How can I help

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Pumping Station: One is a member-organized, member-run, all-volunteer operation. Sometimes people don't understand how they can help out.

Be a Good Member

Just cleaning up after yourself, being helpful and considerate towards others, and being mindful of the shop type of environment goes a long way.


Taking any role in ongoing activities. There will be shop clean-up days announced, parties, and meetings. Come to those. Coming to Tuesday night member meetings or various working group meetings will let you know what needs to be done.

Formally volunteer

Two ways to formally volunteer for things are to apply to the board to be a volunteer authorizer if you are skilled in teaching one or more tools, to be nominated and accept the nomination to run for board positions (elections are in January) or to volunteer to be on board-appointed jobs like the Dispute Resolution Committee

Create Your Own Role

There is room at PS1 for creativity in every facet of operation. You could adopt a tool; that might mean talking to an Area Host. You could fix, clean, maintain, install, or improve something. How do you find out if that's cool or not? A big part of how things happen at this kind of space requires understanding things that aren't immediately obvious. You might want to ask a friend, raise your hand at a meeting, read the Google Groups or Slack for conversations that have already happened about the topics you're interested in. There's no one correct way.

(The original of this page came from a mail from Andrew on 2016-11-06T21:12:00)

TLDR; YES! PS1 would love your help and I look forward to seeing you around. Pick something you are passionate about, champion it, have solid discussions, and JFDI (be excellent - tools, space and humans alike).

What can you do? Well, that's a trickier question...Read on

Task project

I've been getting lots of questions aimed at helping out in general, trying to help get the Epilog fixed when it's down, get the big laser up and running, and CNC preparations (but applies in general). All of these things are happening (at their own hacker-pace [see what I did there?]), and the more help we can get to accomplish those tasks the better. BUT there are lots of decisions that go into actually doing all of those things so it requires a bit of coordination. I don't have a box of 100 well defined 30-min tasks spelled out in enough detail anyone can do them, but I'd appreciate the help in creating any semblance of that.

If you are still encouraged and motivated to help out awesome, here are some...


  • Read, post, be active on the google groups* - You have to sign up because it's not automatic. I highly recommend getting the daily digest version (check out the second-to-the-right hand column of your subscription page <!myforums>) of the google groups. This is where events and such get posted, since PS1 generally does not sent out mass emails.


  • Sign up for the Area host google group* - the area host google group has been around for a long time, and was recently revived to handle space planning stuff. It's not super active because there aren't a ton of people on it. The purpose is for planning though, and to keep the topics on point in both groups.

You have to sign up because it's not linked to the member database, but once you're in you can create tasks and help fill in things that need doing around the space.

  • Read, update, discuss, fix errors on the wiki - *You don't have to be a wiki wizard to edit it. You have to mainly pay attention to syntax, but the benefit is that you can look at other pages and copy parts of them and change the content around. Fear not - the wiki is designed to have things "undone" so if you mess something up it's easy to fix.
  • Get a group of people together for an authorization -* Area hosts and volunteer authorizers love to help people make cool stuff. If you want to get authorized on something and there isn't anything on the calendar, post a request on the google groups (with a time and date that works for you) so other people can join in. Authorizations help transmitting necessary and important information about dangerous, expensive or complicated tools;

batching it for several people makes it more efficient and you get to meet other members.

  • Tell someone if something breaks or isn't working the way you'd expect: A big time suck at the space is fixing broken things. No worries, breaking things happens to everyone, but it is super useful if what you were doing and how the thing broke is communicated to someone that can help out or the google groups, even if you are the one to fix it, or it gets fixed on the spot. The more detail about how something breaks (or doesn't work quite right) the better; it helps us figure out why it broke, how to repair it, weak points in the device or auth, and avoids someone getting hurt or breaking things further.
  • Clean up the area you are working in : Leave it cleaner than you found it. Even if you didn't make the mess going a little further helps everyone out.
  • Come to work/cleanup days - *Sometimes we have work/cleanup days, sometimes they are scheduled poorly or aren't convenient for you. BUT if you've ever been somewhere in PS1 and said "hey this could use a bunch of people to clean this up and get it right", organize your own cleaning day, you don't need to wait for someone to organize it for you; post on the google groups or calendar, get Area Host buy-in, get deputized and follow Tidy-Space policy <>.
  • Get familiar with the area / be a champion for something you are interested in : If you are interested in a specific tool or area get to know that area and the people in it well; fellow members are an invaluable resource and often willing to help! Got some ideas on how to improve the space, get to know the area and see if you can implement those solutions.
  • Figure out what "that thing" you can do actually is, and tell someone about it : Apply "Just Fucking Do It" judiciously and always remember to be excellent. If you are motivated to help out and know how to do something well, even if you have reservations about JDFI'ing something, let someone know about it, post to the google groups, have a discussion; know there will always be opponents to any idea, compromise is key.
  • Future plans: Anything that says stay tuned needs a champion to get that thing recurring. If you are interested post on the group.
  • Area host meeting : The area hosts try to have a meeting every other week on Tuesdays at 8, offset from the board meeting, this is a great place to get involved, and meet the area hosts and members.
  • Wikignome sessions : For those interested in helping out and bettering the wiki. Stay tuned for an upcoming date.
  • Machine maintenance authorizations : Expecially in CNC, the machines need to be tuned up and repaired from time to time. These machines are complicated, and having people be on the same page when they need to get fixed is important. Stay tuned for an upcoming date.
  • Weekend work days : There is still much to be done to finish with the expansion. CNC, Hot Metals, and Wood all need a hand.

Things needed by area, 2017

CNC Area

  • CNC plasma cutter : We finally have all the parts and it needs to be assembled. Water table system needs to be designed. If you are interested in helping out let me know.
  • 150W Laser : This machine lives in the CNC room. The room needs to be painted, finish doors installation, and the machine needs ventilation and compressed air supply, before it can be hooked up and run.
  • Epilog Laser : Currently working, but it needs some more TLC. Will be down periodically. Want to be an authorized fixer? Let me know.
  • DLP printer : A donated machine that is getting hacked back into use, all parts are present, needs to be assembled and tested.