Q: Can I use absolutely anything in The Forge during this time?
A: Yes! However, for major equipment like the table saw, band saw, chop saw, etc., an 18 years or older age restriction and certification process is required before solo use of the machines may occur.
Q: Will The Forge supply all the materials I need for my personal projects?
A: While the Forge has great tools, machines, and facilitators available at all times, we cannot guarantee the availability of supplies for personal projects. Makers should come prepared with any specific components they may need for their projects. We’re also happy to recommend sources for wood, electronic components, etc.
Q: Is there an age restriction for participation in Open Making hours?
A: Yes and no. We want families to experience The Forge together and don’t want to limit open making time to those without young children. To that end, we have activities (marble run, maker challenges, circuit blocks) that younger learners can explore while older siblings and parents work on personal projects.
All power tools (drills, Dremels, etc.) and sharp implements (saws, utility knives, etc.) are limited to those 11 and up, while other tools will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
All machine shop equipment (table saw, band saw, etc.) are limited to those 18 and up for solo use or 15 and up with direct adult supervision from a parent/guardian.
Q: Do I have to sign up to reserve space in Open Making time?
A: You don’t have to sign up for Open Making time, but certain tools and equipment may be in high demand and not available upon your arrival in The Forge. For instance, we only have one laser cutter that may already be in use. Email or call Matt Baker, Manager of Maker Education, with any equipment questions or reservation requests; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, 804.864.1419. Machine reservation will be done on a first come, first served basis. If a member does not show up for their scheduled machine-use time, the equipment can be used by the next interested guest.
Q: Can I bring a guest/friend?
A: Sure! As long as that guest either pays for museum admission or is counted under your membership, they are welcome to join your making session in The Forge. However, to use the machine shop equipment the guest would still have to be a museum member and have met the age and certification requirements.
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