Refer to this manual for opening/closing procedures, regular volunteer shift duties, how to manage signups and money, and other things volunteers should be aware of.
Written by: Alex Nunn Last updated: August 15, 2017
Getting started: To join the volunteer program, you need to talk to the general manager and find out what times are available to volunteer and what is involved. Then you will be asked to sign a Volunteer Agreement and go through a simple training session to get you acquainted with your duties.
Opening the shop
If you are opening the shop for your shift, take these steps to get the shop ready for members.
- Unplug the front door’s magnetic lock for the door (orange cord going to the power strip under the table)
- Put the open flag out on the wall-mounted holder outside the front door.
- Put your name card on the Watching The Shop board in the office
- Turn on the lights in the main rooms
- Unlock the door in the classroom
Closing the shop
- Close the valve on the air compressor (turn from parallel to perpendicular). The air compressor is behind the woodshop, near the main breaker panel.
- Check the valves of all gas containers and make sure they are closed (oxygen, acetylene, propane, and various pressurized gasses are stored in the metal shop and/or auto bay. "Righty tighty" will close the spigot-style valve on these tanks). Tanks must not be left free standing, and always secured with rope or chain
- Turn off the lights in every shop, including in the warehouse area (there is a switch near the main breaker panel, and generally a series of lights that are powered by a surge protector, mounted to the lolly column nearest the auto bay)
- Check and lock all doors, including garage bay doors. There are 5 garage doors and 3 regular doors to lock.
- Check to ensure all heaters are off. There are gas heaters in the common room, wood shop, and warehouse space.
- Check for any potential safety hazards, such as equipment left plugged in/powered on, improperly stored materials, obstructed egress, etc.
- Plug in the front door’s magnetic lock, an orange extension cord near the front door.
- Bring in the open flag by the front door
If someone comes in asking about signing up for a membership, answer any questions they may have to the best of your knowledge. If they are ready to sign up, you can two different means of signing them up. You can go to the website's membership page and sign them up, or if they prefer to do it at home give them the card to sign up online.
Safety Waivers - Everyone who uses the facility must sign one of these. This includes class attendees.
Minor Waivers are for anyone under 18 who is observing work in the shop or using the facility in a limited capacity with supervision from an adult. These must be signed by a parent or guardian. No minor can use a power tool in our shop without strict supervision.
Auto Lift Waivers are specifically for use of the Auto Lift and only during the scheduled Auto Lift Safety Checkouts.
Primarily most transactions can be handled by directing people to our website on one of our computers. If they would like to look at our options, guide them to our Membership or Storage pages and explain what is available.
If someone would like to pay with cash or check, we have a cash box and associated log sheet. When it comes to anything cash-related, make a record on the petty cash sheet, noting who it was, for how much, and for what. Follow the format that is on the sheet as closely as possible and include as much detail as the space on the form permits. We need accurate details for record-keeping.
For credit or debit cards we have a tablet on the main desk with Square installed on it. You can access payments for our regular membership, storage, and merchandise items through it. For things like classes, it is possible to use it for that too, but you must be sure to either add in the notes of the transaction what class it is for and who is paying, or you can handwrite a note and leave it with the cash box. Note that Membership payments done through this are not recurring, so if someone wants to be set up on a continuous membership they will have to go through our website.
When someone comes into the shop and wants to check the place out, here are some guidelines on what to show them and talk to them about. There’s a lot! Tours typically begin in the Classroom or Office. Describe our available tools and resources in each shop. Mention a few highlights that people are generally interested in (3D Printer, Plasma cutter, machining tools)
- Electronics Lab: 3D Printers, soldering irons, microcontrollers, CAD computer
- Classroom: Open work space, projector, locker storage
- Wood Shop: Table saw, band saw, jointer, planer, belt sander. Consumables like glue.
- Metal/Machine Shop: MIG and TIG welders, safety helmets and gloves, plasma cutter, bridgeport milling machine, lathe, precise measuring tools,
- Auto Shop: Auto lift, TIG welder, Bicycle bench,
Here is some general info that you should make sure visitors know before leaving. Membership:
- Port City Maker is $50/month, access during open hours
- Maker’s Guild is $80/month. 24hr access, RFID badge
- They can sign up here or at home by using our website
- Locker is $15/month, about 1 cubic foot, ideal for keeping private bits, materials, hand tools
- Rolling Bench is $40/month. 2 feet by 4 feet by 3 feet tall, holds a lot, on wheels
- Shelf Section is $15 for 2ft by 4ft by 18in
- Floor Space is $2.00 per square foot
- We have regular Intro classes: Wood Shop, Machine Shop, Welding, and Soldering
- We have free events: Open Hack Nights every Friday night, Member Meetings
- We have had a variety of events in the past: Dyeing Workshop, Solar power workshop, Ring Enameling, Harvest Fest, Tool Swap...
A list of general and specific tasks to do on a volunteer shift
Any day tasks:
- Give tours and info about the makerspace to new-comers.
- Answer phone calls and providing accurate info, writing down notes, refer to website
- Organize tools, materials, and untidy areas
- Sweep and Vacuum [Electronics Lab, Classroom, Woodshop, Metal Shop, Auto Bay, Warehouse]
- Clean tables, chairs, shelves, and anything that has dust/dirt on it.
- Use the Volunteer Log after doing something.
- Empty a full trash can and replace with an empty bag. Trash goes outside by the red chimney. New bags are near the bathroom.
- Every Sunday: Take all trash and recycling out to the curb.
- Update whiteboard calendars. Done at the beginning of the month.
- Winter outdoor cleaning: shoveling, ice-breaking, salting.
- Spring/Summer outdoor cleaning: gardening, weed-whacking, mowing.
- Sweep and mop the floor in one of the shops. Best time to do it is a quiet day.
- Brush and vacuum the walls in the woodshop.
- Social media posts about makerspace events, member features, project photos.
- Repair equipment. Please consult the manager or shop manager before doing.
- Help with a construction/deconstruction project.
- Manage and organize a shop improvement project.