Woodwork induction handbook

I’m coming for a CNC Induction on Monday 11th October at 11.30am so a Woodwork Induction would work for me on the same day if that suits any of the wood techs.

Ok, how are we going to do this and make it work safely ?

It’s up to inductors really: the old way is to have an induction and send members off with their new permissions…the problem with this is that a lot of the information is quickly forgotten if not used over the following weeks

The two solutions that seem most practical:

  • inductees have a time period (two weeks maybe?) to produce a piece of work using the equipment they were inducted on, after which their permission is signed off.

  • inductees turn up with a project they want to do and the induction is a starting point for them – slightly harder for inductor to manage, I imagine

Both of the above are ways to keep up the momentum, and embed skills and knowledge, but they’re open to suggestion and development.

In the past inductors have felt they’ve run inductions and then never seen the members use the tool again: we recognise that there’s a gulf between getting inducted and actually starting your first project

P.S it’s up to individual tech teams to decide what works best for them and their area!

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Ok, that sounds like a reasonable process. How will this work in practice now - when we are restricted to one person per room - so cannot be inducted or get face to face support with our projects due to the same restrictions


We’re putting in two air cleaners per room (except woodshop) to make it safer for groups. This will of course be members’ personal choice about COVID safety

Otherwise we’re still encouraging imaginative use of Outer Space for inductions where practical (basic woodworking etc, but not practical for table saw)

Yea, none of this works without 2 members in a room for the most part.

I have been doing 1:1 CNC inductions for double jabbed members with the doors open and 2 air cleaners on. They of course have to be comfortable with this and it is completely voluntary.

Many people are riding the bus/tube and going to the pub, so this is ok with them, those that are not should wait until they are.

As for projects- part of the CNC induction is doing your own mini-project mostly on their own. Hopefully this gets them hands on enough to remember. The 2 week thing would be difficult to manage and enforce, you could give them provisonal access to tool controls, but would you then take it away if the member couldn’t complete a project in 2 weeks? And if life got in the way and they didn’t would you then do the induction all over again? For me as an inductor I think showing then doing in one session is most practical.

Hope that makes sense!


I think the project part is to work on and decide as appropriate. But having to think through and own a project is very powerful for learning

As for 2 week thing: it encourages the next project to start while the info is fresh, but there’d be leeway – some inductees will already have vast experience for example


Yes, agreed! I am encouraging members to bring their own vector file to use and to watch VCarve Pro tutorials in advance, so far many have been able to jump in and do a mini-project that they care about vs. just engraving ‘TEST’ or something and not having to set it up from scratch by themselves…


4 posts were split to a new topic: CAD / CAM Software for Mac

I have a project that will require the table saw, planer thicknesser, band saw, morticer, table router or spindle moulder and possibly the pillar drill?

If I could be inducted one machine at a time and carry this project through then as soon as I am able to provide assistance on any machine I am willing to give up one full weekend day every week or at least every other to be at the space and either help people on the bigger machines or do inductions on smaller tools?

I can also give up a couple of evenings per week to get inducted on smaller stuff to get the ball rolling?

Basically, if there are any wood techs out there willing to get me up to speed 1:1 then I can make time but my main focus is on the big machines and I’m ready to go on a project…

I realise that sometimes waiting for this to happen by committee means it never happens so if it helps to directly arrange then get in touch, the sooner I am up to speed the sooner I am willing to pass on the knowledge


I agree, a task using the machine for the inductee using the equipment, where the inductee can show they can operate the machinery safely works

For an experienced person this is spot on, but it doesn’t address the common experience of newbies passing the induction and then never using the tool again – the thought is that a first project within a short timeframe as part of earning the tool permission is a way to overcome the ‘what do I make?’ hurdle and cement the new knowledge. As I said it’s up to the various tech teams, but it can be dispiriting to put time into inductions and never see the inductees again, and it’s not an efficient use of time for anyone

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One thing that would be helpful would be to have some sort of mentor look-up page:

  • If you are a mentor and are open to teaching, you’d flag yourself in this page
  • New members who need to use a system would need to look-up a mentor and try to organise an induction where they work on the trainee’s project.

As an aside, as a new member I have no understanding of the induction process, how to get my self signed up to one or even what I have actual access to right now. Is there a page on the website I am missing?


Regarding the 2 week expiration idea: as someone who has done many, many inductions, I fully agree with this. Overwhelmingly, unless you have a project that requires you to use a system shortly after induction or during induction, the details fade away very quickly. I’ve had to step in to re-train people who had a 2 hour spiel just a week before. People’s memory just won’t latch on unless they are immediately commited, i. e. have a goal they need to achieve in the immediate term.


I would also distinguish between actual training and taster sessions. One common problem for a member that joins with hopes and dreams of working on X is that they then are not sure how to proceed or are a bit wary due to lack of knowledge. So they won’t necessarily have the mind-set to think up a project, the pathway of “I can do this” just isn’t there.

We’d sometimes do course days where we’d get a room full of people and show an experienced person doing basic operation, showing the principles in broad terms. Usually we’d end up with some sort of visually impressive result to get people interested. Some of those would get all excited and dream up projects after and then we’d to actual training.


I think the general consensus is that it’s a good idea to induct people with a project of theirs. I was giving this some thought and Pedro has said about having a mind-set to think up a project.

Can we not create a project induction channel that is monitored by the woodtechs. The idea would be to have all new inductions outline their project in words before they start the project. Then if the person needs help creating the “path” to making the object, woodtechs are on hand to guide them. It would also help woodtechs gauge what projects are going to be taking place and schedule inductions to address these accordingly.

This would also build the ‘mentorship’ between woodtechs/experienced members and new inductees.


Yes, not necessarily obvious but it is the first pinned page on the ‘How To’ section:


We probably need a better orientation to the space / process for newbies!

In normal (pre-covid) times - the watching experienced people doing stuff and getting interested happened organically by just spending time at the space… I believe this will return, not that specific ‘demo’ type sessions wouldn’t also be valuable!

I like the idea of turning up for an induction with a project or a project idea. If even one person in the group has a live project to bring, the others would learn a lot more and have ideas sparked by it better from watching that happen than from just getting a theoretical tour.

What if, for a process, one person with a project idea and materials posts and says “I want to learn how to use x and x machine in order to make x”. An inductor offers to hold the session, the two of them agree a date and then maybe 5 more spaces are offered as an observation/induction session.

Then the inductor knows they’re not wasting their time, the inductee achieves something and gets their project going and the 5 others learn something and start to see what’s possible with no pressure.

I’m happy to volunteer myself as an inductee - I’ve got 3 narrow boards I want to plane flat, square off and join with biscuit joints or similar to make a shelf, and route a channel at the back for an LED strip. I have dipped in and out of the woodshop over the years but I don’t know the tools or the current set-up well enough to just rock up and do all that by myself.

The nice thing about organised sessions is it would make that learning process available to people who don’t have the time and/or confidence to just turn up, see if something interesting is going on and start asking questions. The organic process only works for a subset of everyone interested in making.