Discussion Thread: Member donations of equipment and materials to VHS

Thanks everyone for taking the time to add to this discussion.

What I’ve heard so far is:

  • 3 Week Bin system is working fine
  • Keeping stuff is great too as this stuff can be hacked
  • Leave the BOD out of this cause they already have enough to do :slight_smile:

VHS has gotten along fine to date so changes are not “needed” or “urgent”.

Spending some time sorting through and documenting some of the piles at VHS has been interesting. It’s like going through a time capsule in some ways. If nothing else someone else may take an interest in some of these pieces.

My intention for this discussion was to think a bit about future donations that come into the space from current members of Equipment that is intended to be used in the space or for the space.

Take the Reflow Oven as an example. @TomKeddie and @packetbob talked about getting one. I helped organize a fundraiser for it and packetbob built it. There have been SMD reflow workshops given, it is documented on the Wiki. @xquared has stepped in to learn how to trouble shoot it. So this donated tool now has a group of “Champions”. It is documented and it is being used. This same goes for the 3D printers, the laser cutter. The CNC machines etc.

So I guess rather than just dropping off some useful equipment or material at VHS and hoping it’s of use I was thinking about how increase the odds of that thing being used.

One recent example of equipment that came in and consumed a bunch of time, took up space, never went anywhere and then was finally disposed of is the Carvewright CNC. It is an interesting thread to review.

This is what I would like to avoid.


But in that case the donor did exactly what you suggested which was to get member buy-in, which he did.
Sorry, I read your posts as meaning that you were NOT volunteering to administer a donation program.

I think what you actually did recently though is a perfect example of what a donor should have to establish.
(Adding to @Janet suggestion) i.e. some evidence beforehand that the thing is of value. i.e. part numbers and links to ebay showing it’s value. OR maybe making the creation of a wiki a precondition to making the donation.

I would like to propose the following fast, simple, and easy to remember test. Coincidentally it spelled out a highly memorable word. :slight_smile::

The C.R.A.P test for offers of donations outside the 3-week bin system.

C - Condition, does it work?
R - Room, do we have any for it?
A - Agreement, on talk that members want it?
P - Person who will own it exists?

So next time someone brings in an item to VHS for donation (including yourself), ask:

"Does it pass the C.R.A.P test?" :slight_smile:

If it does - keep that crap!!!


Crapocracy ! Like that even better.:grin:

1 Like

@Majicj I am preoccupied right now, but maybe I can help with updating the
wiki when I come back?


Along the same line as Janet’s CRAP test, is London’s Hackspace’s guide for donated items:

Before donating use the following points as a guide:

  • Is it on our wishlist? - if the item is not on our wishlist then check on IRC or the mailing list before bringing it into the space. If it is on the wishlist then bring it in - thank you!
  • Is it on our List of Unwanted Donations? - If the item is on this list, we already have so many of them that we don't need any more.
  • Will you be upset if it is thrown away? - If it would be difficult for the average hacker to comprehend the intrinstic hack-value of the item then it may end up in our 3 week disposal process. Large items that will not fit through the disposal process could get thrown out without warning. If this does not appeal then it might be better not to donate the item.
  • Does it meet any of the following criteria? - If it doesn't then we probably do not want or need it currently - but thanks for thinking of us!:
    • Item is a tool useful for the types of hacking that take place at the space.
    • Item is a common part/component that is not scrap.
    • Item is in working order and has a reasonable resale value.
    • Item can be easily stripped for high value parts.
  • Also of interest is their remedy to people bringing in unwieldy or potentially dangerous items:

  • Will the Hackspace accept the donation? - if you bring items to the space with the intention of donating them without first making sure that the organisation is willing to accept the donation (as decided by consensus on the mailing list) then the items are still in your ownership, and it is your personal responsibility to dispose of them once you're asked to do so. This is especially true for large items, or items that require unusual means of disposal (e.g. toxic materials.)
  • I believe our wiki used to have a link to it.


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