CNC Area Cleanup

Hey folks! I’ve taken inspiration from the folks over at the mess room, and given the CNC area a big tidy. A bunch of member materials and storage have landed here, and with Jaxon nearly up and running, and Gage coming soon after, we simply don’t have the space. With this is mind, the CNC Area is undergoing a brief moratorium on member storage. Please remove your stuff or contact me/the CNC Committee to make ararangements by December 6th, to avoid it being claimed by another member, or the Space.

@Emerson, I ran into on his way out, the stuff pictured is his, he said he’ll be able to remove it this weekend:

@winegummo, you have your name on some polycarbonate (?) and steel plate. I put the PC top of your box, and put the oversized pieces in laser cutter storage. The plate is very heavy, I didn’t want to weigh down your box, I’ve temporarily stashed it behind the socket set

@Billiam, there are two tool chests with your name on them, and a bunch of out-of-date material on the cart. Please remove them from the Space.

@Cantina_Dude, @winegummo, @Emerson, I saw your name on materials in this bucket. If I see anyone else’s name, I’ll also tag them here.

There’s a lot of unlabelled stuff for which I can’t figure out a purpose, but it doesn’t seem to be CNC-related. I’ll be coming back to get rid of all the unclaimed, unlabelled stuff at the end of the month.

Saw cover of unknown origin:

Fiber light generator?

Maybe this was a centrifuge at one point?

Mystery Foam

Misc. unlabelled stock at the back of the shelf, I’ve placed this all on the cart

Levelling concrete. This is probably left over from the machine shop, do we still need it? If so, can it be stored elsewhere? Furnace room?

Microwave transformers?? I’m admittedly a little concerned about having this kind of high-voltage equipment around, for every member who can safely deal with 2 kVAC, there are five who can’t

Power drill, in pieces?

We also seem to have some tools that are duplicated elsewhere in the Space. I’ve started a conversation on Slack to talk about whether they’re living their best life. I’m envisioning a default case of cleaning and keeping the tools, but thought starting the conversation about what’s useful and what isn’t would be worthwhile.

EDIT: Clarifying I’m not looking to yeet tools.

I ran out of steam before I got through everything, tomorrow I’ll be tackling the adjacent wall.


The “too long to keep in your tote” material storage that was neatly organized in the machine shop (when Richard and I gave the whole machine shop a re-org at the end of March of this year) seems to have been dumped into a bucket outside the door of the machine shop, including the single piece of threaded rod and single long piece of aluminum round bar stock that I labelled and dated (in accordance with the VHS material storage policy), so I don’t want those thrown out or taken. Perhaps the machine shop material storage can be returned to within the walls of the machine shop to solve this problem.

The 24” box and pan brake belongs to me and I have loaned it to VHS. It is not duplicated elsewhere as the huge box and pan brake in the welding shop is not capable of bending smaller projects due to the larger sized fingers, thus necessitating this smaller one for people requiring bends in smaller projects. I know several members have been using it over the last two years while it has lived at VHS, beyond just me. It was denied a home within the welding shop but was granted a storage space under the shelf of that work bench. I don’t mind if it gets relocated to another accessible storage space, ideally in the welding shop as I had originally intended, so if the current location is causing a problem, feel free to move it. Just please don’t get rid of it.


First off, thank you Andrew for taking a look at what all is in here, and documenting that so that we can have this discussion. It’s been a little while since that was done in the CNC area, as far as I’m aware.

I’ll second @Cantina_Dude 's assertion that the small box and pan brake isn’t a duplicated function, any more than a 5 lb deadblow mallet would duplicate the function of a finishing hammer. (Same goes for the arbour press, and the small drill press in the area is good to facilitate workflow.)

I vaguely recall the discussion at the time being that the small brake was a better fit in the machine shop side, since there was more shelf space available, with the added bonus that it was a cleaner, less weld spatter and grinding dust prone place to work on fine parts that demand a nicer finish. I don’t have it filed as an outright denial in my brain, but if it was, I apoligize, since that’s not in the spirit of how I want the welding shop to be run. If we want to revisit this I’m sure the welding shop committee would be open to having that discussion.

I much more clearly recall there being some discussion in the machine shop committee slack channel about establishing a formal stock storage area, along with a formal scrap bin. I am not volunteering to take that on right now, just lobbing it in that there was support for stock storage as of fairly recently.

On a more meta note, as VHS grows, we are tending to become more of an “ask” culture than a “guess” culture, because there isn’t the same kind of default collective memory among the people who are picking up the torch to make things happen. This is a good thing. I hope that we can collectively frame the spirit of asking questions like these as simply that… genuine questions about how the users of an area think things should be, and the reasoning behind those views. These discussions help to avoid stagnation, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I would suggest that @AndroidLx have a look at the tidy sace policy admin:tidyspace [Vancouver Hack Space] to get a sense of how the group has agreed to handle removing things from the space in those cases where there isn’t a strong argument for keeping them where they are.


@Cantina_Dude, I’ll relocate your material as discussed.

Totally on the same page, I’ll leave that in the CNC area.

I think we have a few arbour presses around the space, I didn’t physically lay eyes on them last night but I can count them up and see how many I can find? Having one somewhere between the Machine Shop and CNC Area probably makes sense.

I haven’t seen the small drill press used in months, but that may mean it needs to be reconfigured to be better utilized. We have a much beefier drill press in the welding shop and a milling machine with a quill, maybe the small one would be more useful for tapping. I’ll see what it would take to run it in reverse.

