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Duluth MakerSpace (DMS) Member Handbook

General Policies, Explanations and Expectations

Your DMS membership supports the space (utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance, purchases) and keeps DMS available for all.  Membership fees cover access to the space and tools, not materials or consumables where a member uses a not insignificant value.  While we have a shop full of all sorts of convenient assets, we provide them in a cooperative mentality where members balance giving back roughly what they use up.


  • Be Honest: Our shop is run in a very open and trusting manner. Anyone found to violate that trust can expect to be asked to leave. This includes, taking responsibility for breaking things/being careful not to walk off with even the smallest tools, tracking any usage fees, etc.
  • Be Grateful: Anytime someone is helping you, be grateful and try to pay it forward.  Many people are willing to help, but realize that’s taking away from their own projects and time.  Some people will be happy with gratitude, others you can negotiate paying for help.
  • Be Respectful: Ask permission before being “inspired” by another member’s project.  Respect the privacy of people’s private storage areas.  Respect any online privacy as well, accounts left logged in, etc. Be respectful of anyone’s projects/materials.
  • Conserve: We have a large expensive shop to run with limited funds. Please conserve heat and electricity. Examples:. Make sure dust collectors/air filters/small heaters are off when not being used. They run several dollars each if  left on overnight.  Please also keep heat barrier doors closed for heating and fire safety.

Introductory Information:

  • Please note that all staff at the space are unpaid volunteers.  Please value their generosity and time!
  • New members get one personal storage tote or locker to be left at premises.  DMS provides these while space is available.
  • Sign-in on the wall tablet when you come in.  Sign out once you leave.
  • Fee Station: Members can easily pay any shop fees themselves via the sign in tablet. Click PAY FEE @ upper right, and select type, and enter member id (mid) and fee amount.   Deposit cash in box below or add it to your Tab.  We ask members to pay tabs monthly.  Please record fees promptly before forgetting about the used equipment time.  If desk is staffed you can also pay direct or with CC.
  • Some members have private storage/offices/cubicles.  These are available for an additional fee, but any tools/materials in these areas are completely private and not usable without owner’s permission.

Clean up after yourself:

  • Leave an area/machine as good or better than you found it.
  • Put away all tools, etc.  before you leave the shop for the day.  If you don’t know where it goes either ask or put it back where you found it.
  • Empty dust collection after big job or over half full.
  • Do your dishes.
  • Leave bathroom better than you found it.
  • Utility Sink: Please limit any larger particles or otherwise clogging materials from going down this old, delicate drain.  For suitable things, the toilet may be a better option. Hazardous materials disposal is free across the 27th bridge @ WLSSD.

Equipment Policies:

  • Note that a large percentage of the equipment is on loan from fellow members, please respect their generosity.
  • Some of the equipment requires an introduction prior to use.  If you are unsure exactly how to operate a machine, or if the machine’s placard specifies it is required, you must find a member who has the Instructor Badge on that equipment that is willing to train you in, or take the next intro class.
  • If the shop has run out of a consumable for a tool, let staff know, or kindly replace yourself, especially if you used most of it yourself.
  • If  equipment appears dangerous or is broken, fill out a “Needs Attention” sheet and let staff know immediately. If you yourself have damaged some equipment, let staff know exactly what happened, what you think is broken, and take responsibility to help with repairs or at least cover the cost.  Normal wear and tear breakdowns are understood to not be an individual member’s fault or responsibility.
  • Your membership covers access to equipment, not consumables/materials.  These are provided for convenience, but if you find yourself using a lot of sandpaper, etc. either donate the value or replace what you used.
  • Expect to provide your own specialty tooling (mill cutters, extra large drill bits, etc.).  It’s possible the shop could have it, but specialty tooling is often expensive and shouldn’t be expected to be available.
  • Production level work - If you start using a LOT of time on certain machines, always try to make room for people to get access to the machine when they need it.  The priority is hobby-level access to machines especially during staffed hours.   In addition, we may ask for additional fees to cover our increased costs. (Example:  You start using 40watt laser for hours a day, we may ask for a $2/hr fee. )

