Membership

Being a Member

Twin Cities Maker is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that operates a shared workshop. Our members pay monthly dues which go towards the upkeep of the shop and its tools and, in return, get to use the tools and space to build things that they wouldn’t be able to build at home. In some ways, it works like a gym membership, except instead exercise equipment, we provide tools and the space in which to use them.

In other ways, however, we’re very different from a gym. We want our community and our facilities to be available to people from all walks of life, and to do that we have keep our dues as low as possible. As a result, we don’t have paid employees and instead rely on the dedication of our volunteer staff and the goodwill and cooperation of our members to keep everything working smoothly.

Here’s what you’re getting yourself into.

Benefits of Membership

As a member of Twin Cities Maker, you and one lucky member of your household get 24-7 access to our workshop and all the wonders held within. A bit of what we offer:

  • A full-featured woodworking shop with high-end cabinet saws, a large planer and jointer, an amazing thicknessing sander, and nearly any hand tool you could need.
  • A large metalworking shop with stations for MIG, TIG, and oxyacetylene welding.
  • A professional-grade laser cutter.
  • A machine shop for milling and turning high-precision metal parts.
  • A blacksmithing area for people who are old-school.
  • A collection of 3D printers and CNC machines for people who are not old-school.

You’re also entitled a cubbyhole in member storage, where you can store personal tools and materials. We ask that you store flammable chemicals like acetone and oil-based paints in our flammable chemical locker, but most other stuff is fair game.

While we don’t provide long-term storage for items that won’t fit in your storage area, but if you’re working on a large project that you can’t easily move to and from the shop, we can help you find a place for it until the work is done.

Responsibilities of Membership

Be excellent to each other. This is the central organizing principle of Twin Cities Maker and the reason why the organization works as well as it does. Try to be aware of others and respectful of their needs. It also helps to be patient with volunteers — they are donating their evenings and weekends to keep the tools the running.

Ask for help when you need help. It’s easy to hurt yourself or damage equipment if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re worried that you don’t know how something works, ask another member for help or contact one of the area managers.

Report broken tools. If you notice that a tool is broken, worn out, or making noises that it shouldn’t, notify the area manager, so we can inspect the tool and, adjust, repair or replace it as necessary.

Pitch in when you can. Since we rely on volunteers to maintain the shop, we’re always grateful for any help you offer us. Even simple things like taking out the trash or sweeping a floor make a huge difference when enough people do them.