2012 Upper Midwest Camp Shopbot

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When our host for this Camp ,David McNutt, first suggested we hold a Camp at his new shop in Mercer, WI I told him that due to his ” remote” location I didn’t think we’d be able to get many people to travel there.  In short I was very wrong as once we posted the date/location we had a LOT of interest and on Saturday the  29th 45 people showed up from all over the region !In fact   we had almost 25 people show up on Friday evening for a cook out at the shop !

David’s shop is the sole occupant of a regional “business park” , and he designed his shop/offices for his location.  SIP paneled with an R-60 ceiling and floor heating for a 3500 sq ft shop …..Felder and Festool all over the shop as well as piles of drying lumber and large mantle piece beam blanks…

Pretty diverse group. Contractors,  to boat builders. Artwork and hobby as well. People were using materials that ran from Corian to aluminum. Some good ideas for building your own tools, a VERY clever ” captive ball” cut in wood, and some time spent running the Shopbot by cell phone…

We did some sessions on the universal stuff like materials, vacuum, router bits, etc. Covered a couple of business ideas, and spoke about some of the various model Shopbots.  More than a few software related questions which led to a couple of ideas about which programs might be ” better” for specific applications.

Scott Worden brought in a bunch of samples of his work, and he did a presentation of how he went about designing, and cutting a beautiful and large wooden mantle piece. He also did a few demos at the machine, one of which was using a cell phone as the machine ” remote control” ..

Our host David showed off a large sign he had cut, as well as one of HIS wooden mantles.

The Show and Tell session had some new, and interesting ideas;

Scott showed a number of examples of carved plaques he’s been doing and explained his setup for creating them.

Don Hunter showed us a couple of foam pieces he carved, one being just primed, and the other a great shark was fully painted. He also showed a clever ”  trick cut” in which he took a cube of wood and cut it out using a 4 sided machining technique to create a totally free floating wooden ball in the center of a wooden frame!

Dan Nelson had a sample of a Corian and epoxy inlay technique he’s been using. He also showed off a great ” card holding box’  he did on the Shopbot which featured everything from tight,clean dovetailed joinery, to a great carving on the box lid.

He then showed us an adjustable  ‘ tool’   he’s made on his Shopbot out of aluminum which helps him do layout work when installing window frames.

Bill Peterson showed a couple of pieces, one of which was a large ” textured and painted”   eye.

Marcel LaFond is building a boat and using his Shopbot for some of the joinery, etc. He showed us his ‘ aluminum/foam  sandwich’  design and also brought in an example of a ‘ finger joint scarf”  he’s created to build longer panels for his hull.

Eric Erickson brought in a few pieces of his sign work, and discussed how he’s built his business from an idea to the point of now hiring people to help him keep up.

And as an added bonus because of David’s ” remote”  location a number of people decided to make it a full weekend and catch the beautiful Fall colors which were pretty close to peak this weekend!

A big thank you to David for his efforts in putting this Camp together…


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