General Safety

  • Wear safety glasses anytime you enter the woodshop/metalshop.  Even if you’re not going to work on a project, others could be.
  • Eyewash station is outside the bathroom in the hallway to the craft room if needed.
  • First Aid Kit is under the eyewash station, outside the bathroom in the hallway to the craft room.
  • Hearing protection is scattered around in safety stations.  Wear when applicable.
  • Let staff know of any injuries that happen on the premises.
  • ** Never put oily rags in a garbage can - spontaneous combustion could occur**
  • If you see any unsafe behavior or situations please notify staff.  If no one is currently staffing please let the fellow member know of your concerns.  If necessary, follow up with staff.

Break Area Food/Beverages:

  • Help yourself to anything unlabeled with a name.  Please put enough cash in jar to replace the item.
  • If you put leftovers in fridge, please label your name, or “Anyone” and put a date on it.
  • Please keep food garbage in garbage by sink and empty often to reduce bugs.

Be Involved:

  • Chat - We have an informal group chat that all members are invited to be on.  Currently a Google hangout, requiring a Gmail account. Talk to any staff to get added!
  • Teach classes - Any member interested in teaching a class at DMS can.  All revenue after class material fees is split 50/50 with instructor. Talk to staff for more information. Typically a $10/hr+ fee charged
  • Run a club - Members may start a club that meets at DMS as well, discuss with a shop manager. Typically a nominal ~$2/hr fee + material costs for such events charged.
  • Attend a member meeting - Any member is invited to take part in our informal meetings.  Usually involve brainstorming ideas for events or projects and talking through policy issues.  Most decisions for the space we make democratically.
  • Volunteer - Offer some time to a shop manager to help with some endless shop labor, and you will be greatly appreciated.  There is always stuff needing doing!
  • Tours - Members are encouraged to tour friends, etc around, but everyone working in shop areas must be a part of an event, class, or have a day pass/membership.   A member cannot bring in a friend to just have them 'help’, etc.
  • Give Free Day Passes - Members can offer a one-time free day pass to a friend who has never taken a class or had membership, etc. but they must remain with the new person the whole time while at the shop.  Staff must record this as a $0 day pass. Waiver must be filled out.
  • Consignment Area - Members are encouraged to put something up for sale to the public in our consignment area.  Default rate 50/50 split for shop/member (shop covers advertising/sales fees/custom arrangements for expensive/labor intensive things.
  • Consulting Jobs - The public sometimes wants to just hire someone to help them with their project. They come to the Space looking for someone to assist.  Members can take these consulting jobs.  Always make sure the machine fees etc. are covered by the job, and the shop should get a 10-20% portion for bringing in the work.  Only take jobs that you are confident you can do a professional result with, as it otherwise reflects poorly on DMS.

Longer Term Miscellaneous Policies:

  • Personal property left at MakerSpace *anywhere* after 31 days of non membership may be disposed of at DMS staff discretion. We are Not responsible for any personal losses.
  • Membership can lapse.  This means if you do not renew your membership right away, the next time you renew, your membership starts on the day you make the payment.  If you have any rental or storage space, your membership becomes non-lapsing.  This means your renewed membership will always start back from the day it ended if you are late with your renewal.
  • Disposal is expensive.  If you bring in 5 sheets of plywood to cnc, the scrap usually costs us ~$5 to dispose of.  Either dispose of it yourself, or chip in please.

Needs Attention/Parking Permits/Tickets: These paper labels are used as follows.

  • Needs attention: to take a machine out of service, unplug and attach label in a clear place filling out appropriately.
  • Parking permits: anyone needing to store materials or a project in a non standard place should fill out and attach the parking permit slip. Obtain staff permission for a smoother experience.
  • Parking tickets: staff may place tickets to notify those responsible for something that needs to move or be taken out of shop.  We reserve the right to dispose of things not dealt with in an appropriate time frame.

Welcome to the DMS family!  We enjoy and value every new member!

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