Once students complete orientation sessions, they are granted card access to the building 3 shop spaces,
and are qualified to work in N51 as well. A limited range of self-service work is approved upon completion of shop orientation.
However, shop users must get training on all machines, tools, and processes that they are not recently practiced in - experience
in other shops does not automatically qualify as relevant experience in this shop.
Shop users are added to a webmoira email list (email@example.com) which we use for all general shop-related communication.
Users are expected to read and understand (or ask about) all communication from shop staff. To contact us for any reason (questions are
always encouraged), users should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Emailing individual staff is allowed, but usually much less efficient.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, COVID-RELATED PROCEDURE MUST BE FOLLOWED TO RETAIN SHOP ACCESS - SEE MORE DETAIL ON ABOUT PAGE.
Shops are currently open only during staffed weekday time blocks, which are reflected on the individual shop room schedules/sign up
sheets (see ABOUT page). Curricular shop use (as well as studio use) is only allowed during these blocks,
and shops are required to be staffed for any use within them. Shop users will have card access to building 3 spaces during those time
blocks after completing orientation, and can enter N51-160 when it is staffed (card access to N51-160 is reserved for staff).
More information about current Covid-related use requirements are on ABOUT page.
Architecture Shops are in two different locations:
77 Massachusetts Ave, Building 3
and 265 Massachusetts Ave, Building N51
for more detail and shop staff contact info, see ABOUT page
SHOP SAFETY RULES
ALL SHOP USERS ARE REQUIRED TO KNOW AND FOLLOW THESE RULES AT ALL TIMES
DRESS APPROPRIATELY -
NO LOOSE CLOTHING OR JEWELRY, OR OPEN-TOED SHOES
NO HEADPHONES IN ROOMS HOUSING CUTTING TOOLS/CNC MACHINERY
TIE BACK LONG HAIR TO PREVENT CATCHING IN MACHINERY AS WELL AS PREVENTING OBSCURING OF VISION
SAFETY GLASSES, HAIR TIES, AND HEARING PROTECTION CAN BE FOUND IN PPE CABINETS, WHICH ARE INSTALLED IN EACH SHOP ROOM
SAFETY GLASSES MUST BE WORN IN MACHINE SPACES AT ALL TIMES IN 3-410/N51-160 AND/OR IN ANY SPACE WHEN ANY POTENTIAL SPLASHING OR SHRAPNEL
MAY BE CREATED
NEVER USE A TOOL OR MACHINE YOU HAVE NOT BEEN CLEARED FOR BY HAVING RECENT TRAINING/TRAINED EXPERIENCE WITH.
ASK SHOP STAFF FOR TRAINING
NEVER WORK ALONE WITH ANY CUTTING TOOLS OR MACHINES
MATERIALS MUST BE EXPLICITLY APPROVED OF IN WORKSPACE (SEE "APPROPRIATE LOCATIONS FOR MATERIALS & PROCESSES" TAB)-
CONFIRM WITH SHOP STAFF
DISPOSABLE GLOVES MUST BE WORN WHEN WORKING WITH ANY NON-WATER-BASED LIQUIDS, AND SHOULD BE WORN WHEN
USING ANY LIQUIDS
PRACTICE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING. PREVENT SLIP/TRIP HAZARDS, WIPE UP ANY SPILLS IMMEDIATELY. KEEP WORK AREAS
ORGANIZED, AND LEAVE THEM CLEANER THAN YOU FOUND THEN
DO NOT LEAVE MATERIALS, TOOLS, DUST, OR ANY OTHER DEBRIS BEHIND. ASK ABOUT WIP STORAGE BEFORE STARTING WORK
DO NOT WORK WHEN TIRED OR DISTRACTED. YOU MUST BE FOCUSED ON YOUR WORK AND YOUR SURROUNDINGS IN THE SHOPS
ALWAYS ASK FOR TRAINING/HELP, EVEN WITH THINGS THAT ARE FAMILIAR
ALWAYS CHECK MACHINE/TOOL SETUP BEFORE USE - SHARED EQUIPMENT SHOULD NEVER BE ASSUMED TO BE READY TO OPERATE
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO PUT/KEEP MACHINE/TOOL GUARDS IN PROPER POSITION ~BEFORE~ TURNING POWER ON, AND ALWAYS KEEP
HANDS SAFELY CLEARED OF POINTS OF OPERATION
USE PUSH STICKS OR OTHER TOOLS TO KEEP HANDS SAFELY DISTANCED WHENEVER NECESSARY
NEVER USE HANDS TO CLEAR MATERIAL SHAVINGS OR DUST
NOTIFY SHOP STAFF IMMEDIATELY ABOUT ANY TOOL OR MACHINE ISSUE
NEVER WEAR FABRIC/LEATHER GLOVES WHILE OPERATING ANY MACHINE!
DO NOT EAT OR DRINK IN THE SHOPS
Shop staff are longtime 'makers' with extensive experience in a wide range of materials and processes.
We are here as a resource not just for machine training, maintenance, rule enforcement and supervision, but for all
aspects of your work.
Please reach out to us in the beginning stages of your projects, as we can help you develop more
efficient plans, identify appropriate materials and methods, and avoid many potential problems in addition to making sure
you are working within fundamental shop and campus health/safety policies. There is no question that should not be asked -
please check in with us early and often.
Whether you have been assigned a project with very specific details, one that is entirely open-ended, are doing self-directed work, or in any other
circumstance, the best time to contact us is at the beginning of your planning process, before you make final decisions about materials or processes,
and definitely before buying anything.
