Physics Department Machine/Scientific Instrument Shop

Welcome to the Physics Department Machine/Scientific Instrument Shop Webpage



The Physics Department machine shop is available for all UMass faculty and their students who need professional tool-maker/machinist expertise. The shop can also provide design and drafting consultations for projects. Job submission requires a speedtype # for billing purposes.  

The R&D model/tool makers:

Walter Pollard, Foreman.  545-1229, 

Rick Miastkowski worked with us until his tragic death in December, 2022. His obituary is here.


Walter Pollard    Rick Miastkowski

           Walter Pollard                          Rick Miastkowski

Normal shop hours:   M, Tu, Wed, Thur, Fri, 8:00-4:00

Location: in the basement of "new" Hasbrouck, Has 6

Services available: Walt and Rick have many years of experience in precision machining and tool-making.   Walt came to the Physics Department from the Starrett Co. tool-making division, and Rick was formerly employed by the Engineering College machine shop.  The shop specializes in precision, hand-machining.  Tooling and services include lathe, milling machine, surface grinder, CNC machining, sheet metal tooling, and some welding. The shop staff can also provide design and drafting support.  Jobs for making parts that are readily available from external vendors, such as McMaster-Carr and MSC, will not be accepted.   

Cost of shop services:   In addition to charges for machining time, the shop will also charge for any design or drafting effort required  to make a job ready for production.   The rate is $80/hour; for users within CNS the rate is partially subsidized to a level of $40/hour.   There is a charge for any stock provided by the shop, for tooling the shop does not have and must purchase, and a replacement charge if the job is excessively damaging to cutting tools.   A speedtype # is required for billing.  Please keep in mind that shop charges, even for those outside of CNS, are probably 50% of what you'll find in area machine shops. To minimize costs, shop users are highly encouraged to bring fully designed and drafted projects into the shop, along with all necessary stock. 

Getting started with a job submission: Download the job intake form (link below), print it out, read both pages of the form, and make a first pass of filling out requested information in pencil.  Then contact Walter at his phone or email contact and arrange for an initial consultation on the job.    The consultation can be on the phone or in person.   Walter will provide a good faith estimate of the machining time required for the job.  The more complete and documented your design is, including required tolerances, the more accurate his time estimate can be. 

Job intake form