posted on May, 13 2018 @ 06:47 AM
There seems to be a very large growing movement of people taking up hobbies doing things like metal working, wood working, glass working/blowing,
pottery, plastic work, 3D printing and a lot of other very interesting trades/crafts which, sadly, are often not taught in schools any more (high
schools that is). I know there are things like hacker/maker spaces but those seem to be geared towards the technology fields of computers, robotics
and the like and don't seem to offer the types of things I'm interested in.
What I am picturing is something set up like how a gym is set up where members can come in and use the equipment. They might be able to reserve a
workbench or table for a certain amount of hours and or reserve equipment to use. People could have personal tool boxes/chests/cabinets (lockable)
that they could keep on site as well as bring in tools they need for certain tasks. There could also be community tools that are either openly
useable or they can be signed out for a "session" - the only problem with them being out in the open is the tools walking off either by thieves or
by accidently packing them up with their tools. Another problem is that not all people treat tools the same, some treat them better than their own
children while others use them for everything but that for which they were intended. This would cause lots of problems for some members what see the
misuse of community tools.
When I look at something like this IDK if a proposal like this would be better set up as an invitation only "club" where people who have interest in
the community are brought in by a member who then shows them how things are done and they might have some kind of probation period before they can
join. Having a shop open to the public where anyone can join, even if they pay for access, opens the doors to people who may have very little
training (though they think they are experts from watching Youtube) leading to saftey issues and damage to machinery and tools.
Then you have things in a shop that are consumables such as solvents/clean up materials, gas/propane (for torches, furnaces, forges, etc), O2, N2,
argon, acetylene, and the list goes on. If you have someone with a 6 burner forge going full blast for 8 hours, not caring about how much they use
(because it's community or b/c they "paid" entrance fee") then that is another issue when dealing with cost. It would be very difficult to charge
for each use or for how much is used and it doesn't make sense to have to bring your own each time. I guess something could be figured out where a
meter could be put on certain systems that counts cu ft of gas or lbs used.
The benefit to having it be open to the public is that there is the oppertunity for revenue generation for upkeep, rent, tools/equipment and general
overhead but there would also have to be someone working and in charge of dealing with the public which means employees or at least members
volunteering for shifts. Then there is the issue of insurance for saftey issues which I have no idea where to even begin to look at how much that
I think the ideal setup would be to have this as a private club that offered the space for certain groups or classes where there could be a revenue
generation stream where someone who wants to teach classes on black smithing or glass blowing could have their classes there under the supervision of
a member(s) while the member does some of their own work. Maybe a space like this could be rented out to home schooling classes or even something
like a scout group. IDK - any suggestions on what types of groups might like something like this?
I just have a feeling that the equipment would be better taken care of if the person using it knew all the other members, knew who's tool(s) they
were using. There might also be more incentive to bring tools/equipment into the shop, or buy as a group, if you knew the chances of it getting
wrecked by Joe blow 2 weeks from now was slim to none, as only members or supervised guests would be using the equipment.
Has anyone ever come across a setup like this? Would something like this be of interest to you and if so, what would you like to see in a shop like
Just as a note, when I'm talking about equipment, I'm talking about putting in (used) industrial equipment, large heavy duty stuff from sanders,
saws, mills, CNC machins, drill presses, presses, cranes/hoists, welders, etc. Much of this stuff can be found for very good prices at bankruptcy
sales, gov auctions, or going out of business sales often at incredibly low prices especially if it is old and has cosmetic damage (though may work
perfectly & some older stuff is the best by far!) and with a little driving treasures can be found!
On a side note, I was looking into what it would cost to heat/cool and power a large shop like this and have come up with a solution to cover
heating/cooling as well as 40-60Kw+/hr generator using fuel that is available locally free for pickup/disposal, so a large part of a cost is already
covered from this aspect.