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Thread: Online Training Updates

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    250

    Default Online Training Updates

    Hello everyone,

    For the past few years we have held our Online Training sessions on Wednesdays at 1:00pm eastern time. Due to scheduling conflicts we are no longer going to be able to offer these sessions at this time.

    We do not want to loose these valuable sessions so we are reaching out to hear your suggestions for new days and times. Please take a few minutes and write us back to let us know your suggestions. We will take everyone's feedback and put together a new day and time.

    Please let us know the following things:
    -Training topics
    -Am/Pm sessions
    -Day of the week
    -Length of session
    -Any other reccomendations

    We really value our Online Training and want to build an even better atmosphere for 2018 so we really appreciate any suggestions that you have to offer.

    Once we get enough feedback from you we will put together a new day and time and test that out in December before making it official for 2018.

    Thank you for your time, TJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Hey TJ, Ricky over in Bahama says you should hold 3 a day, and come over to his place and bring free food. Said something about damn yankees, too. Just picked up 180 bf of red cedar from him.

    As for the training slots, I liked when they were, even though I forgot about them half the time. I work at the computer mornings and early afternoons and go out in the shop later in the afternoon, so late afternoons/evenings aren't really good for me. But since I'm the only one to reply so far maybe we can work something out.
    ShopBot Desktop 24x18
    Spindle
    VCarve Pro 8.5xx
    ScottP Super Deluxe Spoilboard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    44

    Default More thoughts

    Dear TJ

    Mornings US EST would be better for those participating in the UK or Europe.

    Participants have to make themselves available so the day of the week is probably less important than making sure it is regular so it's easier to get in the diary.

    As for topics, for those that haven't seen it the current list includes.
    Back to the Basics
    Safe Z Heights and Starting Points
    Machine Maintenance
    Text Training
    Tabs, Leads, Ramps
    Pocket and Profile Toolpathing
    Drawing Tips
    Common Toolpathing
    Importing
    ShopBot Control Software Basics


    TJ If we take the forum for pointers then other topics could include.. Grounding issues, USB problems, hold down techniques and vacuums. Now that VCarve Shopbot Edition incorporates 2 sided machining - locating and hold down for double sided machining. Dust Shoes, Extraction and alternatives, and finally from me, how many of us have ever used the probe?

    Sincerely and in good faith
    Martin Reid
    Lancashire UK
    3150 x 1525 PRS ALPHA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Elgin Illinois
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Hello TJ. I enjoy and benefit from the training sessions, and see them as a key part of helping Shopbotters become functional. But I only watch the end results on YouTube, so when the live session takes place is not important to me.

    But, as to the topics, I think it would be great if you could occasionally visit a customer's machine, and show how to evaluate its condition, and then how to fix it up. As noted by Martin, this could get into grounding issues, USB/Com Errors, and alignment of the machine, especially the spindle, (Using a dial indicator, and doing it without).

    As part of the evaluation of the machine, showing poor cutting results and then figuring out what is wrong, and then showing how to fix it perhaps seems obvious. But on a slightly more subtle level, doing something that shows what the best cut is that you can get on various types of machines would be very helpful. When I work on trying to improve my cutting, I don't know if my machine can do any better or not. And if I am not sure, because I am only familiar with my machine and one friend's bot, I really feel like I'm guessing.

    As a last variation on that theme, if you showed a perfect machine, and then put in some worn gears, and showed what happened, then put it back to good, and knock the spindle out of alignment, and showed what happens. Show cuts with all the cut parameters perfected, and then show what happens when they have been messed up......

    Thanks for asking, and please keep up the good work, Chuck
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Thanks for the reply's everyone! All very good tips and ideas, I think we will have to incorporate them into 2018 topics!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Blaine Mn
    Posts
    291

    Default

    TJ- I enjoyed your first video of the year [tips and tricks] and this old post came up when I searched for info on Alpha machine operation. I would suggest a video dealing with the differences on the Alpha machines. I have had two standard SB machines and recently bought a used [barely] BT48 alpha with a spindle. I have been puttzing with it as I have time but... I am having problems understanding the Alpha and how it determines where it is and where it thinks it is. I have gotten a lot of help from the fine peeps on the board but have not found much on the SB site. Thanks Gene

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Elgin Illinois
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Hello TJ. As a follow-up to my reply on this thread dated 11/26/17, I would really hope that you can re-consider my suggestions, which are all connected with maintenance of Shopbot machines. After carefully looking through the SB training videos on the SB site, and looking on YouTube, I simply can't find anything that addresses the maintenance issues I raised on 11/26/18.

    The most pressing issue for me personally, is trying to "true-up" the Z axis, using a dial indicator on a trammel bar. I find that this is very difficult to do accurately. At least I have never gotten this right, based on the ridges I get when resurfacing my spoil board. Past threads on the forum have people putting a wire, that is bent as a Z into their collet, and revolving it around so it scrapes evenly across the spoil board. I think that people resorting to such methods that don't even use a dial indicator indicates a real lack of professional guidance, and the need for detailed, thoughtful tutorials on this subject. (There is a general YouTube video of someone using a double headed dial indicator to align his spindle,,, but it isn't a Shopbot, and he says the process is tedious and difficult. Even the results he achieved, as shown in his follow-up video indicate that for all of his efforts, sub-par results,,, again, indicating the difficulty of this process, which therefor indicates the need for a detailed Shopbot specific video.)

