Update 5-15-20

MASW and the Coronavirus

The following is how MASW will safely open operations starting in June. By July and into the rest of the summer, these restrictions will be reduced or even eliminated as the virus exposure becomes lessened. We look forward to getting back on our usual track by the first of July. See you this summer.

Our Plan to Keep Everyone Safe While at MASW

You know around here we say that “lay out is everything,” so in this letter, I am going to lay out our plans to keep you safe and give you the kind of experience you have come to expect of us. Just as we check out everyone on a power tool because we want you to be safe, so we are going to brief you on our safety plans for dealing with COVID 19. The dangers of this disease are well known. Now more than ever, keeping you safe from the moment you arrive to the time you leave is our greatest concern.

We plan to open the school beginning June 1. Of course, even our best lay out sometimes requires a change in design or execution. So, it is with reopening and maintain our curriculum this year. If it appears the virus has surged and endangers anyone, we will quickly respond, closing if we have to. Our plan is built on three principles: Government directive, scientific evidence, and safe practice.

In this message I will describe what we will expect of you, how you should prepare for your class, the equipment to bring, and the expectations for all students, staff, and instructors. I will explain procedures for screening students, staff and instructors, how we will serve meals, workbench placement, demonstrations, and how we will maintain physical distancing. You will see our plans to clean and sanitize surfaces.

This lay-out is designed to give you a safe and rewarding experience at MASW this year.

Last month, I determined it would be safe to reopen when 75% of the states within a 500-mile radius of MASW had to be at a similar phase in reopening. Our Governor is preparing Indiana to lift travel restrictions and allow gatherings of 100 people by May 24. Re-opening on June 1, therefore, is in line with the state’s guidance.

MASW will follow the guidance guidelines set forth by the CDC on how to reopen a business. While the CDC web page (More Information Here) is very informative, it does not consider the kind business that is MASW. So, we must adapt them to assure the safety of our people. We can manage the physical distancing of lathes and benches. It gets complicated when we have to think about demonstrations, use of common shop tools such as chop saws, personalized interaction with the instructor or staff, how lunch/dinner are served, wearing protective gear all day, environmental hygiene practices, distancing of work stations and other resources or conditions that might arise from specific workshops.

In order to best address the concerns specific to MASW, I have spent the last month working with a team of experts—who are also alumni— on the best way to open safely. This advisory board includes doctors with the following specialties: Intensive Care, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, and Emergency Care, not to mention that our County Medical Director has been working with me from the beginning. I have also consulted with business owners and university presidents who face the same kinds of challenges with large numbers of people in close proximity. Of course, I relied on our staff to think through our design for re-opening the school, how to maintain the facilities, and flow of each workshop. In addition to their usual helpfulness in classes, assistants will also act as monitors for safe hygiene as well as the safe operation of equipment.

PLUS, I have talked in detail to world renown surgeon, Dr. Merrill Ritter who has personally had COVID-19, and his wife spent a week in intensive care on oxygen with COVID-19. God has blessed Merrill and Nanette and they are now COVID negative. Dr. Ritter brings both expertise and experience to the table. With all this expertise, MASW can take what the CDC advises, then “plus” our action to provide an environment that will make your experience here as safe and stress free as possible.


If you are sick, DO NOT come to MASW. If you are in an at risk category (More Information Here), please postpone your trip to MASW for another time. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or a family member has COVID-19, DO NOT come to MASW. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have not self-quarantined for 14 days, DO NOT come to MASW. If you have had COVID-19, but have fully recovered with two consecutive negative tests, then you MAY come to MASW.


People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19 AND SHOULD NOT COME TO MASW.

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Recent loss of taste or smell
  • This list is not all the possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. (More Information Here)


*Bring enough masks to last the week.

Home mademasks are acceptable. You should clean them each evening. Make sure that you put your name on your masks. MASW has purchased custom made, washable, masks that will be available for students to purchase for under $9 dollars each. They even have our logo on them. The school does have a limited number of surgical masks that students can use if they are unable to bring their own.

*Bring a few pair of disposable, non-sterile gloves.

These gloves can be latex, neoprene, nitrile, or vinyl and can be worn while working at power equipment or throughout the day. The CDC still recommends that you wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after removing your gloves.

*Plastic face shields are not required, but if you have one bring it.

Face shields will be handy when in close contact with instructors or staff. MASW has a few extra face shields that students can borrow, but they have been used in past workshops. MASW does have a few new face shields that could be purchased but will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Used face shields will be disinfected before being handed out. It is far better to bring your own face shield.

*Bring hand sanitizer, if you have any.

Hand sanitizers available from Indiana Safety & Supply for $12 for an 8oz spray bottle.
Resources for masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are available from:
Indiana Safety & Supply Co.
1001 NE 3rd Street
PO Box 559
Washington, IN 47501
Website: Indiana Safety & Supply Co.
More info: Email


Each morning students and instructors can check in between the hours of 7:15-8:00 a.m. in a predetermined area with their shop assistant. There will be a daily log kept that will include the following:

Each student, instructor and staff member will have their temperatures taken and recorded.

Each student will be given a lunch menu with that day’s choices.

There will be a simple daily, yes/no questionnaire that will determine any risks to you or other students.

Questions AND reminders include:

Do you have a fresh/clean mask? Yes No
Do you feel sick? Yes No
Do you have a cough? Yes No
Are you short of breath? Yes No
Do you have muscle pain or are you achy? Yes No
Are you getting good rest at night? Yes No
Do you have any concerns? Yes No
Do you need any additional PPE? Yes No






In addition to our normal welcome briefing and introductions, we will review this vital safety information on the first day of class (Monday or Saturday) to review and update vital information for the start of all workshops. This meeting will take place in the Tech Center (new building-west end) and not the cafeteria. It will be much easier to social distance in that room.


