From rLab
This tool requires induction
Owing to it's dangerous nature, delicate nature, or expense, this tool requires that you be inducted on it's proper handling before use.

What inductions are and are not[edit]

Some of the tools at rLab require induction before use, generally the larger, more expensive or more dangerous tools although this does NOT mean that tools without inductions are safe! For all tools you need to make sure that you're confident you can use them safely, regardless of whether they require induction or not and you alone are responsible for making sure that you use them safely. Inductions are basic introductions to the tools and the proper procedures for using them safely and they include both the general precautions for that type of tool as well as any specific precautions or procedures that used for that tool at rLab. We do not charge for providing level 1 inductions because we don't want to do anything to discourage people from learning how to use the tools, but some machines have usage charges which will apply even for an induction.

Remember that inductions are only intended to be very basic and to protect you and the tool, they may not cover everything that can be done with that tool. We try to make sure people achieve a basic level of competence with the tool during an induction but that's not always possible with some tools and you'll pass the induction so long as you're able to use the tool safely, even if not very well.... If you want more help with a tool after receiving an induction then please ask the induction provider, many are willing to offer further assistance in exchange for beer money or on a skills-swap basis or even just because they enjoy helping people.

Inductions are sometimes divided into several levels for the more complex tools, in those cases the level-1 induction will cover all the safety precautions needed for basic use of the tool but more complex operations are usually not covered until higher levels of induction. A level-1 induction will usually take something around an hour although there's quite a lot of variation on that depending on the complexity of the tool and they range from as little at 20 minutes up to over 2 hours. Higher level inductions may take much longer but the higher levels are never compulsory and often if you have a specific project then the providers of higher level inductions will be OK with just doing the small sub-section of that induction that you need. For all tools you are only required to take level-1 induction before use, after that you may perform any task that you feel confident you can do safely, higher levels of induction may be useful to you in performing more advanced operations but are not required before doing tasks covered in them so long as you're confident of your ability to handle those tasks without risk to yourself, others, or the tool.

PLEASE NOTE : All induction providers are volunteers who are providing inductions to the best of their ability but are NOT qualified instructors. Inductions are provided on a best-effort basis but you and you alone are responsible for your safety while using the tools and for satisfying yourself that you can operate the tools safely. There are professional training courses available from various providers in Reading and elsewhere if you feel they are appropriate for the level of work you intend to undertake.

Note for wiki editors : Please do not edit induction pages unless you are one of of the people that gives that induction

Receiving an Induction[edit]

There's a list of all the inductions that are available at the bottom of this page, if you'd like to receive an induction on a tool then you can either email one of the listed induction providers or you can message the mailing list and see if anyone there is willing to provide the induction. It's a good idea to read the induction notes for the induction that you're interested in, which should be linked below. The notes should provide you with a good idea of what to expect for the induction as well as saying if there's any specific clothing, equipment or materials requirements you'll need to comply with. Please remember that all inductions are provided by volunteers, so try to be flexible in your scheduling as that will make it a lot more likely that your induction will happen sooner. We generally prefer not to give more than one induction per person, per day because the amount of information to take in can be quite large if you're not experienced with that tool and doing too much at once makes it harder to remember it all.

Learning to give inductions[edit]

If you're willing to help rLab by giving inductions on some of the tools that's great! Start by reading the induction information for the ones that you're willing to provide. We try to all give inductions using the same basic template so that everyone receives broadly the same induction. The idea is that once someone has received an induction then others can assume a consistent level of knowledge from them, which makes giving higher level inductions or workshops easier as there's no need to go over stuff again or make detailed checks about what the person already knows. If you are thoroughly experienced with the tool, ideally having used it for over a year or better yet got a professional qualification for it then please read though the induction plan very carefully and make sure you understand everything on it. If you feel there should be changes to the induction plan then please discuss it with whoever's the lead inductor for that tool, we welcome suggestions for improvement! Once you're happy that you have a thorough understanding of everything mentioned in the induction plans then contact whoever gives the highest level inductions on that tool so you can meet up at take things from there. Normally the high-level induction provider will check you've understood the material, give an induction to someone new while you watch, then watch while you give an induction to someone else who's new to that tool. This is not any sort of exam or test, it's done to help iron out any differences in approach or knowledge between induction providers so that everyone is able to give the best inductions possible, it's quite common for suggestions from the new induction provider (you) to be incorporated into the induction at this stage. If that all goes well you'll be added to the list(s) below as an inductor on that tool.

Writing an Induction[edit]

If there's a new tool that's been brought into the space that people will need some help to use safely then an induction will have to be written for it, usually by the person who led the effort to get that tool into the space. It can be a bit daunting to write an induction from scratch but it's helpful to look at previous induction that are considered finished to help provide a guide, the metal lathe inductions are generally considered to be quite well written so they're a reasonable starting point.

