View Full Version : New Jersey Camp Shopbot

09-03-2002, 09:07 PM
As posted a few days ago, the REAL date for the third annual NJ Camp Shopbot will be on Sat. Oct 26th...I'm hoping to have the date on Shopbot's web page corrected shortly..
So far the usual suspects have started to call/e-mail me that they are planning on attending. We have had over 40 people attend both of our first two sessions, and we expect the same again this year..
As far as topics go it's the usual situation of "what do you want to cover?". I plan to do a few sessions on using Artcam Pro and Insignia, as well as Millwizard, to do 3 dimensional work on the 'Bot. I'll also have a little session on boatbuilding for anyone interested.
Now it's up to anyone else wanting to do something here to notify me . It can be a 5 minute lesson on how you do a particular process, or a simple 'fix' you have discovered for programs people use on a regular basis. I'll have a few machines running, as well as a few computers to play on. The "offcial"day of the Camp is Saturday, but as we found out last year that can mean from Friday, until Sunday night..
We'll keep running regular notices here to give you an idea of what to expect. For those new to the 'Bot world the N.J. Camp is held in Toms River, which is about 70 miles South of NYC, 50 miles north of Atlantic City, and 45 miles East of Philadelphia. I'll post hotel/motel info in the next few weeks so people can guarantee rooms, and I'll try to get a "rate" for Shopbotters as we did last year..
More to follow, but please let me know once you get your plans worked out so we can plan accordingly..Bill P.

09-04-2002, 01:57 PM
Sign me up! Sound like a great chance for this newbee to learn from the pros. Anyone from Massachusetts that would like to ride share?

My e-mail billthorpe@charter.net (mailto:billthorpe@charter.net)

09-06-2002, 04:06 PM
Glad to see you are conducting the camp again this year Bill. It has been a great oportunity for everyone to meet and swap tips and techniques. See you in October!


09-17-2002, 09:07 AM
Bill, Bob Richardson and I will be attending your workshop again this year. Really looking forward to the opportunity to share and learn. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone to learn from some of the best, and have a blast doing it.
Can't wait....

09-17-2002, 02:36 PM
Doug, Thanks for the RSVP..I've started to hear from a number of 'Botters, and a few prospective owners as well. We should have a bunch of new faces this year, and I'm waiting to get some feedback as to what everyone would like to cover. We'll be doing some of the "standard"sessions on holdowns, vacuum jigs, etc. And I'm going to try and have a short session set up for a few boatbuilders who want to use Artcam to rough out half hull models...
I will post full directions to my shop here in a few days, and I'm waiting for a reply from the local hotels as to any rates they can/will provide for us..
Looking forward to seeing you guys again..

09-18-2002, 10:53 PM
I would be interested in the camp. I'm also a newbie and want to use the bot to produce boat parts and possibly kits.

I coming from Ontario, Canada.
Just a little 10-12 hour drive for me I guess.

Jim Hammond

09-23-2002, 05:05 PM
Here's an update;
New Jersey Camp Update

I've gathered some hotel/motel info for those of you travelling to the Camp. The closest place to stay is the Super 8 motel. It's a half mile from the shop, and if you were ambitious enough you could walk here.. Last year a lot of 'Bot pilots stayed there and said it was fine. They have a weird deal on the room rates; the more people staying there will drop the rates. If at least 8 rooms are booked under "Shopbot" (make sure you tell them you are with our group..) the rates are cut 15%, if 12 or more stay there, etc., etc.Their number is 732-657-7100
The next closest place is the Quality Inn. It's larger, and has a full facility restaurant, etc. They need at least 10 rooms to be booked before they will give a "rate" for us. They are about 3 miles from the shop, on the same highway..Their number is 732-341-2400.
If you can't get a room in either of those places the next closest facilities are Holiday Inn-732-244-4000, and Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge-732-244-1000. Neither of these places has responded with "rate" information. You might also consider trying the online reservation services for these chains , as their deals are usually lower than a local quote.
You should look into your reservations soon, as there are always some sort of festivals, conferences, etc. in the area that time of year.
If you are flying in from out of the area you can try for connections to Atlantic City (50 miles), Philadelphia (50 miles), and Newark Airports (60 miles). I will post driving info in the next week for those of you coming via vehicle.
We've started to get a few calls regarding things people would like to do/see. Chip Marshall has volunteered to do a little session on the Porter Cable router, in particular changing brushes, and what it takes to change your own bearings. I'll have promo materials on MAS epoxies and there will be some here for you to work with if you would like to improve your glopping skills.
I'd still like to hear from those of you planning on attending so we can get a better handle on the logistics of things. I know we are weeks away yet, but if you even THINK you might attend, please get back to me so I can try to figure what we need to make this work best for everyone…

09-24-2002, 09:01 AM
Bill: A couple of things I would like to see regarding the software thing: How to "cut by color" with the shopsbot software(regarding different depths)and of course, the 3D programs (Millwizard, ArtCam Pro) and others. Also, I think some files brought by attendees and cut for others to see the entire process would be valuable to all, albeit a bit time consuming on the cutting time. I know from attending your camp last year and ShopBot's get together, there is a world of knowledge just waiting to be shared. Thanks to you for all your effort.
Counting the days.....Doug

09-24-2002, 11:42 PM
What's the fee for the workshop? Count me in! I haven't decide whether I will drive the hour both days or stay over yet.

Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule last week to show me the ShopBot and what it can do! I know that you had a lot going on. I am looking forward to sharing ideas with you in the future and especially attending the workshop next month.

I got a quote today for a machine from Chris@ShopBot (mailto:Chris@ShopBot). Looks like I will be going to the bank tomorrow to get a check and send it out.

I am having a custom 5X16' machine made for me with Colombo router and plasma cutter. I just heard that the plasma torch control is on hold for 3 months until they can get safety issues worked out, but I am going to order it now, and when it comes I'll be ready for it. I am sure that the router alone will present enough of a learning curve with my present workload.

So...I too will soon be a fellow ShopBotter.
There isn't a secret handshake or anything is there?

bjwat@comcast.net (mailto:bjwat@comcast.net)

09-25-2002, 09:47 AM
Brady, there is no fee for the Camp, just get your self here. Of course since you are a "new guy" we'll make you stand up and sing the official "Shopbot song"for us ( if anyone cares to write one between now and then...).
This year's group looks as eclectic as ever, and I think we'll have a number of interesting uses, and modifications represented..
If for some reason you can't get here for the Camp, call me and we'll get together so you'll be ready to use your machine once it is up and running..Bill P.

09-26-2002, 07:28 AM
Hey, the more eclectic, the better! Looking forward to meeting new friends and contacts in the business.

09-28-2002, 03:29 PM
I would be interested in the Camp. I'm potential new convert and want to use the bot for sheet metal (14 -16 gauge ) drilling, tapping & milling.
Can I use the Camp to try sampling my type of work?

09-28-2002, 05:17 PM
Gary, It sounds good to me, BUT I have NO experience in doing metal work with the 'Bot so we'd have to find someone attending who could show us all how to deal with feed speeds, etc. I know that there are people out there using their machines for this kind of work, but I'm not one of them..
Is there anyone out there who is planning on coming to the Camp who would be able to give us a hand on this one?
OR is there anyone who can at least give us some guidelines as to how to go about this kind of work? Any info would probably benefit a bunch of people, Thanks..

09-30-2002, 09:10 AM
Gary: I have tried unsuccessfully to cut metal with the shopbot. The same old bugaboo of clamping, holding, etc. really gives you some problems. We typically cut aluminlum panels, (.040, .050. .063) with our shopbot, but we are not totally pleased with the results. If you had Gerbers vacuum system, or the new shopbot system, I feel certain you could get the job done. The equipment is certainly capable of the cut and accuracy needed. I have used various bits, Belen, Onsrud, Jesada, and el cheapo's, and prefer the Belen, although maginally. The bit has a very agressive "hook" on the end, and seems to really cut cleanly, with a minimum of ragged edges on the bottom. Have not tried the spiral up/down cut bits yet, but I will. Cut speeds seem to vary with different thicknesses more than I thought they might. I have not tried to cut sheet metal, only aluminum. Even aluminum is very hard on bits, even solid carbide ones. Come on up to Bill place, I will bring some bits with me, and we will play a bit. I promise you a great time! Let me know what you think. Doug

09-30-2002, 11:25 AM
Hi Brady, I'd just like to clarify the current plasma decision. We are holding off shipping plasma systems until Feb.1 2003. The reason did not have to do with safety issues but rather it is to harden the tool for heavier industrial use. It seems that most of the current tools cutting steel are going into settings beyond the average shop and I believe we can compete with tools 5 times the price by adding some features that will benefit all ShopBotters. We are also switching over to using PartWizard for designs and working out the documentation for tutorials.

09-30-2002, 01:46 PM
Sounds great. I would imagine that some of the software revisions would entail kerf compensation? You'll never hear me complain about upgrading a tool or making it stronger. I just hope that it is really February and not March-April...

09-30-2002, 07:30 PM
Dear Doug!
Thank You for your respond. I definitely will attend and hopefully try SB with my material . Looking forward to meet with you guys !

