all items from that space, dust and vacuum. (Pick one)
        • Under both workbenches
        • Hand tool wall
        • Power tool wall
        • Gray Bins and PPE shelves
        • Miter saw bench and sanding station
        • Walls and overhead pipes/dust collection tubes
        • Storage closet (dusting may not be needed, just clean and organize as necessary)
      • Dusting may be replaced with another maintenance task that serves the upkeep of the shop or the tools. Check with the steward for current maintenance needs.
    • If you’ve completed the duties, and there is still no one in the shop who requires your assistance, you can spend the remaining time working on personal projects.
      • If someone does require assistance within this window, it takes precedence over your personal work.

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