Welcome and Tours FAQ

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Introducing New People to the Hackspace

Introducing someone new to Oxford Hackspace?

Below are some questions frequently asked by new people, along with their answers.

Lauren can also train you in running tours and help you get more confident in what to say, if you wish it.

Please sign up below if you are interested in this, and thank you for taking time out to introduce future members to the space!

Signup for Training

Date Name Help Wanted With...
x January 2016 Joe Bloggs Running physical tours
x January 2016 Jane Bloggs xyz

Frequently Asked Questions

(please add questions in the appropriate categories below. Or add categories.)

Membership and Joining

Q: Can I sign up online?

A: Yes, sort of. There is no web form for this right now, it's done over email.

Please see the wiki page on joining for details.

Q: How can I pay for membership?

A: You can pay by standing order, bank transfer or in person in cash, ideally on a Thursday social night.

We prefer standing order because it's easier to keep membership and access records up to date, but some people prefer to pay month by month, as their circumstances dictate.

That's fine too.

To use either of the first methods, you'll need a bank code so we know who you are. Please follow the directions on the joining page to get your code by email.

Communicating with the Community

Phone number: the hackspace's phone number is 01865 261462.

Social night: there is a weekly community social night that members and visitors come out to every Thursday night from 7-11pm.

Mailing list: there is a Google Groups mailing list and forum where the community does our communications about projects. Be welcome to post about anything maker-y or just introduce yourself!

IRC: there is an IRC chat channel for the hackspace on freenode at #oxford-hack-space.

Tools and Safety

Q: Who can teach me how to use <tool> (Laser cutter/3D printer/milling machine/sewing machines/reflow oven)?

A: There are several people in the community who can teach you to use most tools, but they are volunteers, and not always in to do so.

If you are a prototyping client of the prototyping service, and not a regular personal member, then the technicians, Paul and Jared, should be able to help with most things.

For personal members, the below table attempts to approximate some good choices in individuals who may be able to train you in the various tools:

Tool Name Comment Trainer Name Contact Details
Laser cutter The laser cutter is still being commissioned right now, as we don't yet have proper extraction for cutting anything other than card. Extraction is coming soon, but until then we can only cut paper or card. Paul Riggs, Jared Reabow (Oxhack technicians) Post on the mailing list

3D Printers Four out of five of the 3D printers we have in the space belong to the space. The fifth one, the Flashforge Creator, belongs to the Oxford Uni 3D Printer Society, so please be careful if you use it. Jared Reabow, Paul Riggs, Nathan Bentall Post on the mailing list

Q: I already know how to use <tool>, can I just get stuck in?

A: That depends on the tool.

For things like soldering irons, yes, go for it but please be safe.

For the machine tools, laser, etc., no, you need to be trained first before you can use the tools.

At some point this wiki will operate a traffic light system where you will be able to look at each tool and find out if it's a training-required tool or not, but we're not there yet.

Q: What do we charge for use of <tool> / its consumables?

A: If there is no helpful signage about the tool in the space, please refer to the wiki page about each tool for this information.

Tour-Related Questions

Q: What is each of the rooms for?


Q: How long until each of the rooms will be considered "finished"?

A: It is hard to specify this as it depends quite a lot on the availability of the contractors who work for this building. At the moment there is a plan for ventilation and extraction in the process of being approved, along with plans to widen some doors and knock down a wall or two, so it's likely to be a number of months into 2016 before the infrastructure side is ready to accomodate the tools coming in. On the upside, once that's done, it won't take long at all to get the tools we have in mind in for everyone's use.

Q: Where are the toilets?

A: In the stairwell. Out through the double-doors from the social space (using your RFID fob, or one of the spares kept by the door for this purpose), across the corridor, use the Big Green Button marked "PUSH TO EXIT" (not the Emergency Door Release panel), and the door is straight ahead of you.

Disability Access and Parking

Q: Is the Hackspace and the building it's in accessible?

A: Yes, the Hackspace is accessible in most ways, and there are two bookable disabled parking spots available.

Please call 01865 261462 before 4:30pm on a weekday in order to be directed to reception who can book you in.

There is a lift inside the building, though some of the doors on the way down to the Hackspace can be a bit heavy. The loo on our floor has been fitted out to mostly fit best practices, although it's a little smaller than ideal and currently (Jan. 2016), the door still swings inwards. The issues there are mostly supposed to be being fixed by the building, but we're not sure when that will happen. There is, however, a completely accessible loo that meets all criteria on the ground floor--right now the directors can fob you into that floor, but we should be able to develop other arrangments around that if it's helpful.

Donating or Loaning Items

Q: I have this thing I'm not using any more, do you want it?

A: Maybe. Thank you for your generosity. We'll need to discuss, so the best thing to do is to post the offer on the mailing list, or if it's really urgent, sensitive for some reason, or the donor requires to speak to one person only about it, you can also email directors@oxhack.org.

Please be advised if you go with the second option though, that the directors get tons of email so you may not get an immediate response.

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