I mentioned during the December 8 meeting that I’d like to vote on replacement costs for the big CNC’s spindle motor. I was stuck on call for work during the following meeting, and I’ll be out of town through January 5. I want to talk about this one in person, so the vote will be postponed until January 12.
In the meantime, we should discuss what has become a disconcerting trend at Hive13. We see a continual lack of respect for our space and by extension our fellow members, that sometimes makes it intensely frustrating to work here. We all have busy lives, and when we manage to eke out a few precious hours for hobby work at the space, it really sucks to walk in and find the tools broken, missing, or covered in debris.
In our most recent example, multiple people expecting to use the big CNC last week found it in two of those states. Coy arrived at the hive to find Marvin using the machine to cut beer holders. He wasn’t around when Marvin left, so we don’t know precisely what happened. We do know that when Jon later went to use the CNC, a cutter bit was still in the spindle and a deep beer sized hole was carved into the spoilboard. The spindle’s nut was also apparently seized onto the threads. DaveB kindly took the spindle to a friend who owned tooling to remove the nut, and they discovered that some of the threads had sheared off inside. Whether this was due to overtightening, or to the amount of force used to remove the nut, will probably remain a mystery for the ages.
While the big CNC remains under construction, certain critical pieces have been placed in a tool locker. Coy, Jon, Elly, and I have access. Lorin and Mike, see one of us for the combination. At present, no one else has proven able to fly solo on the machine. (As an aside, I still count myself among this group. Despite understanding how the machine works, I only use the CNC when the aforementioned people are around to catch my mistakes.)
As for the rest of the high dollar tools, I realize that training paths and contacts could be posted more clearly. Most of this is available on the wiki or has been beaten to death in meetings, but I think it might be useful to also resume posting this information on the tools. I started work on some appropriate signage this weekend. These were quickly created from my best recollection of who has used the tools, so just let Jon or I know if your name should appear on the list and does not. The laser and Mill/Drill lists are noticeably shorter than they should be.
Tools will break. We’ll continue to fix or replace them. That’s just standard operation for Hive13. What’s becoming problematic, is people not bothering to train for the complex or dangerous (or both!) tools before using them, not reporting damage when it happens, and failing to put the tools back into working order before they leave. Part of the responsibility of Hive membership is chipping in to maintain the space. Minimally, this means cleaning up and putting the tools back as you found them before leaving. It also means replacing broken tools, or reporting them to the mailing list, a warden, or an officer.
The Hive is entirely member supported and operated. No one’s taking a salary for being here. Leaving problems behind simply dumps them on your fellow members. Failing to notify us of broken tools sometimes ruins our plans for several days. I don’t think that physically preventing tool use is a good long term fix, but it may come to that at some point. I’m presently at a loss for other options. Suggestions are very welcome.
None of this is a policy change. Yet. It’s a simple reiteration of things we should already understand as members of the Hive13 community. I suspect we’re not saying these things often enough, so I will begin doing so more frequently. If anyone has input or ideas about better ways to address these problems, now would be an ideal time to share.