How can you keep your makerspace members safe and make them productive on tools they’ve never used before? How can you prevent damage to your tools from misuse? How can you continuously improve your makerspace? If you talk to enough makerspace operators, you’ll hear stories of tools and, even worse, members getting hurt in preventable ways. And of makerspaces where some things don’t get better, but sometimes get more cluttered, less efficient.
Before we opened the doors to our makerspace (Maker Works), my business partner Tom Root and I talked about how we could help other people create a makerspace in their community. (We probably don’t have to convince you why we think they’re important for every community to have.) And as anyone who runs a makerspace knows, we ended up spending a huge amount of time (and still do) on phone calls and tours with these folks. We do think those tours are useful, and if you want to drop by, we’re happy to spend some time talking shop. But as time went by, Tom and I talked more about presenting the systems we use with enough detail and within an organizing framework so that someone could hit the ground running, rather than having to re-invent the makerspace wheel over and over again.