I did a search here for anyone discussing this and didn't pop up anything so here it is:
Workshops that bring community together, knowledge and tool center where you can go to
build whatever you happen to think up for a monthly gym type membership. I have heard of
it 2 times on tsp, the first time I couldn't find one in my area. The second time I googled better and
found a list of 3 just in az. 1 in Tucson, 1 in Chandler and another in Mesa.
I visited the one in Tucson and talked for a half an hour about metal casting and 3d printing with one of the group heads.
This is pretty exciting to me, kid in a candy store type of thing. Any how many here probably already know, but here are links
for those who don't.
tsp link: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/navarro-on-hackerspaces the central hub site: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/ the world list off of above site: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/List_of_Hacker_Spaces
I was a member at TechShop for a year in about 2008(?), learned welding. At the time if you came in during the weekday, you could pretty much use anything for hours. Very nice when you're trying to learn something physical and need lots of practice. Don't know what their policies are now - probably pretty good and may just depend on local management. You need to be self motivated and spend time because the instructors for their technical courses have a very broad range to cover in a short class time, which means it's all pretty shallow. However, I found them more than willing to follow up in depth and detail with people that actually came in and worked on projects afterward to learn a skill.