As a business model, how does that work? I've heard a lot of maker spaces are closing down due to lack of interest, funding, mismanagement, etc. How do they enforce cleaning, organization, maintenance? Liability insurance must be a big expense?
Mike, I am surprised they did not have a SawStop just for the liability. I haven't looked closely at it, but they have several levels of membership (monthly dues) and a required orientation class to attend before being allowed in any of the shop areas. There is no mention of how populated it is during their open hours, nor which are normal members or pro members.
As far as cleaning and organization, my guess it is honor policy; and if others complain about poor cleaning skills and leaving tools everywhere, your membership can be revoked. From some of the photos in the woodshop, they looks pretty clean. It may be worth a trip to tour the facility one day.
There are several people that were very dedicated to getting the guild started and making it work. I know of one person who has given a large amount of financial support to the guild, but I'm sure there were several who were instrumental and dedicated to its initial success.
At one time they had Sam Maloof come and teach a chair class. The chair was later auctioned for the benefit of the guild. Lumber was purchased by the guild in bulk and sold to members.
I joined the Guild for a year after moving to Anderson. It is very well run and organized. No one can use any tool without an orientation, and a fairly significant training course on the specific tool. Then a demo of what you have learned before you are officially signed off to be able to use the tool. In no way is it a business. There is a huge focus on charity work by guild members like building display cabinets for a museum, and so forth. Clean up is part of the training and there are enough people present that peer pressure insures that it gets done as well as a shop overseer who is on duty at all times the shop is open. I think the original start up was with a major donation (maybe including the building). There are always folks using the equipment ( which is kept in good shape, but suffers from so many users), and things can get backed up waiting for the equipment you might need. They teach lots of classes as well. Overall a very solid organization and a good option if you don't have your own tools.
I dropped out after a year because the distance of the drive just did not make it worthwhile for me. To make this work would take a large number of folks in a concentrated area to handle the costs ( and I mean 1000). Also the number of volunteers just to keep the shop open is significant as the shop overseers man it 6 days a week, two shifts a day. That is a lot of volunteer hours!