Machine Shop Rules and Orientation

Welcome to the Artisan’s Asylum machine shop!

We’re a community workshop and we rely on each other to maintain and improve the shop for everyone.

You are responsible for (detailed instructions below):

Always Reserve Tools Online: 

Reserving the machine tools you need helps everyone know when machines are available, and how much they get used. If you reserved a tool and someone else is using it during your reserved time, you get priority to use the tool. Reserve tools here:

Machine Shop Email List: 

You’ll be subscribed to when you pass your tool test - this is primarily for shop announcements and checking shop user authorization

Follow/participate in the shop forum: After creating an account, click “Subscribe to this forum” to get updated when new posts are made.

Leave Everything Ready to Use:

  • Leave the shop ready to use by the next person. Return machines to their starting position when done.
  • Tools should be put away, chips brushed off, machine and work surfaces wiped clean, and machine ready for the next person. Your chips and fluids can damage the next user’s part. Clean any oil spills on the floor. Sweep the floor before you leave.
  • Remember, cleanup can take 20% of total project time! Sweep the floor before you leave.
  • Don’t tilt the mill head or remove the vise if you’re not trained to re-tram or square them.
  • If you need to leave your project in a shared space, label it and include a removal time.
  • Do not remove tools from the shop

Broken Tools:

  1. Tag it out (with your name, contact info and a detailed description of problem)
  2. Email maintenance@ ( and machineshop-lead@ (
  3. If you broke it consider helping fix it (read below).

Don’t leave a broken tool for the next person to discover. The faster it’s reported the quicker it’ll be fixed. Send as many details as you can including observations, a diagnosis and links to replacement parts when available.

If you break a tool doing something you know to be wrong, best practice is to pay for the repair parts and help with the repair. You may not know how to do the repair, but hanging out with someone more experienced is a great way to learn! The more you know about the inner workings of the tool, the better your projects will become.

Do not be ashamed of breaking a tool, it happens to everybody. Mistakes are often part of the learning process - take responsibility for your mistakes, and we'll support each other through the ups and downs of learning to be a better maker.

If you want to repair a tool/machine

Awesome! Thank you. We rely on all the generous time and talent our members share to keep this place running for everyone

  1. Please email machine-shop-lead@ so we know what the problem (and solution) were should it happen again.
  2. Have another shop member (especially a shop lead, if available) check your work

Getting Help:

Contact the shop leads:

If you don’t remember how to do something, ask someone! Below are important shop links:

Machine Shop Etiquette:

  • Accept feedback and suggestions from others. We all need it one time or another.
  • Offer help if someone appears to be struggling.
  • Keep it Clean: Leave no chips! Leave everything cleaner than you found it.
  • Don't interrupt someone operating a machine, stand where they can see you and wait until they can talk to you.
Shop Safety is Your Business
  • Everyone is responsible for shop safety.
  • If you see someone doing something you feel is dangerous, ask them to stop and investigate. If they refuse and you are still concerned, find a shop lead or management.
Respect the Equipment and Prevent Injury:
  • Stay Alert! Do not operate any machine if you are tired or distracted.
  • A lot is at stake in the shop. Use methodical care around spinning tools.
  • Use only tools you are trained and tested on.
  • If for any reason you don’t know or remember how to do something, ask for help.
Be an awesome shop user:
  • If you use a tool often, give back to the machine shop community.
Learn the Location of:
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire pull station
  • Exits
  • Eye wash stations
  • First aid station