Induction pages should be linked from the tools page for that tool (make a skeleton tools page if a proper one doesn't exist yet), should use the {{inductioninfo}} template to add basic information and disclaimers about inductions, the [[Category:inductions]] tag to make sure people can find them easily and a link-back to the tool they're about, also add the {{thistoolneedsinduction}} template to the tool page for this tool to put the induction required logo on your page and flow the text around it. When you link the induction page for your tool from this page, make an estimate of how "mature" your induction script is

  1. "Alpha" - Not really ready for use. These are guidance notes for someone already experienced at giving inductions on this tool, they are not enough for someone else to work from in giving an induction
  2. "Beta" - Ready for use but needs feedback from doing a few inductions to refine it. These notes cover all important areas in detail and are enough for someone else who's experienced with this tool to give an induction, but there's still some details being worked out such as exactly what's to be included and what order to cover topics in.
  3. "V1.x" - Pretty much sorted, only very minor changes are likely from here on. This is a completed and practiced induction script that all induction providers for that tool should now be using, no induction can be considered v1.x until there is more than one person who gives it. It might still change but only if there's a definite need, changes should be discussed on the talk page by all induction providers before being rolled out. Version numbers should increment after a major change and the old version will be preserved on the wiki.

As a minimum an induction needs to cover

  • Proper clothing when using the machine
  • If you require inductees to provide any materials specify what and provide links to where to obtain
  • Proper PPE when using the machine
  • Primary safety hazards the machine has and how to avoid them
  • How to perform at least 3 or 4 of the machine's basic functions, if the machine has a lot of functions, consider splitting induction into several levels according to difficulty/complexity
  • If the machine has a use charge, how to pay it
  • How to clean the machine after use.

It's a good idea to do a test run of your induction using a friend to check that everything works, the order of things is sensible and to get an idea of how long the induction will take. It's best to try to have the induction last less than an hour unless the machine is particularly complex

Inductions available[edit]

At the moment we're struggling a little giving inductions as several people who were key to giving them have left the space. We're seeking new people to help give inductions and to expand the detail and coverage for them. If you're well experienced with a tool and are willing to either help write or help give an induction on that tool then please read the section above on learning to give inductions and then contact Steve! Tools in the space that currently have inductions are :-

Tool Level Status Providers Duration
rLab Hackspace - V1.2 Gavin-G, Rupert-E,

Tony-S, Vance-B

60 min
Metal Lathe 1 V1.0 James-M 75 min
Metal Lathe 2 Beta 2 x 2hrs
Metal Lathe 3 Alpha 20-60min per module
Boxford 260VMC CNC Mill - Beta Toby-W 2 x 2-3hrs (typical, varies)
Propane Forge - Beta 3 hrs
Hand-held Router - Missing
Pirahna 1060 Laser Cutter/Engraver - Beta Tony-S, James-M 1 hr
Mitre Saw - Beta Najey-R, Mark-M 30 min
CUT-50 Plasma cutter (Optional) - Beta approx 45 min
ThermalArc TIG Welder 1 Beta 1 x 2hr, practice, 1 x 1hr
ThermalArc TIG Welder 2 Alpha approx 2 hrs
MIG Welder (in MMA mode) - Beta 90 min
Tool Level Status Providers Duration
MIG Welder 1 Beta approx 90 min
MIG Welder 2 Alpha approx 1hr, can be up to 2hr
Ultimaker 2 3D Printer - Beta Tony-S, Andrew-J approx 45 min
JET Bandsaw 1 V1.1 Mark-M 45 min
JET Bandsaw 2 Beta 2 hrs
Casting Crucible - Beta approx 4 hrs
Large Sewing Machine - Missing Mark-M
Metal Chop-Saw - Beta 20 min
Pedestal Grinder (Optional) - Missing approx 30 min
Planer/Thicknesser - Beta Mark-M 45 min
Router Table - Beta Mark-M,Robyn-W
Record Table Saw - V1.0 Mark-M approx 45min
Record Coronet Wood Lathe - Missing Derek-S, Toby-W, Mark-M, SimonG
Polishing Wheel (Optional) - Beta 30 min

Status may be

  • Missing - This induction is not yet written and is probably provided by only one person. Inductions may still be available (or they may not), but they've not been written down, post on mailing list or email listed providers directly!
  • Alpha - This is an initial draft of the induction for this tool, it is NOT ready to be used for actual inductions. As above inductions may still be available via the mailing list or directly from listed providers
  • Beta - This is an advanced draft of the induction for this tool, it can be used for providing inductions by any listed provider but is subject to changes
  • V1.0 etc - This is a largely finalized induction script and is being actively used by at least 2 inductors, any changes should be discussed with all providers before being made