From rLab

Italics = Instructions; do not read out loud!!!

There should be a list of people who have been banned from rLab, this should be checked against for new people signing up before they are invited to attend an induction!

On the tour:[edit]

Point out:

  • E-Stops
  • Honesty boxes
  • Chemicals cabinet
  • First aid kits

Signup requirements:[edit]

  • Check everyone is over 18 years old
  • Under 18s cannot join as members, but are welcome to attend as the guests of their parents or guardians.
  • Check everyone has photo ID on them
  • If they don’t, they can proceed with the induction, but can’t join until they show their ID.
  • Check everyone has proof of address on them
  • They can proceed with the induction, but can’t join until they show proof of postal address (by email is fine). People who live an itinerant lifestyle are required to provide the number plate of their primary vehicle.

Completion of the induction:[edit]

If I am satisfied you have taken on board enough information to be able to use the space safely then I will give you the opportunity to sign up as members. In the event that I am not certain of this the matter will be referred to our board of directors and we will get back to you.

If for any reason you don’t think the potential new member(s) can be trusted to conduct themselves ethically and safely by the end of the induction please contact the board of directors.

Our history[edit]

The Hackspace was started by two guys who wanted to share tools in a shed in 2010. They found more like minded people, and eventually moved here to Weldale Street.

The principle of sharing tools with like minded people has remained the same throughout the Hackspaces history.

We do not receive any grants, and although we do accept no-strings-attached donations, we are not a charity.

We are self governing, and have declined multiple offers made to buy us out.


  • Bikes can be stored inside as long as they don’t obstruct the fire exit / other facilities
  • Free parking outside shared with mechanics, feel free to ask them to move
  • Please don’t sleep in the Hackspace parking spots or in the building
  • Free tea and coffee available in the kitchen
  • Drinks and snacks also available for 50p each
  • Point out honesty boxes


  • We are light on governance and have a very flat hierarchical structure
  • Fundamentally no member is any more important than any other
  • Four of our members are directors of a limited company - Reading Makerspace Ltd
  • That was set up to provide us with sufficient legal identity to pay bills and insurance
  • Our current directors are Philip, Stuart, Mark and NJ
  • We are a “do-ocracy”, changes get made by our members making them


  • We primarily communicate online via our Discord server (invitation sent when you join)
  • We keep a large volume of information on our wiki page wiki.rlab.org.uk (including the notes for this induction)
  • We send mail outs for important notifications such as votes on new equipment and directors
  • Physical notice board and events display in kitchen

Sharing the space[edit]

  • Treat the space as if it were a public space, if you wouldn’t bring/show/do it in public, don’t do it here
  • We have CCTV, which is GDPR complaint, and only the directors can access
  • The Hackspace exists in its current state because of time and resources contributed by its members
  • If you want to see an improvement to the space, discuss it with other members, or go ahead and do it yourself
  • This excludes changes to tools you’re not inducted to maintain / significant remodelling and is subject to common sense
  • Mostly, ask around before changing or getting rid of existing things that work


These figures are inclusive of P+P, and VAT

  • Tool and consumable purchases for less than £50 can be made by individual members without prior approval
  • Spending between £50 and £150 requires prior approval from a single director
  • Spending between £150 and £250 requires prior approval of two directors
  • Spending between £250 and £1,000 requires prior approval from three directors
  • Spending over £1,000 requires a proposal to be put forward for the memberships approval

Once you have made the purchase, please send the receipt or invoice, along with your payment details to expenses@rlab.org.uk

Leaving things at rLab

  • We accept no liability for any possessions left here
  • There is limited storage available for projects being worked on (wood store, shelves by the entrance)
  • Please label everything with the date it was left and your name
  • Bulky objects should be left with contact details in case they need to be moved
  • In our context “hack” means to alter, so “Do Not Hack” (or “DNH”) means “Do Not Alter”
  • If there’s no label then consumables are free to hack (within reason)

rLabs possessions[edit]

  • Please do not remove any tools from rLab
  • Some materials have prices marked on them
  • Please pay via honesty boxes or via bank transfer
  • If you break any tools, please check if we have spares, if not either order replacements yourself if it’s <£50, or report the damage on our Discord
  • You won’t get in trouble for breaking tools unless you were being reckless
  • Hiding damage you caused to tools will get you in MORE trouble