As far as the tools are concerned, the default case I had in mind was to keep them in or around the CNC Area, but I thought I’d start the conversation on anything I haven’t seen getting frequent use to see if it’s living its best life. My original post was a bit vague in that regard, I’ll update it to clarify.

In the absence of a Tidy Space Committee (disbanded for failure to report at most recent QGM), I’m not really sure how to best apply the Tidy Space Policy, though I’m open to suggestions. I’ll make up a couple signs generally indicating stuff in the CNC Area is being Tidied, pointing folks to the Talk post. I think that’ll bring substantial compliance with the spirit of the Tidy Space Policy, even if the letter is unachievable.

members have the right to form whatever committee they want, provided that they ratify the committee at the next QGM. in other words: the Tidy Space Committee is dead. Long live the Tidy Space Committee.

Alright, back for round two!

This toolbox has no name, it looks like it’s mostly lithium battery supplies, including a cell that has some Spicy Pillow Potential. Can’t see why this is in the CNC Area.

Box of assorted metal and plastic. I’m pretty sure this is a scrap box.

Milk crate of old machine-y bits. I’d really like to find out what this is for. The colours don’t match any of the machines I can find at VHS.

And that’s it! I’ve heard from @Cantina_Dude and @Emerson. To @winegummo and @Billiam, please claim your material or contact myself or the CNC Committee to make arrangements. Everyone else, if you see something that belongs to you, please remove it or contact myself or the CNC Committee before December 6th.

Maybe the real Tidy Space Commitee is the friends you make along the way!

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I’ll come by this weekend. I’ve been busy with work, and haven’t had time.


I got a call one day from a relative of the person who lent us the old lathe, saying they’d found a bunch of parts in their crawl space and asked if we wanted them (as a straight up donation). From what I can tell, it’s most of the parts of a Atlas 10" lathe, minus the bed and probably some other parts. It seemed too useful/interesting to scrap, perhaps for building something else from with all the pulleys and gears. I’m sure if we don’t want it that there are collectors out there who’d pay a decent price for some of those parts!


Good to know! I may have a chance to sort through that in detail tonight, I’ll try to catalog it a bit and see what’s actually in there, I’ll follow up with you on Slack.

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I wonder if that belt guard would fit the air compressor in the woodshop closet?

Unfortunately the belt guard doesn’t fit. I’ll throw it on the scrap pile.

@Emerson, @Billiam, @winegummo, there’s still material and/or tools in the shop with your names on them. In accordance with the Tidy Space Policy, I’ve thrown parking tickets on all them, post-dated for Dec 3rd, so they expire on Dec 6th as discussed in the original post. Please remove or store your materials appropriately.

Once there’s some space to maneuver, I should be able to condense some of the existing storage, reorganize the fasteners into something a little bit more tidy, in tandem with my work on Jaxon. Good things are happening in the CNC Area!

Thanks. I wasn’t able to get my van on the road until late Sunday, so couldn’t get there.

is mine just the 2 plates of steel? if so they can go into the community pile.

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@winegummo, just three steel plates. One of them is actually the perfect size to become a steel fixture plate for Loratron, I was chatting with @Emerson about it a bit last week.

@Billiam, totally understand that life gets in the way sometimes. If you need a hand getting stuff into your van, I should be around this Sunday, if you want to set up a time to meet?

I should be okay. Everything is small. I do need to find a better spot for my toolbox though.

The toolbox could be a challenge. Every member gets a bin for storage of personal items per the Member Storage Bin Policy. There’s space at VHS to accommodate short-term material storage, for active projects, but personal items and private tools need to be stored in member bins.

Otherwise, tools kept in general VHS space are for the use of the general membership. If you own the tools, you can determine what training is required for folks to use them, in consultation with the area committee. They need to be accessible to the membership, and there needs to be a clear path to use.

If you’d like to keep them private, that’s totally understandable, but they’ll need to go in your member bin.


Here’s where the tote mentioned in the tote policy can be bought if others are also interested. Sometimes people do a group order to save on shipping.

@Billiam, @Emerson, friendly reminder that parking tickets have been issued on items bearing your names, effective today at 8AM. Please remove the ticketed material, or store it in your member bin, before the parking tickets expire on Tuesday. I’ll be around tomorrow, if you need a hand with anything.

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@Billiam, @Emerson, friendly and final reminder that the parking tickets on items bearing your names expire tomorrow at 8AM. In accordance with the Tidy Space Policy, anything left behind will be placed in Limbo (freecycle) and may be removed by any member for their use.

Anything you’d like to keep should be removed from VHS, or placed in your member bin. You may review the Tidy Space Policy on the wiki.

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I received the following PM from @Billiam. In the interest of transparency, I’ve moved the conversation here.

@Billiam, thank you for picking up some of your items. Per the Tidy Space Policy, ticketed materials will be moved to Limbo (freecycle) tomorrow. As noted on the ticket, removal of this ticket without addressing the underlying issue will result in forfeiture of the property. You may address the issue by removing the items from the space, or by storing them in a member bin.

If you’d like to champion a shared tool inventory, that sounds like a great initiative. A shared tooling program for the Machine Shop will need to be developed in consultation with the Machine Shop Committee. As with all tools, there needs to be a clear path to access, and any member needs to be able to be sufficiently trained within 30 days of a request.

Until the shared tooling program is ready, and endorsed by the Machine Shop Committee or another Area Committee, it will need to be removed from the space, or stored in your member bin.

On a personal note, I’m aware of at least one pending request for access to your tools that’s been outstanding for over two months. If you’d like to return your toolbox to the space, I would personally recommend starting with a plan to clear any backlog.