Induction Suggestion

Hi everyone,

I have a idea/suggestion for inductions. I realized that getting inductions for tools is a bit difficult. I was just thinking over it. When we get induction for specific tools, we learn how to use it. Now once we learn how to use the machine we signed off as “we can use”. At this point the person who got the induction can use the tools freely.

My suggestion is, since that person can use that machine now, why not automatically allow them to teach to others? They are already using it. If they know wrong, they are still using the machine regardless. They can do things for me if i request from them…

I think this can speed up things. At least people who are willing the share the knowledge can do so.

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It largely depends on which piece of equipment we’re talking about. Some equipment is more expensive than others so historically we’ve been more restrictive with some items than others.

Some of the equipment has been setup as part of pledge drives where a bunch of us has chipped in to pay for it and has cost in the region of a couple of grand in some cases.

We’ve also had some incidents recently with people using equipment inappropriately (one with the table saw guide getting damaged and no-one owning up to it and another with the metal milling machine).
You’ll notice on a couple of items a red padlock on the mains plug.

We do run into problems sometimes where only a few people doing inductions can burn out a bit on being ask to do them all the time. But they are required for safety reasons and I think to cover the space for insurance reasons.

Laser Cutter

For the laser cutter this is one of the ones that’s usually in most demand. The induction for this is fairly formalised.
User joins a separate telegram group and arranges an induction with someone registered as a trainer.

They’re then shown the ropes, told which materials they’re allowed and not allowed to cut (for example special laser plywood and not regular plywood due to the glues involved)
Also shown how to use the machine without damaging it.

If they want to they can become a trainer, which usually involves being present while someone is trained up by an existing trainer.

Metal Area Lathe / Milling machine

For the lathe and the milling machine these do require inductions, there’s quite a lot of detail such as do’s and don’ts since it’s very easy to damage these machines.
Making sure to oil everything in the right spots, not do certain things that would be dangerous (like leaving the chuck key in the chuck and having it thrown across the room when the power is put on)

Who is classed as an inductor is less formal for these I think, if you already know a fair bit about metal working and have been inducted then this might be enough but it’s best to ask on the metal working group

Woody Dusty Area

Historically the inductions for the woody dusty area have been a bit loose and care free. What used to happen pre-covid is that folks would come in on a Wednesday open evening then I’d briefly walk them around the different tools and ask them not to cut they’re fingers off.

It is getting more formalised now as some of the tools like the Planer / Thicknesser can be quite dodgy (think wood chipper).
And the table saw / band saws can also be dangerous to work with.

The main rule we’ve had so far is no lone working with dangerous tools.

I would ask about on the woody dusty telegram channel for more info.

CNC Wood Area

For the CNC Machine this is mostly a case of learning to use the machine / making sure to wear safety glasses etc.
Again who is an inductor on this is less formal

Historically it’s been ether myself or user @bluetin on telegram, but anyone could do it if they learn enough about how to use it.
It does have a large 1.5Kw spindle on though so safety is important.

Wood Lathe

This one is mostly been done by Alex, the wood lathe is located in the same area as the CNC at the moment although I think it’s being moved into the larger woody area at some point.

Not sure of the specifics of this one in terms of who is an inductor but it is quite a dangerous thing to use.

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3D Printers

We used to use an old Prusa I think which took 3mm filament, although we’ve very recently moved to a pair of Ender 3 Pro 3D Printers

The user that set these up recently moved to a different country so it best to ask about these on the 3d printer telegram group.

I have got some notes scribbled down but haven’t written down anything myself yet or tried to use them yet.


Thank you for brief explanation but i think this isnt what i meant actually.

I do understand that we do need inductions. I completely agree with that too. Some stuff expensive and others dangerous etc. What i was saying is, once 1 person got trained, i think that person should be able to train other directly.

For example ive been trained on laser cut machine. I should be able to show some other members directly. Why? Because people can see me using the machine nd watch me what i do anyway. Can i still do things wrong? Yes… but that also can happen after i got trained on that tool regardless.

Im not saying this to complain or anything but an example is im waiting for 3d printers training for resin around 2 weeks now. There are multiple people that couldve just show me this… Again im not complaining and i totally understand that people can be busy etc. Its just a suggestion so it can also help trainers and give them some breathing time too.

Getting inductions is indeed difficult and I don’t doubt this suggestion would speed things up, but I’m worried about the quality of the training. There could be a problem of generational loss - when one person trains another person, the trainer will miss things, the trainee will miss things, or things will be misinterpreted, and if each person trains one more person in a chain, that leads to mistakes building up which could result in injury or damage to the equipment.

This could be improved if there is a standard training checklist, as the Laser cutter has (see Laser Cutter - Hackspace Manchester Documentation). It doesn’t completely solve the problem, but it helps.

I’m not totally against your idea and I recognise that we need some improvement, but erring on the side of caution for the time being.


I actually like that idea. Having a check list can provide full complete training for everyone regardless. Great idea really.

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To be clear, the check list does NOT provide training for anyone. It is for trainers to refer to to check they’re covering everything. Training for the laser cutter still needs someone with some knowledge and experience of the laser cutter.


I really like your idea - and totally agree that if we went with it we would need a standardised training programme that anyone could carry out.

Part of training would be being trained on how to train!

There would be exceptions of course for tools - the laser really does need dedicated trainers and I’m sure things like the metalwork lathes and mill will also need it.

