These rules are subject to change. As our membership, facilities, and equipment change and evolve, our membership rules must change to adapt to our staffing levels, capacity, and the safety and security concerns of members and their tools.

Hello Friend

⚙ There are various perks to becoming a MLML member, but, most importantly, YOU will be supporting a grassroots community organization that is enriching our local area by providing hands-on access to, information about, and training on tools, technology, and DIY know-how that our neighbors might not otherwise have… so, first of all, thank you.


A bit about us:

We began developing MotherLode MakerLabs on the KASA/Dome campus in the early part of 2015, although founding members have been working towards the common goal of a community makerspace for nearly two years…


MotherLode MakerLabs is an independant group operating under the non-profit umbrella of the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance. By partnering with them, we are allowed to use their non-profit status/number for our own non-profit activities. We have a small group of officers who make daily decisions about the operation and management of the organization. We currently hold monthly Founding Member Meetups (last Sunday of every month) to orient new members, discuss relevant topics concerning the operations of the makerspace, vote on certain matters, and plan for the future. Members wishing to know more or get more involved are encouraged to attend these meetings.


Our organization pays rent to the TCAA for the facilities we use, including rooms and storage areas. We share a portion of the electrical and internet costs of the buildings at the TCAA campus. We also may occasionally buy equipment and supplies for the use of our members, or for lab administration or operation. We may have to buy occasional equipment for safety or security.  We may occasionally buy snacks or refreshments for events. MLML also occasionally pays for advertising, or purchases promotional material including merchandise or marketing material. Whenever possible, we pursue free/donated services or donated equipment, and typically are able to avoid spending member dues on operations or promotions. This is not always the case, and the officers reserve the right to make purchases in support of the mission of MotherLode MakerLabs. Donations to the MakerLabs are tax deductible thanks to the TCAA’s status as our fiscal umbrella. If interested, please inquire about numbers/receipts.


Monthly regular dues are currently, as of March 2016:

⚙ $25 single member

⚙ $35 family membership (immediate family only)

(prototyping/manufacturing membership rates differ, please inquire)


This is a special introductory/promotional rate and we reserve the right to change the membership rate at any time. However, makers who begin their membership now and keep their membership continuously (making every attempt to pay in a timely and consistent manner) will get to keep the introductory/promotional rate and be considered Founding Members of MotherLode MakerLabs!


We do not want cost to stand in the way of membership, especially for our younger makers, so scholarships and work/trade opportunities are available, so please don’t hesitate to ask.


There is an introductory period where new members will need to use the space only when a ‘Lab Rat’ is present. Lab Rats are Founding Members that have been with the organization long enough to be deemed a ‘keeper of the lab’. A list of these individuals can be provided upon request and individual introductions can be made. A minimum of 20 hrs. will need to be logged before a new member may use the makerspace solo. During this introductory period, a tour of the lab will be conducted, as well as a lab safety mini course. After this period, and after completion of the safety tour and a vote from the Lab Rat council (where the prospective member’s demonstration of ‘safe use of the space’ is reviewed), members will be allowed to access the makerspace according to their own schedule. At that time, keys, alarm, and access information will be shared.


This is a collaborative community organization and every member is expected to contribute to the very general maintenance of our makerspace. This includes, of course, cleaning up after yourself and removing any food related waste, but also things that contribute to the well-being of all members and our space (for example, fixing small things that you notice are broken, like a cabinet hinge, or sweeping the sidewalk.) We’re all in this together.


Members in good standing are highly encouraged to schedule their own maker-related meetups at the makerspace (please check the MLML and TCAA calendar for scheduling and to avoid double booking). Members may post any workshop idea they have on – name the date and time – and then see who signs up!


In addition to our makerspace at 251 Barretta, members will also have access to our “satellite labs” which are a network of personal workshops at private residences or businesses, owned and operated by fellow members. Members will have the opportunity to discuss and collaborate on project ideas with members that own and operate specialty machinery at places other than our makerspace. Currently, our satellite labs include a machine shop, a CNC woodshop, and more…



Members are also encouraged to bring their tools, machines, supplies and toys to the makerspace. However, we are able to offer only limited private storage to our members, at this time. If interested in private storage, please inquire.


⚙ Tools, machines, or materials for personal use must be labeled with the maker’s name.

⚙ Tools or machines brought to the makerspace for member-use should be labeled with “MLML”. Please also include your name if you wish to retain ownership of the item. Otherwise, it will be considered a donation to MLML and qualifies as a tax deductible item for the donor. (Please ask if you would like a receipt with our 501(c)3 number.)

⚙ For items other than basic hand-tools, a training workshop will be required of any member wishing to use a new tool or machine. If a member already knows how to use the tool/machine, safe use of that machine must first be demonstrated to a qualified instructor. The tools/machines that require a training workshop are labeled with blue dots. Please do not use anything with a blue dot unless you have concluded a training workshop on that specific item.


Other rules and regulations:


– No one under the age of 18 can be allowed to be in the makerspace without adult supervision.

– Label your stuff. (see Tools)

– Ask before using someone else’s stuff.

– You must be certified and/or pass a safety check on anything other than standard (i.e. non-electric) hand tools – other than your own, clearly labeled, tools.

– Members must notify MLML if they are producing/manufacturing items using MLML equipment or materials.

– Don’t be on fire.

– Do not endanger yourself, others, or the tools/premises.

– Members shall use the makerspace only for ‘making’ activities.

– Members will not engage in any illegal activity on the premises.

– Members are limited to 2 nonmember guests at a time (unless the activity has been posted to Meetup or is a public event) and only for the purpose of showing the space or a project to them, not for any ‘making’ activity (which would require prior approval and release of liability forms for those people participating).


Membership checklist:

⚙ signed and returned copy of release of liability form

⚙ signed page of New Member Pack Profile/Agreement

⚙ photo taken

⚙ lab tour and mini safety course