Self-serve Fabrication

Besides being able to submit orders for more complicated jobs to be completed by the machinists, there are a few options that are available to you. In order to work on your own, you are required to complete various workshop safety training modules. To book a training session, please submit a request to This will create a tracking ticket within our system, which you can use for further correspondence.
Once you have earned the workshop badges, you will be able to work in the machine shop under supervision when the shop is open. Please see this page for the machine shop schedule.

Safety Training
All students who wish to use the workshops must receive safety training appropriate to the tools they wish to use. When working in our shops you must at all times wear on display your student card in a sleeve you can get in the machine shop. The sleeve is used to display badges showing additional qualifications you have earned. You may earn badges after successfully completing Machine Shop Safety Training or various One-on-one Training sessions. While in the shops a machinist may ask to inspect your badge(s) and student card. Our machinists may ask you to leave the shops if you don’t have appropriate qualifications.

Once you have completed the Machine Shop Safety Training you’ll earn the Hand Tools Badge that allows entry to the Shops and the use of Hand Tools during open shop hours (please see the shop schedule for more details).

Other badges available are:

Drill Press




Spot Welder



Graduate students may also earn badges in:





Machine Shop Safety Training Sessions

These sessions will be conducted in small groups by one of our machinists. Book your training by emailing After attending the training session and passing the test you will be awarded the Hand Tools Badge that gives you access to the ECE Workshops and to use hand tools. ELEC 391 Students – please note: you’ll take your training during a scheduled lab. Details will be given by the course instructor.

One-on-one Training

To get one of the One-on-one badges mentioned above please book an appointment via the email address above. You’ll be asked for the type of training you wish to receive while booking. You may bring one or two others with you for a maximum of three people in a One-on-one Training.

Note to Undergraduate Students: It isn’t necessary for all team members to earn all badges but it’s highly likely that your team will need, collectively, the Shearing, Drill Press, Bending and Finishing badges. We recommend that one or two members earn these badges early in the term. The number of One-on-one Training sessions available in the latter part of the term is limited and if no sessions are available you will not be able to earn a badge.

Note to Graduate Students: The number of training sessions (both Machine Shop Safety and One-on-one) is limited and expected to be exhausted at times. Please schedule your research activities accordingly.


Mechanical Materials

When it comes to creating finishing touches, the structural integrity or even an enclosure for your project, materials of all sorts can be used. At ECE, we maintain a stock of materials to help our students/ faculty and staff with their project creation. To better help you with your projects and your endeavours, please take a look at the list of commonly stocked materials we have and use it to figure out the exact material, quantity, and size you need. Please take into consideration that materials cost the department money so please ONLY request materials after you have tested you design through. Should you have any questions about the feasibility and realization of your projects, please feel free to contact the machinist or the technical services manager for tips.

Please include the following information in your request:

  • Use your course and group number as the subject line of the ticket.
  • Include the overall dimensions; size, thickness & type of material required (mm or decimal inches).

Important Terms to Know:
ID – Stands for “Inner Diameter”. Applies to Pipes as they are measured using the ID.
OD – Stands for “Outer Diameter”. Applies to Tubes as they are measured using the OD.
Gauge – A standardized measurement of thickness for steel sheets
Thou – Stands for “thousands of an inch”
*NOTE – Because many materials are made in the USA, the units of measurements are often in Imperial. Please DOUBLE CHECK your units as there might be confusion between Metric and Imperial.

Sheets of Aluminum are available for project fabrication. Aluminum is a softer material compared to steel and more malleable. Aluminum comes in "thou" measurements. At ECE, we usually carry the following thickness material:

thou (thousandths of an inch) thickness (approx. in inches)
40 1mm
60 1.5mm
80 2mm
125 3.2mm
187 4.7mm
250 6mm
375 9mm

Width and length can usually be custom requested (however, when requesting, please make sure that you include all dimensions and are specific about the thickness, width and length.
For more information about aluminium sheets please click HERE

Pipe stock and tubes are available from the machine shop and these are the usual dimensions we carry for. Please note that pipes are measured by INNER DIAMETER while tubes are measured by OUTER DIAMETER . These are nominal sized, which means the numbers are rounded off, hence there are rooms for error with the measurements.

Pipes comes in 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2 inch measurements and in both plastic and steel materials.DSC_1025

Tubes comes in 0.5 inch, 0.75 inch, 1 inch, 1.25 inch dimensions.

Because pipes and tubes aren't as often used, additional dimensions can be requested and the machinist can try to source it for you. Please request your materials via via the "request materials page".

Plastics (primarily acrylic) sheets are available for order for projects and these are the sizes/thicknesses they come in:

1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 5/16 inch, 5/16 inch, 1/4 inch.

The values have nominal values, meaning that there are room for error. The largest width and length they come in is 4 feet by 8 feet. However, the machinist cut the size you would like. You can do so by placing an order the "request materials" page on this site.

Mild steel sheets are available for project production and at ECE we generally carry them in 2 Gauge increments from 24 to 16 Gauge. Gauge is a common form of measurement for thickness of mild steel sheets and below is a table that gives the conversion of steel sheets. 

Gauge Thickness (in inches)
16 0.0598
18 0.0478
20 0.0359
22 0.0299
24 0.0239
26 0.0179

At ECE 3 main types of wood is available for projects. Each different type has its own dimension and thickness.
Door Skin - this is a type of plywood but not as sturdy. This comes in one thickness size and that is 1/8th inch.
Dimensioned Lumber - these come in nominal dimensions of height x width (measured in inches). 2x4; 2x6; 2x8 while the length can be customized up to 8 feet. For more information about dimensioned lumber, please CLICK HERE
Plywood - 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch (measured in thickness). For more information about plywood, please CLICK HERE.
To order lumber for your project, please submit a request with your desired dimensions of your materials via the "request materials page".