Wally Quanstrom retired as a senior executive at BP awhile back, and has thoroughly enjoyed his recent years designing and making any number of creative projects with the help of his ShopBot PRSalpha CNC tool. “My friend Harry Warren worked with an early CNC tool years ago. He worked 30 years as a machinist and CNC operator for John Deere. His experience inspired me with the confidence to go ahead and purchase my own CNC 6 years ago.”
Wally says he chose ShopBot for a number of reasons. “I like the fact that ShopBot is a USA company. Not just that it is based here, but that they make the tools here as well. I’ve been to Durham twice and enjoyed meeting Ted Hall and Sallye Coyle. I appreciate Ted’s concept of making the CNC accessible to anyone who’s motivated to put the technology to work.”
“I have a number of traditional tools made by Laguna. A bandsaw for example. I looked at Laguna’s CNC tools, and I’ll say that they may be ‘prettier’ from a looks standpoint, but the ShopBot is a more solid tool in my opinion. It’s rigid. It performs great. Six years in, I’m thrilled with my 4 x 8 ShopBot tool.”
Here are samples of his and his friends’ projects:
Wally says that he’s found Vectric and ShopBot’s tutorials to be very useful. “I notice that typically the tutorials have you set your zero/origin at the lower left corner; but I like to place it in the middle of the material. This way I can work on different projects at the same time.”
Wally’s friend Jeff Brown has been using the ShopBot to make violins. “I was using a Shark, but the tool gave me a lot of trouble; it was simply not rigid enough.” Jeff came by his interest in musical instruments honestly: his dad was a fiddler and his great grandfather a violin maker. Jeff inherited a dozen violins from his Dad, and set about repairing them. This led to an interest in making instruments.
“I didn’t want to try and duplicate someone else’s design. I wanted to start from scratch.” Jeff has a background in mathematics and computer programming, so he found an interest in “starting with the math, not the picture.” He creates wireframe designs in Microsoft XL, and then brings the wireframes into SolidWorks.
“I enjoy making violins in a number of different woods, from mesquite, to cherry and walnut. I’ve taken some of the instruments to a Violin Makers of AZ convention, and they received a lot of interest.” We’re excited to see what the 3 Amigos will make next!