Shop Guidelines

These guidelines are meant to give a general idea of how things run at the Wilson Center and are by no means exhaustive - it can still be a rule even if it's not written here!


During the fall and winter semesters, the Wilson Center's regularly staffed hours are as follows:

  • M-F, 8:00 am - 11:00 pm
  • Sat-Sun, 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm

During the spring and summer terms, the Wilson Center's regularly staffed hours are as follows:

  • M-Th 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, F 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Sat-Sun, closed

This is also listed on the Staff Schedule calendar. Staff members are allowed to keep the machine shop open later as long as they are working with a buddy. Scheduled staff hours are shortened during the summer.

There are two types of individual MCard access:

  • Regular Access is M-F, 9:00 am - 11:00 pm and Sat-Sun, 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  • 24/7 Access grants access at all times.

Completing the project assigned in Basic II grants you Regular Access with your MCard. Your team leader will gauge when you can advance to longer access hours.

Dress Code

Any time you are in the shop, including at ALL training sessions:

  • Wear safety glasses at all times in all areas
    • Provided at the shop, or your own if marked Z87
    • Prescription glasses are NOT safety glasses unless marked Z87
  • Wear durable closed-toed shoes
  • Wear long pants 
  • Roll up long sleeves when working with rotating machinery
  • Tie back long hair
  • Remove all loose or dangling jewelry
  • Remove baggy clothing
  • Tuck in hoodie strings ( better still remove the hoodie altogether)

Because this dress code is to protect students' safety, we will send students home to change if they do not dress appropriately. Repeated violations are considered seriously disrespectful of safety and will result in machine or Wilson Center access being revoked.

Signing Machines In & Out

To sign into a machine, find the staff member on duty (they usually wear a black "WSTPC STAFF" t-shirt and carry a set of keys on a lanyard). Regardless of your experience level, you are required to have training from the Wilson Center on any machine you use. Staff will check your training status if they do not know you. You are responsible for finding your own mentor if you are not on the mentor/operator list (see below).

When you are finished machining, clean all shavings/chips, oil, and coolant from the machine (particularly the ways on the lathes), the mat, and the floor (including under the mat). Remove all your materials and put all tools back before finding a staff member to sign you out.

Mentors & Operators for Mills & Lathes

The mills and lathes have separate lists of mentors and operators. Mentors are experienced machinists from many of the teams who oversee your work until they feel comfortable enough with your skills to nominate you as an operator. Operators are allowed to use the machines without mentor supervision but may not act as Mentors. If you are neither a Mentor nor an Operator, you will need to ask a Mentor to keep an eye on you. Mentor lists are posted on the walls near the machines. Be honest about your skills and confidence - the Mentors will help you according to your level. Always ask your Mentor if you are unsure whether something is safe!

Student Staff on duty are not allowed to mentor you, as they are expected to be watching the entire shop.