General Policies

  • Keep the shop clean. Metal scraps should be placed in the scrap bin. Store raw materials and projects. Do not leave any materials or tools on the tables or floor.
  • Know the safety requirements of your material. For example:
    • Inhaling dust from some exotic wood can cause respiratory issues.
    • Magnesium chips burn with great intensity under certain conditions.
  • Stay focused. Do not permit anyone to distract you. No cell phones, ear buds, or head phones.
  • Know what to do in case of a fire. Be familiar with the location of fire exits.
  • Report any injury to the Bray Lab staff or your instructor. First aid kits are accessible in the Shop.
  • Be aware of sharp edges and chips. Always deburr fresh cuts and use a brush to remove chips.
  • Always use a clamp to securely hold material to combat applied forces from a tool.
  • No food or open drinks. 
  • No outside tools.
  • No outside chemicals (such as epoxies, spray paint, etc.).

Required Safety Attire

  • Long hair tied back. Hair ties are available in the shop.
  • Safety glasses must be worn at all times. Available in the Machine Shop entrance. 
  • No long sleeves or loose fitted clothing.
  • No watches or hanging jewelry when operating turning equipment.
  • Wear long pants. No shorts, skirts, dresses, or kilts.

Please contact Samanta Carias with any questions or modifications to attire (such as for religious reasons).


The shop is arranged into zones:

Green Zone
Power Tools Zone
Precision Machining Zone

These zones contain a clustering of tools with similar risk/danger level. Safety guidelines, access, and supervision are unique to each zone.

Green Zone

This is a low-risk zone for team-based project ideation and building. Restricted to hand tools and limited portable drill usage. This space is monitored by the Bray Lab staff and/or student Shop Assistants.


  • Clamp your work solidly. Do not hold down work with your hand because this can cause serious injury.
  • Clean up. Use shop vacuums and brooms to clean up your workspace.

Power Tools and Precision Machining Zone

The Power Tools Zone is higher-risk and the Precision Machining Zone is the highest-risk zone. Both contain machines/tools for subtractive fabrication (e.g., drilling, sawing, milling). Training is required to operate within these zones. Power Tools Zone is monitored by Bray Lab Staff or graduate student assistant. The Precision Machining Zone’s supervision and access is allowed on a case-by-case basis by the Fabrication Supervisor or the Lab Coordinator.


  • Users must complete safety training and be approved to operate desired machine or tool
  • ALWAYS wear safety glasses
  • Be sure ALL guards are in place before operating the machine
  • STOP the machine before making measurements OR cleaning chips
  • Do not attempt to stop a moving a spinning part with your hand
  • Be familiar with the location of the machine’s stop/E-stop switch or lever controls
  • You are the ONLY one who should operate controls
  • Always be aware of the direction of rotation and RPM of tool/part being cut
  • NEVER reach over or near rotating cutter
  • NEVER start a cut until there is adequate clearance for ALL moving parts
  • Use care when cleaning machines – use shop vacs and brushes to remove chips
  • NEVER clean a machine with compressed air or your hands – chips are SHARP

DANGER! Serious injury can result from work that becomes loose and spins about on a drill press or milling machine. This dangerous situation is nicknamed a “merry-go-round”.