Minutes of members' meeting 21 July 2016

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Thanks to all those who came to the Makespace members' meeting last Thursday. There were over 20 members present and a lot was discussed (and many kilos of pizza eaten). There are full notes below, but please note in particular:


The wood lathe has no owners, and the main owner of the knitting machine will be leaving soon. If you would like to use either of these machines and are prepared to help keep them at Makespace, please get in touch. Ideally there will be 2-3 owners for both machines, so you will not be on your own. You do not already need to know how to use them, but you must be prepared to commit some time to help manage them. If no owners come forwards they will be disposed of. For details see items 3 and 4 below.

1. Finances

The board gave a presentation on Makespace's finances, income and budgeting, and the possible options for a 'Makespace 2.0' when the lease on our current premises expires (expected in 2019).

2. New 'exec'

There used to be something called the 'Exec' (it hasn't been active recently), a group of members who'd volunteered to take on extra responsibilities for helping to run Makespace. The board would like to restart something similar, with members taking on specific responsibilities and associated budgets - so that, for example, spare parts for a machine that are within a set budget can be bought without needing to wait for a director's authorisation. More details will be announced soon. It was suggested at the meeting that 'Exec' is not a very good name as it sounds remote and similar to a board of directors - other names suggested were 'Co-ordinators' or 'Facilitators'.

3. Wood lathe

Despite calls on the mailing list no-one has come forward to help 'own' the wood lathe. It was agreed that, if we are to keep the wood lathe, two new active owners are needed by the end of August. If two owners have not come forward by then, we will ask Kim (who donated the lathe) to take it back. At present it is just occupying space that we could use for other equipment.

Volunteers to own the lathe would be welcome. The job of an owner includes getting the machine commissioned, putting a training programme in place, and dealing with problems as they arise. Previous lathe experience would be great but is not necessary as someone can be found to train you if you volunteer.

On a few occasions previously people have volunteered to own the wood lathe but then left or become too busy, so it was also agreed that if owners do come forward, we will look again in December. If there are no active owners then, we will take that as a sign that there is not enough sustained interest in wood turning and will dispose of the lathe.

4. Knitting machine

The owners of the knitting machine are Tom Myers and Rachel Rayns. Rachel is now very busy and Tom is leaving the country at the start of September. However, having recently finished exams he has spare time at the moment and is keen to find and train up new owners, as well as to train up any other members who would be interested in using it.

If you'd like to be trained on the knitting machine, ask on the Google group. If you would be prepared to become an owner and help keep it running, please get in touch or e-mail Tom directly at knittingmachine (at) makespace (dot) org.

5. Dark Room

Our lease is being renewed and we've been offered the small space adjacent to the classroom in addition to our current space. It's small but there would be room to create a dark room, for creating photographic screens for screenprinting and potentially also for traditional development of photographs. Some members have volunteered to arrange this and it was enthusiastically agreed to by the meeting.

6. Community account

It was unanimously agreed to set up a bank account for the members' community, to handle money that is used to buy consumables and repaid through the honesty boxes (for food, laser stock, etc). This will have many advantages over the current system of keeping all the money in cash. The account will be opened with the Metro Bank with Mark Wainwright (the administrator), Jonathan Woolf and Cong Cong Bo as signatories. As a matter of policy no signatory will authorise a payment over £200 without agreement from another signatory, or make any expenditure that would lead to an overdraft. A spreadsheet will keep accounts for the different honesty boxes separate.

This will mean we have better tracking of how community money is received spent, can repay for expenses by bank transfers, and do not need to have cash kept on the premises. The account is free to operate.

7. Other business


The owner of the Myford metal lathe (which has been on long-term loan to Makespace) plans to sell it. After discussions among the directors and lathe owners and on the list, the replacement decided on is a Warco GH1330 with digital readout.

Tiered membership

A recent open meeting made a proposal for trialling a low-cost membership for people experiencing financial hardship. This is with the directors who will make an announcement soon.


One member was keen that we should have more woodworking capability and offered to make some suggestions for how this could be done without needing much more space.

Tell the world

A PLEA: If you do something great at Makespace, please tell the world about it! We are not good at this but it is important, especially as we look for support for a 'Makespace 2.0' when we have to move. As a minimum, it would be great to tweet a picture of your Cool Thing to @cammakespace on Twitter. If anyone would like to co-ordinate a more sophisticated way of documenting the many amazing things that come out of Makespace, please volunteer!