Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the OTOW Woodshop? The OTOW Woodshop is an air-conditioned wood shop within the On Top of the World retirement Community for OTOW residents only.

2. How do I become a member? You must call an officer and arrange a time to meet in the shop.  You can print the application form and bring it to the meeting or fill one out there. At the meeting, you pay your annual dues, receive your admittance instructions, and get a 30 to 45 minute walk through of the shop.

    2a: How much does it cost? The annual dues for 2020 are $40, no matter what time of the year you join - no refunds and the dues are not prorated.

    2b: What are the hours? Members can access the shop at any time between 6 am and 10 pm. If for some reason the shop must close, all the members will be contacted.

    2c: Where is the shop located? The woodshop is in the west end of the Hobby Building on SW 98th Street.

    2d.How do I cancel my membership? If you no longer wish to be a member, simply let any of the BOD members know.  Dues are not refundable.

    2e: Can I join on-line? At this time, all new members must fill out the form (available online or at the shop) and pay by check or cash at the time of their orientation.

3. Can I buy materials there? There are no materials or tools for sale in the woodshop. Many of the materials are supplied such as bandsaw blades, table saw blades, belt sanding disks, router bits, etc... but personal sandpaper, glues, finishes and items like that are not supplied by the woodshop.  On occasion, the shop will auction off unneeded donated items.

4. Can I store my projects there?  There is “some” space under the worktables for temporary small project storage. Practice has been to allow storage of larger projects but only for a short time while they are being completed. See Article 7, Section 8 of the bylaws.

5. I don't know much about woodworking, so can I receive training?  There are training videos on our website as well as recommended YouTube videos to watch on certain equipment. If you wish to receive specific training on a technique or project, you can ask other members or some board members if they can give you a lead on who might be willing to tutor you. There is also a lending library of DVDs available.  Refer to Woodshop Policy 6. Education Policy for more info.

6. Can I use the woodshop to make items I sell for profit? YES, you can sell items you make in the woodshop as long as this activity does not prevent other members from using the equipment.

7. Can I bring in a guest to work on a project with me? Yes, guests are welcome. Any guest must fill out a Guest hold-harmless waiver to be present in the shop. The guest is under the supervision of the member. It is up to the member who brings in a guest to ensure the guest follows proper safety precautions. Guests cannot operate equipment or use the hand tools.

8. I am interested in teaching a class or workshop, can I do that? Absolutely. We welcome members who are willing to share their knowledge with others. You should contact one of the BOD and let them know what you want to do. Refer to the Woodshop Policy 6. Education Policy.

9. How can I get a tour prior to joining?   Simply contact any of the BOD members and we would be happy to give you a tour and answer any questions you may have about the woodshop.

10.  What is in the Woodshop?  The Woodshop is comprised of several worktables, stationary power equipment, small hand tools, and most everything one needs to perform woodworking. Every stationary tool is equipped with dust collection. For more specific information on what is in the shop, visit the Our Shop page or schedule a tour with one of the board members.

11. When is the woodshop open? The woodshop is always open for members to use. Every member can access the shop at any time (6am - 10pm). If the shop is going to be unavailable for some reason, you will be notified.

12. Do you accept Donations? We do accept donations of wood or tools on occasion. There is a release form to be signed for any significant donations made.  Contact a BOD if you have donations to make.  We generally do not purchase anything from individuals.

13. How is the woodshop governed or managed?   The woodshop is managed by the BOD (Board of Directors). Every year, an election is conducted at the December meeting. The BOD consists of President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and 4 members at large. The BOD meets several times a year to discuss equipment purchases, maintenance, issues, and any complaints that may arise.  All board meetings are open to members.  See the bylaws for more information.

14. Is there a finishing room with a spray booth?   No. Because of the fumes, no aerosols are to be used in the shop.  See Article 7, Section 9 of the bylaws.

15. Can I bring in my own tools?  Yes. You may bring your own saw blades, power tools, turning tools or hand tools to use. Your tools are your responsibility.

16. What do I do if I see something that is not safe or somebody abusing the equipment? If appropriate, you can always approach the individual, introduce yourself, and demonstrate an alternative, safe way to perform the operation. If you’re not comfortable approaching the individual, please let any board member know about this incident (name and time)

17. If there is a medical emergency, what do I do? There is a first aid kit in the shop. If the emergency is something more than a minor cut, you can  call 911 using the 911 call box in the shop.

18. Can I bring my pet into the woodshop? Pets are not allowed in the woodshop.

19.  Can I borrow tools from the Woodshop? Yes, many tools can be borrowed by members. Any tool removed from the shop must be signed out and back in in the Tool Loan book at the desk. See Article 7, Section 5 of the bylaws

20.  Do I have to do any cleaning of the shop? Yes, all members are responsible for cleaning the area and equipment where they have worked. Refer to Woodshop Policy 5. It is expected that you clean up behind yourself and leave everywhere you worked clean.  The shop is thoroughly cleaned weekly as well, and you may be asked to assist in this occasionally.