Joe Miller is our new chef. He comes to us after 19 years as the Executive Chef at a prestigious golf course in the Indianapolis area. Both Joe and Susie Adams attended a COVID-19 workshop for chefs. They are both knowledgeable in preparing and serving food in a COVID-19 world. The dining room will be sanitized before and after each meal.

During each morning check-in, students will be given a menu of the choices will be available that day. Meals will be prepared individually based on each student’s meal choices. On weeks (or weekends) when there are multiple workshops, only one class will be called to eat at a time. Students can eat in the cafeteria, or if the weather is nice, can eat outside. In the cafeteria, tables will be arranged with more than 6’ between each dining location. Lunch will be served on a 30-minute rotation from class to class. After each meal is served the tables will be sanitized before the next class is called to eat. Meals and all utensils, including drinking cups will be placed in paper bags with each student’s name. Masks may be removed while eating.

Added Requirements to the Meal Program during COVID-19
  • ALL students must wash or sanitize their hands before entering the cafeteria.
  • Masks must always be worn in the cafeteria and can only be remove when eating. They must be put back on after eating.
  • All meals will be served on Styrofoam plates with plastic silverware and will be discarded after use.
  • All drinks will be served in disposable cups
  • Students can help themselves to the soft drink machine without gloves because there is no hand contact with the machine.
  • Students must put on a kitchen glove before helping themselves to the coffee machine or using the self-serve ice cream machine.
  • Morning snacks will be placed individually on a table and will not be in baskets—please only touch what you intend to take, the same for creamers and sugar.
  • Serving trays will NOT be available.
  • Students can bring their own drinking container, such as a Yeti cup or any plastic bottle.
  • Students will not be allowed in the kitchen, where food is prepared.


Those who travel to MASW might find convenience and safety in eating dinner at MASW instead of going to a local restaurant each evening. My plan is to order carryout from a local restaurant each evening. Menus from a chosen restaurant will be given out each morning, sent to the restaurant, and delivered to the school in time for dinner, around 6:00 p.m. each evening. All meals will be individualized and placed in sacks, to prevent additional handling. You are responsible for paying for the meal you order.


MASW has always maintained a clean and tidy shop (except when Michael Fortune is here). Cleaning the shop in a COVID-19 world is a completely different type of cleaning. Our staff will clean and disinfect common areas where group contact may occur MANY times a day. Students can also use disinfectants which will be available in spray bottles (properly diluted household bleach) that will be in or around each workshop, bathroom, common area, water fountain, and located close to common stationary power equipment. Ventilation is VERY important so all the entry doors and overhead garage doors will be open during the day. Fans will NOT be used to circulate air.

Other Helpful Information to Disinfect the Environment
  • Rubber gloves are available, but limited, for anyone using disinfectants. We recommend that students bring gloves.
  • Surfaces should stay wet with disinfectant for at least one minute.
  • Doors will remain OPEN, so students do not have to touch door handles. Exceptions include fire doors and the lady’s bathroom doors.
  • Light switches will be wiped down regularly by the MASW staff.
  • The water fountain has a “hands free” sensor that activates the water bottle system. This is how we suggest students access water.
  • Each bathroom will have antibacterial soaps and other cleaning supplies that can be used to disinfect faucets and toilet handles.
  • There will be a few hand sanitizing stations located in the building.


Physical distancing means keeping space between yourself and others by at least a distance of 6 feet or more (about 2 arms’ length). For the most part this can be done easily in a facility as large as ours, but there are times when demonstrations are more effective in groups in remote areas of the facility. The following are ways MASW students, staff and instructors will maintain social distancing.

Working Together to Keep You Apart

Each workbench station or lathe will be placed 6 feet apart, PLUS
each workbench or lathe will be separated with a clear plastic barrier (welding curtain) that provides even more protection from bench to bench or lathe to lathe. These custom curtains are 6 feet tall by 6 feet wide and are nearly transparent.

During demonstrations students CAN gather in chairs spaced more than 6 feet apart. When possible, demonstrations will take place at the instructor’s bench or lathe.

TV and camera viewing of details will be used as normal, BUT we are developing technology where our cameras will be hooked to the instructor’s computer and a ZOOM meeting can take place in the building where student can stay at their workstation and view the demos on their computer. How cool will that be!

Some demonstrations must take place in a location where cameras aren’t practical. In these exceptions, students MUST maintain the six-foot separation standard.

At times demonstrations could require one-on-one interaction between the student and instructor or staff member. When this happens, it will be especially important that everyone has their face masks on, and when possible, wear a face shield. Our instructors will be required to wear face masks when working personally with students. Again, we encourage you to bring their own face shield.


Layout is everything. Lay out your work carefully. Execute your plan carefully. Everything will come together. That philosophy of careful craftsmanship that we have taught for more than 27 years is what we have used to create this plan for keeping you safe and ensuring you have the best experience possible. We expect you to be prepared to learn and to work safely and enjoy yourself while you are here.

If we all follow these plans carefully, we will produce a great experience. Together.

Thank you from the Entire Staff at MASW,

Marc, Susie, Paula, Doug, Will, Eric, Brian, Harold, Max, Don, and Diane

What's New in 2020

250 Total Workshops - Diversity Is What MASW Is All About!

Time-Honored Crafts