10-01-2002, 01:39 PM
Gary, I've tried to send you an e-mail but the address you have listed here isn't letting me do so.
I am hoping to get some more feedback regarding metal cutting BEFORE the day of the Camp.
As I have seen during the last two years things get very hectic when there are 40-50 people wandering
around the shop on that day. I probably would NOT just "wing it' and try to cut metal with a group of
people standing around the machine as the potential liability is staggering...If it turns out that we do not
have any first hand experience to guide us I would say this is an experiment that would best be done at
another time when there are less logistical problems. One person contacted me and suggested that he
thought you needed very slow router speeds to cut metal. He was speaking in the range of 1,000 rpm
which is way below the capability of my Porter Cable 3-1/4 HP that has a "slow" speed of 10,000 rpm.
I'm still hoping to hear from others who can give us good information, but I wanted you to be aware of
this in advance so you don't make the drive for something which might not happen...Let's keep an eye
on the Forum and hope we get some help on this...Regards, Bill

10-05-2002, 02:39 PM
How to get to the Camp...
Driving directions to the New Jersey Camp
From the South;
If you are taking the ferry over from Lewes, De. To Cape May, N.J. just get on the
Garden State Parkway, and head North to exit 82A. . This will put you on Route #
37 West. Follow that for about 4 miles until you come to "Northampton Blvd.". Do
NOT turn here, instead go past Northampton, and as you do you will see a Getty
gas station on your left hand side, and just past that a small industrial park. I am
IN that park, but you can't get there ( divided highway), unless you go to the next
intersection which is 'Commonwealth Blvd." , and make a U-turn..Do so, then as
you now head back east on route # 37 you'll see the entrance to the park ½ mile
down the road. In the park is a building with a large sign saying 'Carpet' on the
front. I am in the rear of the building, at Bay Craft Designs..
If you are coming North on Interstate # 95 ; take I-295 into New Jersey . Take it
North until you reach route # 70 ( approx. 35 miles..).Go east on route # 70 until
you reach the outskirts of Lakehurst, and connect with route # 37. Follow the
signs Eastbound toward Seaside Heights. I am about 4 miles East on route # 37.
You will pass the Super 8 motel at "Commonwealth Blvd.", and go ½ mile until you
reach a small industrial park. The Getty gas station you will see is PAST the park,
turn in before you reach it. Then when in the park follow the instructions above..
From the North;
You can take the New Jersey Turnpike to exit 11 and then get on the Garden State Parkway. Go South until you reach exit 82A and follow the instructions from the above
From the West;
Cross into N.J., and if coming through Philadelphia connect with route # 70. Then
follow instructions from the above paragraphs.
If coming from the Northwest you can take I-78,I-80, or I-195 across the state to
the Parkway, then follow instructions from the North.

Actual street address is; 1745 Route # 37 West
Shop phone # is 732-286-2700

As usual I would ask that if anyone has easier directions, please pass them along. Also if you need more specific directions from any point of origin, send me an e-mail..

10-12-2002, 10:53 AM
Camp Update..

I just got back from the 2002 Artcam User's group meeting, and learned a few things about their new and upcoming versions ( First quarter of next year..). We'll try to incorporate some of that into the 3D sessions at the Camp.
The event was held at the Johnson Atelier, in Mercerville, N.J. In addition to being a pretty remarkable place for anyone interested in sculpture of all kinds, they have a "digital sculpture" department where they use laser scanners and a number of CNC machines to teach, and do contract cutting. Their largest machine can handle a 20 ton block of stone that is ten feet wide, ten feet long, and five feet thick in 5 axes………!
( And you thought a sheet of MDF was a bear to sling onto your table top..)
I'm still getting e-mails from people who are finalizing plans to be here, and I have NO idea of a head count at this point. Please get back to me ( if you have not already done so) if you plan on being here. We've been given "door prizes' from Shopbot and Delcam, and we hope to have some literature to distribute as well. Bring business cards and digital cameras to help you retain names, techniques for when you get back home.
If you are driving to the Camp and have room in your vehicle please try to bring something you have made on your 'Bot for "show and tell". We all learn new tricks when we see what other people are doing with theirs.

