You asked, we answered. Again. And again. So we put it up here, and pointed silently at this page…
“To Bodge” is a British term, meaning “To make or repair hastily; to MacGyver; to hack together; to jury rig”.
A makerspace, aka hackerspace, is a shared community workshop, where members and guests can use amazing tools, learn how to build almost anything, and find camaraderie doing so. In our case, we're democratically run, with our membership operating the ship. We are a friendly community of tinkerers, makers, hackers, educators, scientists, artists and crafters, and we welcome anyone who is, aspires to be, or just wants to hang around with folks like us!
The Bodgery has no paid staff. It is completely volunteer run by members, with a sanctioning board of 7 members.
No, but you may only use the shop when it is open to the public. One of the perks of membership is 24/7 access. Check our Calendar for scheduled events and open shop times.
Not necessarily, depending on the tools you need. Our Open Shop nights give you the chance to tour the shop, meet members, and see what the Bodgery is like in practice. You can use the space and our hand tools immediately.
However, most of our power tools require you to be checked off by an Area Captain, and our more complicated machines require training (laser cutters, welders, machining equipment, etc). If your first visit happens to coincide with the Area Captain/Trainer you need, then you may have time to get checked off and use the tool(s) on your first visit. More often, it will take a second visit, after scheduling a check-off/training. And for the more complicated machines, it will definitely take more than one visit.
Once checked off or trained, you're welcome to use those tools anytime you visit another Open Shop!
Kids are absolutely welcome at the Bodgery! Kids under 16 need to have an adult actively engaged with them while there. (“Sit here while I make stuff in the other room” is not allowed.) Young adults 16+ are allowed to work independently in the shop as guests and become members. For younger peoples we have a kids' shelf of activities, and we love it when they like to make things!
Keep in mind that it is a shop with tools and projects that sometimes involve fumes, hot things, and sharp things. It may not be the safest place for very young children unless diligently watched.
We have a 'tool difficulty' rating. Green tools are most hand tools and other easy to use items - anyone can use them immediately. Yellow tools require a check-off by trainers; these are most power tools. Both child and parent must be checked off on the tool, and use it together. Red tools are member-only, and require a more lengthy training. These are the more tricky/dangerous tools, and expensive to fix if used incorrectly. To use them, the parent would become a member, and both parent and child would go through the training, and use it together.
Unfortunately, we are not set up as a tool rental service, nor do we have a “day pass” to offer. We have two goals - to offer a robust workshop to our members, and to open that workshop to the public twice a week, where they can use most of our tools for free.
The key word there is most - we keep the expensive, tricky-to-learn tools for members only. The reason is two-fold: it's a member benefit, and these tools take time to learn, and are expensive to fix if used incorrectly.
That being said, there are two possible solutions for a guest wanting to use a member-only tool. A member might be willing to help a guest, and do the work alongside them. You'd have to ask someone to take the time to do that, and there's no guarantee. The other option is to sign up for one month of membership, as we don't require contracts for longer than a month. Some of our members sign up for a few months before Xmas, or in the summer, etc.
We're open to the public during our Open Shop nights - Mondays 6-8:00pm, and Fridays 7-10pm. That's an excellent time to see the tools, and ask around about options.
Generally, no. We are not a fabrication company. We offer the tools for people to make things themselves, and the support from the community of makers.
Well…that probably won't work out. While one of our experienced members can often lend advice on a project, they may not be at the next Open Shop night. Or they might be busy working on their own project, without extra time that night. If you have a flexible schedule, finding some help usually works out well. But if you're in a hurry, or if the help you need is significant, your best bet is to reach out to local businesses in that line of work.
No. See the answer above (Can I use member-only tools as a guest?) for more details.
Sorry, no. Being run by volunteers means that we don't have paid staff to keep the door open and answer questions, unfortunately. We've carved out two nights that we guarantee we'll have people around to give tours, answer questions, and host guests so everyone can take advantage of the tools and space.
You can check our calendar or MeetUp page for upcoming events, as some are social and would be appropriate for guests. And of course, with a membership you get a keyfob for 24/7 access, so you can use the shop anytime it suits you!
Your best bet for a quick response is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our phone number is YAY-BODGERY, aka (929) 263-4379, but it's only checked a few times a week.