Edinburgh Hacklab is a hackerspace/makerspace. It's a member-run organisation and we're always welcoming new people to our membership. Hacklab is self-funded, the majority of our income is membership subscriptions and we use that to pay the rent on the space, buy tea bags and replacement bandsaw blades and try and keep things running.
No one! Everyone!
Hacklab has a board of five directors who are nominally “in charge” but the board really exists to enact the membership's wishes. The directors look after some of the tedious bookkeeping and admin, but otherwise are no different from other members.
Hacklab has no paid employees, no technicians and definitely no cleaning staff. We need everyone to roll up their sleeves and help out. If members don't look after the space then it'll descend into a world of dirty mugs and broken tools.
What you get:
What we expect from you in return:
To join Hacklab, a person should be aged 16 or over, there are no other restrictions. They should fill out the membership form and hand it to a director/responsible-member.
The application (including the blurb) will be posted to the members list. Three members must respond to sponsor the applicant. Members should sponsor a person only after meeting them and determining that they would be a good addition to the membership (so don’t sponsor an application based just on the blurb).
After approval, new members will be contacted by the treasurer to provide our bank details. The membership fee will normally be £25 per month.
Discounts are sometimes available for low income, and are subject to approval by the directors. There is also a remote-member rate for people who live far away and only visit Edinburgh occasionally. “There is no discount for being a student or low-use member, unless you fall into the previously mentioned low-income or remote-member groups.
Members may support the lab by paying more than the standard £25, and many of them do.
Members may access the lab 24/7.
All members should have an NFC access token for the lab. This will open the doors to our part of the building and our rooms, and will also activate some of the tools.
NFC cards and keyfobs are available in the Hacklab shop, and new members get one for free. Existing NFC tokens can also be used (e.g. university ID cards, bus passes). Tokens can be self-managed on the Hacklab control panel.
Members may optionally request a Summerhall access token, which will open the pedestrian gate between Summerhall Square and the courtyard. Send an ID photo to the membership secretary and they will arrange it.
Non-members may use the lab on open nights, or whenever a member is willing to provide access.
Members are responsible for supervising non-members and the general public, to ensure that they do not damage Hacklab property or come to harm.
If you are the last member to leave:
Every member is entitled to a 35L plastic box, which will be provided by Hacklab. This should be clearly labelled with your name and returned to the store room when not in use. Members should keep all of their items inside the box with the lid closed.
Members may also leave larger projects at the lab while they are being worked on. All items must be labelled with your name, the arrival date and the intended departure date. If you haven't worked on the project for a week or two then it should be removed. The lab does not have space to store forgotten projects or things that members “would like to get around to”.
Any project that can't be easily moved out of the way or put on a shelf should be discussed on the mailing list first.
We have a simple de-clutter or recycling system in place. There is a set of three boxes on the shelving beside the door in the main room (G1). New clutter is placed into box 3, the boxes are rotated weekly and any clutter that has not been removed from the system is disposed of after three weeks.
If you find junk that has been lying around the lab for a while with no clear owner or home, please place it in box 3.
Remove any items found in the boxes that belong to you. The boxes will be rotated every Tuesday.
You may only take items that don't belong to you from box 1.
Many of the tools and equipment in the lab are provided by individuals on a long term loan. They may be used as if they were Hacklab-owned, but the owner should be consulted on any significant breakages, repairs or modifications. Loaned items may not be disposed-of without permission of the owner.
See Loaned Equipment.
Members may receive mail at the lab. The address should be:
c/o Edinburgh Hacklab
Please don’t. Hacklab is a place where you can come to work on projects, using our tools. It doesn’t work when people take the tools away.
When you can take tools out of the lab:
Even if one of the above reasons apply, you must still email the members list and let everyone know. This will save frustration, and lets us know that the tool hasn’t been stolen.
If none of the above reasons apply, and you still want to borrow something, you must email the members list and make your argument. Don’t borrow anything until there is a consensus in favour.
As a member, you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others around you.
Knives: Use carefully. Always retract or cover the blade afterwards. Exposed blades must not be left for others to discover by accident.
Power Tools: Get training before use. Wear safety glasses. No loose hair, clothing or jewellery. Wear safety glasses. Make sure that there is a clear space around you, and that no one is in the path of any debris that might be produced. Wear safety glasses. Unplug after use. Wear safety glasses. Tidy up afterwards.
Lasers: Class 1 lasers (pointers) are acceptable. Anything more powerful should only be used in a controlled environment.
There is a money box next to the sink in G1. Put the payment into the appropriate slot:
Change is only available when a box-keyholder is present.
If a receipt is required, put the payment in an envelope along with a description of the purchase, and pass it to the Treasurer. Alternatively, make an iZettle card payment and you can request an emailed receipt.
If payment cannot be made at the time of use, please record the amount owed on the sheet by the money box. Mark the entry if you wish to be invoiced, and give any extra details to the Treasurer.
Please do not attempt to hack the money box or padlocks. If you insist on trying, please have a trustworthy witness present to back you up.
We can take debit or credit card payments with iZettle.
Any member may purchase small items for the lab if they are required. Keep a receipt or an invoice (not just an order confirmation) and forward it to the Treasurer, your costs will be refunded. Hardcopy can be left in the plastic tub behind the money box, but write your name and a suitable explanation on the back.
More expensive items should be referred to the informal group of members that look after the day-to-day requirements of the lab, who will have a better idea of what is okay to purchase and whether something has already been ordered, if in doubt, ask on the members list.
Major purchases (e.g. power tools) should be raised on the members’ mailing list.
Principles that have evolved among the membership:
If you spend a lot of time at the lab it's easy to start treating it as your personal space. Make an extra effort to clean up after yourself and limit the amount of space used at any given time.