2010 Florida Camp Shopbot

Palms For the first time in a couple of years the weather Gods looked favorably on us during our Florida stay. Instead of iced windshields, (and motel rooms heated by hair dryers) we had a day in the low 70’s, which was appreciated by the Floridians as much as those of us who came in from out of state!
Mike Wright was our host this year, and he showed some interesting ways he is using his machine. Much of Mike’s work involves architectural mill work, with an emphasis on curved, and turned pieces. He showed us some of his work, his jigs, his equipment handling inventions, and his method of turning legs on the indexer in a surprisingly fast way. There’s been a LOT of interest in the Indexer this year, and Mike has been working on some programming, and cutting techniques which have reduced the amount of time his pieces take to turn. He also showed us some large crown, and arched molding pieces he’s been doing for other shops in the area.
Gary Campbell came up from Islamorada and he brought a scaled down version of one of his cabinet projects to explain how he has adapted the use of the “ECabs” program which is being used by owners of Shopbots and Thermwood routers. Gary explained the layout concepts, as well as how parts can be labeled, (and then worked on the opposite side for exact fits). He also gave a great overview of how the program “thinks”about a project, which is different from the software many people have been using.
Greg Werner just got into using his Indexer, and one of his first real projects was to take on the task of doing a “rotary lithophane” out of 8″PVC pipe. He spoke about some of the issues he had to address in terms of material stability, and quality ( as well as shape).
Gary Gardner brought in his “$3″laser position finders, in fact he brought in a few different ones, including a cross hair, and “dot” beam, which would both be used for different processes.
Ted Hall spoke about some of the latest developments in Durham, including the progress being made on the new, and smaller, “Tyro” machine (which will hopefully be available to look at in prototype form at the Jamboree in April). Ted also explained how it’s now possible to run a Shopbot off of one of the now ubiquitous “net book” computers.
Bill Young described the vision, and goals of the “100kgarages” project, and gave some “case histories”of how it’s being implemented. He also showed a video of a new building technique he’s working on with Robert Bridges. Then he showed a few pieces; one was a simple “starter holding jig”which could be used for anything from the new “Tyro”table, to a temporary fixture on much larger tables. And he brought along a geared “Gizmo” that could be built using such a jig.
It was a pretty diverse group too. We had three of the first 12 Shopbot owners present ( Ted, Bill Y., and Norman Lucia) as well as a few people who have been following the Forum for awhile with the idea of getting into the CNC world “sometime soon”.
Quite a bunch of information in one afternoon, and it was REALLY nice to drive home with the car windows open, and not a pile of snow in sight….

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