You may end up needing only a 15-second confirmation on one detail, or we may be able to provide a lot more support.
We can help students make material and machine choices much more effectively, estimate potential time and effort requirements for particular choices,
predict and avoid potential issues, and in the end, save time, effort, and funding - if we are brought in early.
Problems typically occur when a
student doesn't ask us for help until they're 80% of the way through a plan that is falling apart. Please don't wait to check in with us, whether you
have specific questions, or don't even know whether there's anything to address. Most likely, there are things we can help with.
This page is meant to help break down what can be done in each of our individual spaces.
It's very important to understand that certain tools/machines are made for, and only safe/appropriate for, specific types of materials and
purposes - and that it can be dangerous and destructive to use the wrong tools for a certain material or purpose. At the very
least, it can be counterproductive.
There are certain things we do and do not allow to be done with every machine and tool, because of the damage and injury they
can cause - as a shop user, you must become familiar with them as part of overall training & experience. Get training from us,
and repeatedly check these pages in addition to asking questions, to determine the correct locations and tools/machines for
particular materials and processes.
More information categorized by material will be added on the Tutorials page. Please keep checking back as the website is updated.
Some incompatibilities just cause time-consuming messes. Some will destroy machine parts. Some are serious fire or injury
risks - and can cause expensive damage to machines as well. Many incompatibilities are some combination of all these things.
Shop users are not expected to come in already knowing all the details - but they are expected to ask for whatever help is needed.
3-410 and N51-160 - Wood shop machine spaces
Wood products, plastics, foam on some machines, and in certain cases, aluminum can be worked with in these spaces.
Steel, concrete, plaster, sand, powder prints, or other abrasive/sparking material are not allowed
in these spaces.
Wood dust is explosively flammable, sparks will start fires in wood-type dust, and abrasive materials are highly destructive
to cutting tools, motors, exposed machinery (like desktop 3D printers) and computer equipment.
Students must always work elsewhere with these kinds of material - ask us for help on where it's okay to do
different kinds of work.
mortising machine - solid wood only (this is a fancy drill press with a square chisel that surrounds a special type of
drill bit - the square chisel will not handle other materials well)
stationary sanders - wood/plywood/mdf only! NO foam, no plastic- these will overheat and melt most materials- they burn wood
too easily as it is.
Machines with circular blades-
miter saws - long pieces of wood/plywood/mdf, very limited plastic only - no thin sheet plastic! No foam, no wax.
for aluminum, please ask
table saw (N51 only)- wood/plywood/mdf, Masonite, plastic. No foam, no plastic, no wax.
Extensive training required for this machine
Jointer/planer (N51 only) - solid wood only. Extensive training required for these machines
Manually operated power tools like jig saws, pneumatic nailers, and circular saws - training and supervision is required
for use of these tools
Workbenches and tool storage (shop tools must stay in shop spaces - do NOT borrow tools without permission;
we cannot endlessly restock hand tools, and if everyone wants them available to use in the shop spaces,
all users must cooperate with keeping them where they belong, so they can be found when needed.
Some hand tools, like chisels and hand planes, are very fussy to maintain, delicate, and cannot
be used incorrectly or they will
be damaged, requiring excessive manual labor to fix.
Students must ask for training on how to use
hand tools, especially types requiring manual sharpening, to avoid destructive misuse. Training
on most hand tools will take 20-30 seconds - and it's always worth doing, so please ask for it.
3-402, N51-160 courtyard
Plaster-type casting, concrete casting, working with other loose abrasives like sand or gravel.
Other work requiring ventilation may be done in the spray booth or possibly in the yard - there
are large intake vents in the N51 courtyard
that bring outside air straight back into the building, though, so there are limits to the kinds of work that can be done
in the yard if it creates fumes that may get drawn back indoors.
The OMAX waterjet is in 3-402, and cuts sheet material under water using garnet abrasive. This is a messy process,
and somewhat compatible with other processes that use abrasives, which is why they are grouped together in 3-402.
The sandblaster also cuts with abrasive, and lives in 3-402.
The spray booth in 3-402 is not meant specifically for work that creates solid particulate dust, but still helps with the dust
from these materials, and should be taken advantage of. The downside is that its filters clog faster, and need changing more often.
We stress this in orientation: the spray booth moves a lot of CFM, but it does not provide enough to make the room work
as part of the booth.
All work requiring ventilation must be done INSIDE the booth, and kept there until the material is
done curing. Also stressed in orientation: all heat and electricity sources must be kept OUTSIDE the booth - 6 feet away,
minimum. These are extremely important incompatibilities that cannot be forgotten. See
Some work requiring ventilation (chemical use) also requires prior approval and direct supervision from shop managers. See
Chemical Use page for more details.
This needs to be kept a clean space - the processes done in this room are not compatible with dust and other contamination.
It is true that the powder in the 3DS printer is exactly that kind of material - but it also must stay as clean as possible,
with the powder contained, in order to work correctly. In an ideal world, it would live in its own dry, ventilated room.
The room has much better ventilation than an office/studio space, when the laser cutter system is running - but this also
means that any dust in the air is being sucked through the machines, which they do not like.
This room is a mixture of clean space and semi-clean space. The machines can be expected to create only minor amounts of
material shavings, no dust, and never have abrasive material brought in. Ventilation is office-level, so fumes would need
to be dealt with specially.