Our equipment and how we manage it
The London Hackspace has a huge mix of equipment for all manner of purposes, and it grows depending on the demands of it's members. It is usually owned by the LHS itself or occasionally on extended loan from a member and marked as such.
The most reliable method for getting new equipment for the space is the collective enthusiasm of it's members. If you think we need a piece of equipment, make a proposal on the mailing list to gauge interest. If there is interest then you create a pledge page here on the wiki and encourage people to back it with an amount toward the cost.
When the pledge goal is met, the pledging members pay their money to the LHS and the item is usually purchaced by a trustee unless someone else has negotiated the purchace.
Please see the Pledges page for more in-depth information.
Gifts and loans
Some people are kind enough to offer equipment to the LHS for free, either on loan (wether for a particular length of time or long-term) or entirely gifting it. Sadly we will only ever have a finite amount of storage space, and likewise only a finite demand for a tool, so not every item will be accepted. This may seem ingracious, but please check with the mailing list if we have space and demand for it before bringing it to the space.
If you're not a member but wish to donate equipment, please contact the directors.
We also have a wish list of items that would be very nice but haven't had enough support to purchace yet. Usually upgrades to equipment we are getting by with fine so far or sundries that don't usually nessesitate a pledge.
Assumption of competance
A lot of tools, particularly the more expensive or complex ones, will have one or more nominated maintainers. A piece of equipment will usually have an associated wiki page listing it. If a piece of equipment has a maintainer, do not attempt to repair or maintain it yourself without their express permission. Having a maintainer usually means the equipment has special requirements for it's upkeep that may not be obvious to even a trained user. If a piece of equipment has no maintainer, it means LHC assumes those capable of using it are also capable of doing the running maintainance to it.
Hacking and modding equipment
You are not allowed to do this. Equipment is there for everyone to use, and they expect it to be left in a standard reliable state. If "maintainance" starts to require making permenant changes to the equipment, you get permission from the mailing list first before starting work on it.
A lot of equipment has some element that is used up in use. Basic consumables are often bought by the LHS itself, but more specialised consumables (EG; liquid nitrogen, biological reagents, laser tubes) are both infrequently purchaced and expensive, so will normally require a pledge to gather funds. There are also fairly regular group-purchaces arranged through the mailing list for more ad-hoc demands such as specific electrical componants.
Damage and replacement
LHS assumes that unless there's an explicit training requirement that you are skilled enough to use the equipment you wish to use. If a member damages or destroys a tool through misuse that member will be expected to contribute to it's replacement or repair cost, either in full or in part depending on the situation. Damage or destruction through normal use can be considered wear & tear and will not usually be directed at the last user, though a contribution to replacement is normal.
EG; A chisel handle breaking when being used to carve wood with a wood-mallet would likely be considered the tool wearing out and the space deciding on replacement. A chisel handle breaking because you used it as a crowbar to tear open a toaster is your fault and you'll be expected to replace it yourself.
Rule of thumb
If you're not sure about maintaining a piece of equipment; ask. Check the wiki, check with the maintainer, check the IRC, check the mailing list, check with a trustee. Most of all, check the rules.
Soldering etc PCB tank
Public machines, servers, etc
Laser cutter 3D printer Mini mill
Link to page showing all tools classed "scrapped"