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Notes of how to run a space

Andrés has been talking to several people about how to progress the space. Ensuring a Future in the Space

Richmond Makerlabs: Ham Close

We met up with RHP and LBRUT on 2016-06-10 they really liked the concept of the space. But they said that they did not know what are our needs. They understand that we need storage space, that we cannot really share it with other activities as we can not tidy up equipment, that we need outdoor space as well, that it is not a classroom environment and that it will be noisy. They need details about the arrangement, what type of broadband and such. Also if we can provide some details for independent start up space.

We also understand that there is a realistic amount of space that we can apply to.

We have a scheduled meeting with RHP on the 2018-01-16 the questions are requirements for the future redevelopment of Ham Close. They have already said that they want to ensure that our activities will still be going on that the process will be in phases so we will be able to move to a new space before our old space is demolished.

Ideas for meeting before 2018-01-16

  • We would want a larger space. Currently we have approximately 7x7 m2 space (49 m2). 100 m2 would be nice. 200m2 would be great but currently there are 192 homes and they need 424 homes.
  • We would want electronic accesability 24/7 for members monitored by us.
  • We would want disabled toilet facilities.
  • Electronic, wood, plastic, cardboard and organic recycle points.
  • Kitchenette
  • Single phase power supply should be enough.
  • Closed off office space is OK for IT workshop but we do not want to compete with local library and their IT infrastructure.
  • We do not need an event space: if needed the local library has that.
  • Noise cancellation or far enough to not bother neighbours.
  • Minor storage
  • ...

Tentative Questions Tentative answers

  • What amount of square meters do we need? About 3-4 times what we currently have
  • Out of those square meters what will be:
    • out door space?
    • Blacksmith/metalwork area? yes
    • storage space?
    • server space? One Rack
    • multi function space? Several desks - the round table probably gives us 6 and the IT desk could give 3 more, and there is one or two provided by the table in the middle.
    • Electronics desk ? One desk
    • IT desk? Two desks
    • Separate start-up company space? Against ethos
    • Separate woodwork shop? YES - At least size of current little House - needs to be big enough to cut an 8x4' sheet on a tablesaw with room to feed out and feed in without touching any othe equipment around it.
  • Should we stick to A&A ISP ? YES - but thats not part of the specification - access to an adequate speed line from exchange to space is all that requires specification
  • Should we look into High power provision? yes (one never knows) (presumably you mean 415v 3 phase? )
  • Ethernet, USB and Power sockets all round? Yes. Would some need to be on an 'emergency stop' button (eg saws)
  • Occupancy sensors for lights (enocean standard)? yes
  • Renewable energy: Solar or wind?
  • We will want Blueprints for everything? YES
  • Nitrogen generation station? (JH - really? ) (The hissing is a bit of a pain but it only takes the space of a fridge) NO
  • Compressed air line for cleaning or air balanced tables?
  • Cleanroom? NO
  • Fume cabinet? Certainly need extraction for laser cutter (ideally remote fan for reduce noise) Porbably want some sort of dust extraction/vacuum for any router/saw type things.
  • Hydrogen generator? Using the un-used peaks in the grid. (JH - really? ) (There is one at NPL functioning like that AMP) NO
  • Low power lighting? YES
  • Encryption key pair entrance for members. we should specify what the outcome is, not the how, so 'a system to allow individual members access'
  • Fridge for chemicals and biohazards NO - chemicals shouldn't be brought to space - become a liability - see recent problems at Reading Rlab.
  • Corrosive chemical cabinet NO as above
  • flanable chemical cabinet No as above

New Facility: Community garage (workshop)

  • Space for one car, two motor bikes or 4 bicycles or 8 unicycles. - need circulation space to get around sides and store tools.
  • Inspection pit or lift?
  • Will still have the DIY ethos: the idea is to provide the tools that we would not have space to store or we would only use once.
  • Tire pump with regulation to different pressures (bike, or motor vehicle) - probably better as a full compressor.
  • Engine crane and bench to work on. Lifting materials would need periodic inspections LOLAR.
  • Electrical charging station. For electrical vehicles. - would the vehicle take up the workshop space whilst charging? - that's not desirable, better to have charging stations as part of car parking provision (and/or e-car club)

8 How would this be 'booked' - wouldn't want 'long term projects to occupy space without progress. Some projects the vehicle may not be road legal during repairs - 'yard' space required as well?

Realistic view? Have a set of tools for people to share. This might include a tent for people to take to their car and work while it rains?

New Facility: Green House allotment

  • With trays at different heights to produce vegetables and fruits in the area and experiment with irrigations.

New Facility AI

Mtcroft or Jasper server. Could help for disabilities.



Member ideas

Ryan's thoughts

IanB's thoughts

Concept drawings

Drawings done with Sweet Home 3D Source file can be found here: [1]

Choosing a Legal Form

As proposed is seems best to state a legal form.

Currently we are part of the Ham United Group which is a Community interest Company (CIC). If we ever spin out we would need to worry about another form or stick to CIC.

Dealing With Tax And Accounting

As proposed is seems best to find out how to deal with Tax and accounting.

Currently we are part of the Ham United Group which has it's own treasurer that happens to be an accountant. If we ever need to do it ourselves we can use accounting software such as gnucash or a Apache OFbiz or just see what other UK spaces have done.

Getting insurance

As proposed is seems best to find out how to deal with Insurance.

As part of HUG we have insurance that covers our activities and assets. If we ever need to revisit UK-Hackerspaces have a preferred point of contact.

Mission Statement

As proposed is seems best to state a mission statement.

Proposal 1

RML is to:

  1. To use equipment and do projects with and for the community
  2. Understand and teach each other how they (equipments and projects) work and changing them to do our needs if necessary.
  3. To copy each other DIY or Do it Ourselves (as a team!)
  4. To share what we have learnt and the projects we have done with the community
  5. The 3 Rs in order 1) Reduce waste 2) Reuse waste 3) As a final option, Recycle waste

The Numbers

As proposed is seems best to get an idea of the numbers. This could be HUG members that are interested in RML. Also Why_we_need_new_members.


As proposed

  1. First aid kit. CHECK (we have one but could be better)
  2. Quality and Quantity. CHECK (we do buy quality and we have enough Sometimes it would be nice to have two sets of screwdrivers for example but at the moment we are fine
  3. Laser Cutter. CHECK (thanks to Kim and Paul)
  4. 3D printer. CHECK (thanks to Paul and Ian)
  5. Rest of the machine park
    • CNC machine thanks to Paul CHECK

Self organization

  1. Access to space: currently we use keys. Ideally electronic access is best.
  2. Access to training: currently nothing stops untrained people to use equipment but people seem sensible.
  3. Storage space: Very little and recommended against storing personal projects if so, labelled accordingly
  4. Material management: when buying small components we normally batch order to have some left over. We are in a phase of being very critical to donations thanks to Harriet and Jon.

Self management

As proposed

  1. Board can't to everything: people can propose things but it is important to take ownership of activities
  2. Commerce in the space: We have the Crafty Chameleon and other members that are between jobs or studying that have vested interest in the space.
  3. DIY things though it is preferred to DIO (Do it ourselves) in plural and teams.
  4. How to spend money: if three members think it is good idea it is done deal except if 3 others think it is a bad idea?


As proposed

  1. Public workshop. YES Tuesday evenings. or invited by a key holder.
  2. The tour. We always welcome new faces and give them a tour.
  3. Local events. We had a couple of open document foundation day celebrations. We need to do more. Like working with [Restart project]
  4. Build night. We have attempted these some times. But with little attendance.