Cleaning and tidying[edit]

  • We do not hire cleaners, so please clean and tidy up after yourselves once you are finished in an area
  • You should leave every area you use in a better state than you found it
  • Feel free to call out any other members who you see not doing this
  • If you see we are low on any consumables, please either report this on Discord or reorder them yourself

Sharing skills and experience[edit]

  • We are a community, and many of us are happy to share our knowledge
  • If you have any questions, most members will be happy to advise you
  • Do not expect help from other members, it’s theirs to give
  • Please help other members with advice when they ask, if you’re able
  • Members volunteer their time to give inductions

Tool Inductions[edit]

  • Some tools require inductions, indicated by black and yellow or orange stickers
  • Even if you have used a tool before, a short induction is still required to use it here for insurance purposes
  • Please do not touch tools you are not inducted on
  • Using an induction required tool without an induction is a bannable offence
  • Inductions can be requested on Discord under “Induction Requests”

If you are unsure of how a tool that requires induction in the main workshop works, please stay at least 2m away from it while it’s in use unless the person using it says you may come closer.

Health and safety[edit]

  • You are responsible for your own health and safety at all times
  • If you see anyone do something you think is unsafe please discuss this with them
  • All relevant PPE is available, please use it as appropriate
  • There are first aid kits by the PPE in the main workshop and in the computer room
  • Point them out
  • If you don’t know how to use a tool safely, don’t use it, even if you’re inducted; you can repeat inductions if necessary
  • There are certain safety mechanisms throughout the workshop such as card readers, and guards on tools; bypassing these is a bannable offence
  • Check the condition of tools before using them
  • Think about the hazards you will be causing to the area around you
  • Think about the hazards in the area around you while using tools
  • Don’t use any tool that could hospitalise you while you’re alone in the building
  • There are E-Stops throughout the downstairs workshop which connect to every socket downstairs; you are free to use any of them if doing so will prevent injury or damage
  • We have insurance, but a single serious claim would probably shut us down for good


  • In the event of a fire you should put your own safety first
  • The fire exits are the front door and at the back of the workshop
  • Please keep the routes to these clear from obstructions at all times
  • There are fire extinguishers by the front door, in the computer room, and main workshop; instructions and use-cases can be found on the side of the extinguisher
  • If you feel confident to use these then feel free to do so, but don’t put yourself at risk
  • Do NOT hold the black cone on CO2 extinguishers while using them (this causes frostbite)
  • There’s a fire blanket in the small machine room for use with the laser cutter
  • If the fire can not be contained, evacuate the building, then call 999
  • Heat producing tools should never be left unattended when switched on; excluding the 3D printers
  • The oven can be left switched on while someone who is aware of it is in the workshop downstairs

If you’re the last one to leave the building[edit]

Make sure:

  • All of the lights are switched off
  • All 3 heater units are switched off
  • Point these out
  • All heat producing tools are switched off; excluding the 3D printers
  • The laser cutter is switched off at the wall (Step 1 is written by it)
  • All the internal and external doors are closed
  • You have your access card and belongings with you


  • We are a COMMUNITY workshop, we rely on people conducting themselves in a socially acceptable, legal, and ethical manner
  • Occasionally people will disagree and debates will start; it is important to keep these debates civil
  • Members should never bring the community into disrepute, this is potentially a bannable offence
  • There is a safeguarding policy in place, and directors welcome and investigate reports of misconduct; intentional misuse of this service is a bannable offence
  • Reading Makerspace Limited is not a political organisation and will not discriminate people based on their political views
  • However, we are a diverse and welcoming environment, and discrimination / bullying of any kind will not be tolerated at rLab


  • Payment for Hackspace membership works on an honesty based system
  • However a monthly payment is required to keep your membership active
  • The recommended amount is £25 per month
  • If you are short of money then you can pay less, and are always welcome to pay more
  • All fees except the membership, and snacks are doubled for commercial use
  • Please be fair, and aim to give back as much as you take from the Hackspace
  • Please put your full name as the payment reference (this must match the form)

Payments are to be made to: Reading Makerspace Ltd Sort code 23 05 80 Account number 44019094

Sign up[edit]

  • Get them to enter their details into the form
  • Take their photo
  • Create membership card for them
  • Remind them not to write rLab or the address on the card
  • Give them the computer password
  • Send/schedule email with Discord invitation