    Even shining light on the consideration of how do you true up the spindle/Z axis, when your table isn't really flat, because your Z axis isn't trued up would be valuable.

    I like the topics you discuss and demonstrate. But if many people's machines are not anywhere near in tip-top alignment, aren't these other topics secondary? (I am making the assumption that there are lots of misaligned machines out there,,,,, which seems fair since alignment is not easy to do, and there aren't sufficient training vehicles.)

    For all the year's of Shopbot's existence, it would seem as though a fundamental set of videos on how to make all the assembly alignments and tune-up alignments would be mandatory in order to have a user base with optimally operating machines. But what is a successfully operating machine? How good of a cut can you get? What does a bad cut look like, and how do you relate cutting problems to the source of the under-lying misadjustment??? Training videos seem to me to be the logical way to address all these topics.
    If there were Shopbots all over in my area (Chicagoland) maybe I could knock on doors and prevail upon the kindness of a local expert to show their good results. But even in Chicagoland, I have only found one other Botter near by, and he seems to be more or less in the same boat as me, not really knowing if something is not right, is busted, or just can't be made to work any better, let alone knowing how to fix or improve the cutting results. And a few years back there was a Shopbot camp put on in our area which I attended. In part I hoped to make local connections, but the only other local Botter is the one I already know...……..

    I use the forum when I am stuck, and then I call the support people...…. Everyone tries to help,,,,,,,,,,, but I still feel left to scratch my head wondering why I have problems with my cuts. I am assuming that my fundamental issues of imprecise cuts, and variable cut depths (a killer when trying to do fine V-carving) all come down to a fundamentally mis-aligned machine. So that is why I am harping on videos to cover how to carefully align all aspects of my machine, and not just how to change a pinion.

    Thanks, Chuck

    PS: Sorry if I sound whiney,,,,, it comes from my frustration...…..

    PPS: In case there are videos somewhere that address my needs, I would be happy if someone could direct me to them.
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Yes to Chuck's comments. Maintenance is serious and a Safety Issue.
    How to do maintenance, overhaul and rebuilds with new parts is a big concern in our shop.

    Videos: Make them short and to the point. Less wordy. And available to anyone at 3am anywhere in the world.
    Training?: Contract with all the local colleges around the country. Subcontract with anyone willing to do training in their area of the country.
    Dave B
    New Mexico
    Our most important shop tool is the pencil sharpener!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    250

    Default

    It sounds like what you are looking for is not under training but under tech support. We have put a lot of effort in making a Technical Q & A for the most commonly asked questions. Though it may not be all in a video format the information is there. https://support.shopbottools.com/support/faq

    As far as your request to have training videos directed towards tuning machines, maintenance, etc. it is noted and added to our database. The topics covered in the online training have all been customer suggestions and I pick the ones that have the most demand. If we get enough request I can start putting more attention into a specific training to your topics.

    Until then I would really recommend taking advantage of ShopBots free technical support. You can Email, call, or even stop by!

    Our online training starts in a couple minutes, feel free to join in today and ask questions, we may get some good responses from other ShopBotters!

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Elgin Illinois
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Thanks TJ for your quick reply. I did just now review the material available through the link you supplied to support, which I have seen before. And none of it addresses the fine points of maintenance which I think should be very important to everyone.

    I believe that very nuanced adjustments, which need to be made on every Shopbot, by a customer base that probably doesn't include a high percentage of trained machinists would be a huge point of concern for Shopbot and all of its customers. When a machine gives poor cutting results, how many people will stop to blame themselves for not having correctly aligned their machines, and instead blame the machine? How many people, because they can not obtain the quality of cuts that they need, do not capture the full business potential of their machines? How many people like me that aren't in business, set their machines aside and let them get rusty when they are not propelled by the excitement of getting stunning performance from their machines?

    I have been blaming myself for my inability to get my machine working the way that I want. I have used the forum a lot, and I have called tech support when I feel it is appropriate. But I came to realize that I would have been in even worse shape in trying to use Aspire, but because of their extensive video training library, I have been able to learn a lot and master concepts that I could not have done practically by using their forum or tech support. That made me begin to feel that I could do much better with my Bot if detailed diagnostic and alignment videos were made available. So that is how I happened to finally start to vocalize my concern and desire.


    I guess I can only hope that other Shopbotters express some sort of interest in having a data base of detailed diagnostic and tune-up videos, covering every aspect of how to get the maximum performance from their machines. Such videos would also make clear what the best possible performance is, by showing cut results, before and after adjustment, and before and after making after-market upgrades (such as putting a new gantry on an old machine, etc....)

    Thank you, Chuck
    Chuck Keysor (circa 1956)
    PRT Alpha 60" x 144" (circa 2004)
    Columbo 5HP spindle
    Aspire 9.0, Rhino 5

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