2011 Northwest Camp Shopbot

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Dave Chase hosted this year’s Northwest Camp at his shop in Vancouver, WA. We had our largest turn out of the year (to date) , and “Campers” came in from a number of neighboring states ( as well as Canada…) . Most attendees were already Shopbot owners, as well as  a number of people there to see one in operation for the first time.

Dave uses an older “PR” model machine which he has upgraded to a “4G PRT” with E-chain, spindle, etc., etc. and when you see the quality of the pieces he had on display it’s obvious that he’s dialed in his rig to very exacting standards.

There was a lot of interest in learning how to do 3 dimensional work, as well as picking up some tips on the process of building signs. We also got into the concept of what it takes to run a Shopbot based business, and there was some great feed back from all sides on that topic.

The “Show and Tell” pieces on display were exceptionally good. Our host Dave does cribbage boards, but unlike any cribbage boards you may have seen before. Using a little mathematics, and wizardry he has incorporated multiple bevels, beautiful hard woods, and hidden magnetic latches to create folding units which look great even when they aren’t open! Outside his shop, and in a few neighbors yards, you could also see some of his working water wheels in action.

Daryl Boulton stopped by Friday afternoon to drop off an “experiment” he had attempted on his newly acquired 12″ Shopbot indexer, and it stopped everyone in their tracks with it’s detail, and “accidental” blending of design and wood grain!  He carved  a dragon which wrapped itself around a log of about 12″ in diameter, and it looks as though he’s certainly figured out the process !

Larry Peterson brought in one of his “long boards” which are totally unique skate boards which  he builds by cutting, and layering multiple veneers of thin wood in hydraulic presses to create truly “organic” molded shapes unlike ANY plywood you have ever seen before. And that was only one of many different styles his company produces.

Mike Miller brought in some of his custom parts for marine use ( rod holders, cup holders, etc) which he cuts out of ” Sea board” and then incorporates them into VERY beefy aluminum frames for “real world” usage.He gave some great examples of how one could get more efficient production by “nesting” smaller parts between larger ones in the planning and layout stages.

There was also some VERY nice abalone inlay work on a guitar neck, and as soon as I can remember who did it I will post their name as they truly deserve recognition for it (particularly the 5 piece inlay on the neck….) .

Alan McCarthy showed off a large mantle which took a couple of days to complete , and was obviously worth the time and effort.

And as usual there was just as much information exchanged during the breaks,and lunch as people met one another, and tried to pick up as many tips and tricks as possible..

Plus, the weather turned in our favor and we snuck in a beautiful blue sky day  which had some of the “locals” squinting from the excessive amount of sun shine…..


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