Workshops

From rLab Wiki

From time to time members of rLab who have skills to share will run workshops to help introduce other members to equipment and techniques.

Workshops available

Workshop Type Duration Cost Requirements Inductions Included Information Group Size Provider
Basic Blade-Smithing Forge 2 non-consecutive days or 4 half-days £25 + Extras 18+ years old, Photo ID required Forge

Make your own knife starting from a steel bar! You get to forge your own blade, harden and sharpen it and fit it with a handle. The workshop takes 2 days spread out by at least a week and will require some additional work in between them. Course costs £25ea for a group of 3 people, 1-to-1 is an option at a cost of £40 and allows the workshop to be broken up into 4 half-days instead. It's recommended that participants have been inducted on one of the arc welders,the cold-cut saw and the bandsaw but it's NOT essential.

1,2-3 Steve-R
Board Stupid PCB 4 evenings approx £5 None None Learn to create custom PCBs using KiCAD unlimited Jeremy
Damascus Steel Making Forge 2 days Approx. £40-£60 Forge Induction None

COMMING SOON (If there's enough interest) - Make a billet of pattern-welded damacus steel which can be used for subsequently making knives, rings, other decorative objects. 1-to-1 only

1 Steve-R
Intermediate Blade-Smithing Forge 2 day Approx. £50-£60 Basic Blade-Smithing, Wood Lathe Induction, MIG welding induction, Bandsaw induction None

COMMING SOON - Make a stainless steel chef's knife using either D2 or 420 grade stainless steels, using more advanced techniques than the basic blade-smithing course. Maximum group size of 2, people wanting this course are strongly advised to get some practice making blades using the techniques in the basic bladesmithing course before attempting the intermediate.

2 Steve-R
Lockpicking Basics Hands on 1 x 2hr sessions None None None Learn the basics about pin tumbler locks, known weaknesses, lockpicking tools and techniques, and basic home security improvements up to 5 TonySh
MicroController Basics Arduino 4 x 1.5hr sessions £15 None None Learn to use basic microcontrollers in your projects up to 5 Vance
Spinning Top Metal lathe 4 hours £10 None Metal Lathe - Level 1

Course covers making a small (4cm or so) Brass and Steel spinning top using the large metalworking lathe, no prior experience or inductions are required. 1-to-1 only

1 Steve-R

Notes for workshop attendees

You're interesting in attending a workshop, great! Have a look at the table below and pick out one you'd like then,

  • Be sure to read the requirements, the person running the workshop has set them for good reasons so if you can't meet them you need to consider if it's the right workshop for you. Some of the requirements might be negotiable if you contact the organiser directly, but if they insist on them then please accept the decision with good manners, it's being made for your safety and that of other participants
  • Make sure you're OK with the charge for the workshop, when you sign up the provider is going to be buying materials for you before the workshop starts, so you're committing to paying the charge when you sign up.
  • When you contact the organiser provide a list of times when you're available to take part in the workshop. They'll be keeping a list of other people who're also interested and as soon as the minimum group size is met they'll use this information to try to schedule a workshop when everyone can attend.

Notes for people planning on running workshops

You're interested in running a workshop? Even better! Hopefully the notes below can provide some help in making it a success

  • The workshop should either showcase one or more bits of rLab equipment and should ideally count as an induction on it or showcase a technique that can be performed at rLab.
  • Workshops are not just inductions, a workshop should be longer and more in-depth than an induction and should preferably result in a usable/complete final object rather than just being a demonstration of the capabilities of a piece equipment.
  • Safety above all else! Consider the risks and how to mitigate them, unless you're requiring everyone to be inducted first then the workshop should cover all the same safety information as an induction if that's required for any of the equipment. Consider if additional safety equipment/PPE would help you run the workshop safely, if it would then there's usually no problem getting budget for additional PPE.
  • Think about how many people you can safely have on the workshop at once, you have to be able to adequately supervise everyone who's working until they have enough skill to be left alone, and no-one wants to be standing around waiting for an essential bit of equipment to be free. Consider if there's cost savings to be had by doing more people at once. Set a minimum and maximum group size that you're prepared to work with on a workshop at once, it's OK to restrict it to 1-to-1 tuition if you feel that's necessary.
  • Think about how long the workshop is likely to take, remember that you'll have possibly multiple completely inexperienced people doing this, so everything is going to take longer than you think! It can be a good idea to print out a set of notes for what you intend to cover that you can refer to as the workshop runs to make sure you don't miss anything.
  • Run a test workshop using a friend as the participant, to check timings and make sure you've covered everything you need to.
  • Work out a cost for running the workshop. The charge you make for the workshop needs to cover all materials that you're providing and all machine usage charges owed to rLab, most people don't charge for their time; you can if you want to but see below about commercial activity. Make one charge up-front for the participants, then provide all standard materials and pay for any machine charges out of that. It's OK to have additional charges if you're offering premium options on the object being made. You can set any charge you like but you need to consider that if it's too low you might wind up loosing money if a lot of people go for your workshop, if you set it too high you'll discourage people and if you set it high enough you're making a consistent profit then it becomes commercial activity that would need to follow rLab's commercial activities policy and might mean you need to get insurance.
  • Consider what requirements are for your workshop, are there bits of equipment you want people inducted on before they start? are there particular physical requirements? good eyesight? a certain level of fitness? ability to lift something heavy? legal restrictions? Try to be willing to make reasonable adjustments to the requirements for people with different abilities, but safety is above all else and it's OK to refuse someone if don't think it would be safe for them or others or if the adjustments they are requesting are unreasonably difficult/expensive.
  • Write up a paragraph describing your workshop and a work out what the other parameters are and get it posted here! Also write up a much more detailed description including what premium options you're offering (if any), things like what sort of clothing you'd prefer people to wear if needed (e.g. overalls? old clothes?, smart clothes? gloves? safety boots?), anything they need to bring (ID? materials? tools?) and if it's a long workshop what the break/lunch arrangements are that you can email to people once a workshop has been scheduled.
  • Post on the mailing list announcing your workshop and wait for people to start contacting you requesting it! Once a reasonable number have done so, sort out a schedule and get the workshops going. We'd love to see a post too once the workshop is done showcasing what you made.