Woodwork induction handbook

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.