Blog

Getting Started

Once you’ve signed up and you have your keycard, you’re ready to go. Here’s how to get started.

Attend Orientation

We hold at least one orientation session for new members on the evening of the first Friday of every month @ 7pm and usually schedule others through the month for members convenience. Book yours today at go.tcmaker.org/newmember. This is the quickest and easiest way to learn the ropes. At orientation, you’ll get to meet other new members, learn the rules of the shop, and ask any questions you might have.

After New Member Orientation, if you are taking orientation the first Friday onsite, we recommend that you stick around for the Wood Shop Orientation that immediately follows. You’ll meet the Wood Shop managers, learn how this area of the workshop is organized, and get clearance to use our woodworking tools.

Sign Up For Classes

Some of our equipment is either too dangerous or too complex to learn in an orientation session. If, for instance, you want to learn to weld steel or use one of our CNC machines, you need to take a class. You can see a list of upcoming classes here on our website.

Participate in the Community

Our Wednesday evening Open House is a good time to visit with other members, show people what you’ve been working on, and ask for advice on any problems you’re having with your projects. If you’re interested in how the organization is run and how you can help out, our monthly board meetings are open to the membership. You can see when the next board meeting is happening on our calendar.

Finally, on one Saturday per quarter, we close the shop for a Quaterly Cleanup. We use this opportunity to thoroughly clean the floors and the tools, rearrange the shop if necessary, and performance maintenance tasks that are either too involved or too intrusive to do while the shop is open. We encourage you to come and help out, even if it’s just for an hour. It’s always true that every little bit helps, but on cleanup day, every little bit helps a lot.

How to Join

To become a member, you must attend a Virtual New Member Orientation and arrange to pickup or be mailed a keyfob. Visit go.tcmaker.org/newmember to schedule orientation today. If those times or formats don’t work for you, send an email to [email protected], and we’ll try to work out another time. Please remember that Twin Cities Maker is run entirely by volunteers, so give us a day or so to answer your email.

Save Time!

You can fill out the membership forms online without coming in. We need both the membership form filled out and the liability waver signed.

Fillout Forms Now

Membership Options

  • $55 / month – Regular membership
  • $275 – 6 month membership. Get one free month!
  • $550 – A full year membership gets you two free months!

For new members there is a $20 processing fee charged when you sign up. This makes the first month’s charge $75 for a standard membership, and $295 for a 6 month membership. If your first membership signup is for a full year we waive the processing fee!

All standard memberships listed above are eligible for the “household” membership option. A household membership only has one voting and primary member, but allows two people residing at the same address access to the space. Both members on a household membership can have their own keys.

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.