COVID-19 Updates and Safety

COVID-19 Updates and Safety

MMW is implementing a broad array of changes to comply with new OSHA and state guidelines for reopening.  But more so, we’re doing this so we can continue to offer a safe and productive space for you to learn welding, build cool stuff, and have a good time.  This will be an evolving document (last update 6/29/20).

Classes Start Rolling 7/17

Classes will resume 7/17, starting with Intro MIG, Intro TIG, and Taster.  Longer classes (sculpture and furniture) will return in August.  More elaborate classes (advanced MIG, tube bending etc) will likely return in Sept.  Certain other classes will require a complete rework of the syllabus to give enough space for everyone to make the class safe, so certain ones (Homeowner Bootcamp, Sketchup), are on indefinite hold until I can rework them.

Open Shop Estimated to Start 9/1

First we’ve got to make up a bunch of cancelled classes and figure out how to run them safely before we can get into the more unstructured world of Open Shop. Aiming to have the staff and space available starting 9/1. There will be a few changes to make OS safer too, starting with requiring reservations. More changes on that to come.

Thank you for your patience. I know you want to get back to work, but we gotta make sure it’s safe first. Makeup time will be credited once I get a firm start date.

Safety Protocol

First, masks will be required at all times in the shop. No mask, no service, no debate. Not politics; following the guidance of the CDC, state and local government. If you want to have a debate, go on twitter. We are here to weld.

Other PPE: Safety glasses were always a must, but now so is a mask and gloves. Quality masks and gloves will be available for purchase, but please bring your own masks if you got them. N95 masks are particularly hard to get, so we’re trying to conserve. If you have one at home, please bring your own. Try it out with glasses, so you can see if it’ll fog up your (safety) glasses in the shop. Wire nose pieces help immensely.

Before starting classes or open shop, everyone (staff included) will be forehead-scanned for temperature. If you’re over 100.4°, we’ll politely ask you to reschedule. You’ll also be required to fill out a risk assessment form; if you’ve travelled or had any symptoms in the last 14 days, we’ll ask you to reschedule.

Certain tools require no gloves (drill press, bench grinder, etc), so hand sanitizer will be placed at that tool so you can cleanse up before bare-handing the tool.

Spacing guidelines are laid out on the floor, helping to show you how far 6′ is, so you can rest easy knowing you’ve got a little more elbow room. Grinding room is now limited to three at a time so you can spread out more. Most classes will be capped at either 5 or 6, so that there is enough space and tools to avoid sharing.


There’s now a full cleaning protocol to be completed every six hours, addressing all major touchpoints (tool handles, door knobs, bathrooms, water dispenser, tool cabinets, etc).

There’s also a protocol for cleaning the masks, with separate areas for clean masks and dirty masks. Gloves will no longer be provided, seeing as how there’s not a great way to clean those, and there’s no consensus on how long the virus could live inside the gloves. So we’ve bulk purchased a ton of gloves that’ll be for sale or provided (depending on class).

Procedural Changes

There will also be a host of other smaller procedural changes to our classes; whether it’s having you fill out your waiver in your car, or requiring you to eat lunch outside, that will continue to be refined as we teach and as new information comes out from the CDC.  But physical distancing will mandate smaller classes sizes for some classes and demos will now be conducted at a distance.

Overall, it’s going to be awkward for the first few times. Then we’ll start to get the hang of it, and pretty soon, we’ll be pros and having a ton of fun. Wait, that sounds like the exact speech I gave to my prom date…

Refund/Reschedule Policy

Our prior refund/reschedule policy was 7 days notice to refund or reschedule. But I don’t want you coming in sick. So if you wake up the morning of the class and feel a sore throat, or you take your temperature and it’s a little high, PLEASE STAY HOME. We can reschedule you for a later class for $25. But please, give as much notice as you can so we can try and fill your spot. As a small business, having classes one or two people less each time really adds up and hurts at the end of the month.

To summarize, wash your hands, wear your mask, and stay home if you’re feeling ill. And then come to class and melt metal.