It’s easy enough to implement too in the membership system - I can add

  • a training document section where the training checklist can be uploaded to, and accessed only by trained users.
  • a flag that shows which tools require dedicated trainers and which tools can have any trained members be trainers
  • a certification stage, so if user A marks user B as trained, there’s an audit trail so that if there is ever an issue we can see who trained who, and if they confirmed that they followed the training checklist

Again, great idea.

The first step will be creating checklists for each of the tools. These can be written up in Google Docs so nothing fancy needed.

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So these can be the steps for (lets say for this example laser cut)

  • A trainer starts the induction to newbies
  • Newbies handed a piece of paper that tells all the steps
  • Trainer shows each step to each newbies
  • Once its complete each newbie demonsrate the steps to the trainer
  • If satisfied trainer sign off newbies as new trainers.

More to this:

  • Another idea is for every step of the induction taken they will sign the step as learned. This would make people take responsibility.

It could be a good idea to have these steps laminated and stored somewhere near the tools too as reminders.

If you guys want i can start writing about few steps for few different machines (despite i didnt take all the inductions i know how things work). Than you guys can adjust/edit/modify/delete from that list.

This is generally a good idea, but the devil is in the detail.

For example, in theory we 5 or 6 people who can give training on the bandsaws and mitre saws, and we have this documented. We also have documentation for other wood tools (adapted from Oldham Hackspace) and a documentation for the wood lathe and metal lathe. I think docs for the metal mill and general metal area are in production, and there may be some documentation for the laser, CNC and 3D printers. I’m not sure.

As someone who’s been struggling with this issue for about a year (for various tools), I have a few more specific suggestions of ways you can be helpful.

We DESPERATELY need people who can give their time to develop wood training materials and maintain the machines. If you’re interested in helping, let me add you to the Wood Team Telegram and we can literally give you jobs to start right now.

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I’m coming towards the end of the maintenance of the Myford ML7 I’ve been undertaking, I’m getting excellent results with it now, and it’s as close to original spec as I can get without chasing zeroes.

I might be able to take a hold of some other maintenance, I like fixing things, but I’m keen to get trained on most of the woodworking tools first, before undertaking maintenance, no point attempting to maintain, or fix, if I can’t use.

I have a potential term, and I mean really long, project off the back of this as well, making a box for those slip gauges I purchased recently, and I’ll need to be able to get a really good finish and level of precision with the box itself, and the wood I’ll be working with, black rich grained ebony, isn’t cheap, and I’ll be making the entire box out of it, including internals, as I want to show off the gauges shine. I might push the boat out and make the numbers from brass inserts too.

In the case of the laser cutter we’re already pretty close to that in that to become a trainer at the moment you sit alongside while another trainer trains someone for one time. So it’s not that much different.

Like I’ve said before some of this kit is expensive and has come out of someone else’s pocket, so far we’ve had someone cut through the guard on the table saw and someone else try and use the metal milling machine as a food mixer.

So no I’m not fond of being lax with the inductions with some of the tools (the expensive ones) since it’ll end up with someone else picking up on the tab when someone gets it into they’re head they can play games and do whatever they want. I would say personally I’m more protective over the metal working tools such as the lathe and the mill.

What I would suggest is some youtube videos if someone can make them and additional docs to the which is basically a github mkdocs site.

For the resin 3d printer this is a bit different in that I don’t think there’s that many of us that know how to use that, I did hear that the tray had been damaged I’m not sure if that’s been fixed. What I would do is ask on telegram if you’d be allowed to experiment with it since I’m not sure any of the rest of us would be any different.

A lot of it depends on how careful a person is, since some folks are very careful and particular while others just do things without asking first and can wreck stuff pretty easily.

Yes I agree tho as you point it out, those are happening despite people get trained. There might be 2 things happening there. 1 - this person didnt wanna wait for induction and used the machine regardless… OR 2- this person did get the induction and still had this damage done by mistake.

In both cases this damage can be done… People who wouldnt wanna wait for a long time might start using the machines regardless and i think that is more problematic.

As a youtuber (BlackLight) i can prepare videos but i need confirmation on that…

For 3d printers for resin, i think i will watch some youtube videos and go for it as like you said nobody knows how things works perfectly. After i use it once i can be trainer for that too if people are happy about it.

Btw this is Ygt from telegram in case you guys wanna know who you are talking with.

For this, im personally not interested in maintaining the machines. However if i can help otherways i would like to hear. Im already in the wood team telegram @mikeh .

In the case of the milling machine it was more deliberate, the board have resolved that now, but the person involved knew what he was doing was wrong but did it anyway.

In the case of the table saw, 1. the person involved might not be on telegram, 2. they’re taking it for granted someone else will fix it, 3. they just don’t care that much

As I’ve said before a lot of it varies from tool to tool, the laser cutter we’re very strict about because we need to make sure someone doesn’t damage the machine or cut something they’re not supposed to which contains formaldehyde or something else that will create nasty fumes.

For Woody dusty we’ve been a lot more lax with someone basically just showing people around each tool roughly and taking it for granted they already know how to use wood working tools.

For Metal work, generally those that know a lot about lathes / mills have been doing the inductions on those. The rest of the tools in metal work like the pillar drill we’ve not really cared about.

For the CNC ether me or @bluetin show people how to use it then once they know enough themselves based on youtube or whatever they’re free to show others so that’s fairly lax.

So it’s not the same for every tool and really it shouldn’t be since some tools are easier to damage than others.