10-16-2002, 05:37 PM

I've had a few people contact me about the Camp and ask if anyone would be interested in carpooling to get here. If you plan to drive to the Camp and/or need a ride here, let me know if this sounds feasible for you. Right now the Northern contingent (Canada/New England), seems most interested….
While the "official" Camp schedule is Saturday the 26th , there will be people here before and after that day due to their travel connections, etc. I will gladly host sessions for all those who make it here, but obviously with NO idea of who/how many to expect on those days we will continue to "wing it"..
I have heard from a few more people confirming their attendance, but as usual it's those travelling the furthest who have been most diligent in checking in. I'm sure many of you assume that I "know" you will be here, but based on past experience I won't really have a head count until I open the shop on the weekend..
Since a lot of people are making it a one day trip with a long drive each way we won't be taking a long lunch break. I'm hoping to squeeze in as much as possible in the time frame we have, and that's when we usually have our "show and tell" session.
After a lot of thought on the matter I have decided NOT to have the "metal cutting experiment" which was suggested in an earlier part of this thread. In addition to the obvious risk factor, there was also the problem of "down time" while we tried to sort out all of the set up procedures for something like this. We have found a Shopbotter in North Carolina who will be helping Gary work on his project however, so I think everyone will be served…..
PULEEZE get back to me if you are planning on being here. While an RSVP is not mandatory to attend, it would sure make things easier in the final planning stages. As you can imagine I will be in the frantic mode for the next week as I try to fool most of you into thinking I always have a clean shop… If you need to contact me and I don't answer the phone, just leave a message and I'll get back to you. If it's outside work hours, e-mails are just as useful.

10-17-2002, 07:54 AM
"I will be in the frantic mode for the next week as I try to fool most of you into thinking I always have a clean shop…"- Hahaha!!!! I thought I was the only one that did that!

You can definately count me in Bill.

I just received my Colombo yesterday
The rest of the goodies should come the week after the Camp, so timing is perfect.


10-22-2002, 04:09 PM
Camp Schedule…

I've had a number of people write and ask me what the "real" time frame of the Camp will be this weekend.. While it is listed as being on Saturday from 9AM until-?? There are people arriving as early as tomorrow ( Wednesday), more are enroute Thursday, and still more on Friday…Then we have a number of people who have asked about activities for Sunday since they have late travel connections, etc.
SO, the "real" Camp schedule is from tomorrow until Monday AM when the last Campers ( literally in this case..) roll up the wheels on their rig and hit the highway..
I will make it a point to be here Friday evening ( until 9PM…)for those of you who are coming in the night before and staying at a local hotel/motel. Otherwise I will be at the shop shoveling stuff aside to make room for some of the people/products allegedly on the way…
There is some speculation of rain showers on Saturday, but since they lie to us about the weather regularly we might get lucky and stay dry. If not we'll just figure out some way to display what people bring inside the shop.
The ever growing list of scheduled attendees is getting very interesting, and we will certainly cover a very wide spectrum of ways to use the 'Bot. I will have the doors of the shop open by 8AM Saturday and since we have a LOT of stuff to try and fit in that day, I'd ask that you make it here as early as you can. This way we can make introductions, move stuff around, and allow for the usual confusion which results at these kind of events.
If anyone has last minute questions/concerns please get back to me -pronto..I'm looking forward to this year's Camp since I think we now have a deeper pool of experience to draw upon than before. Seeya Saturday!!! ( or earlier….)
P.S. Since I will have most of the shop computers set up for the Camp by late Friday I will NOT be connected to the internet, so e-mails won't be feasible after mid-day Friday..

10-23-2002, 03:13 PM
I've been using various small Roland CNC machines for about two years making architectural models . The shopbot sounds similar but cheaper, more robust, larger, and less precise. I'm stuck on how to do double-sided cutting to escape the 2.5D or no overhang limitation, plus the usual holding the work piece down, etc. I wonder if I would get any insight to same by coming to Camp this Sat?
John Lucas

10-23-2002, 04:57 PM

I think the limitations are in your mind.


10-23-2002, 09:03 PM
John, I have done a few small pieces as you have described, using both Millwizard, and Artcam Pro.
I still have one of the pieces at the shop and I can show you how it was done. Actually when I get back to the shop in the morning I will send you a few pix of the file in question, and that may help you make up your mind. I would suspect that you could get a lot more out of the Camp than just that particular trick however. There will be others attending who own machines which are not Shopbots, and yet we all tend to speak the same dialect: holdowns, cutting speeds, software, and accessories are universal constants and we all stand to learn from what others have figured out from their own experiences. There will be enough of a brain trust there on Saturday to possibly figure out a solution for you...Bill P.

10-24-2002, 11:01 AM
John, we have more fixing options than the guys with the expensive CNC machines - we don't feel sorry for our tables! We even happily put screws through from the bottom when we feel like it.

10-25-2002, 10:11 PM
Now I want to come. but how to get there from CT?I can get a train to Bay head NJ from NYC. So I'll just have hope there is some local bus service to Tom's River.
If anyone reads this and has any helpful suggestions, please posst or email me
jlucas3@optonline.net (mailto:jlucas3@optonline.net)
thanks in advance

10-26-2002, 09:09 PM
Hats off to Bill Palumbo and ShopBot for putting on this gathering. Everyone at the event was friendly, knowledgable and eager to share techniques. I walked away charged up, inspired and excited about working with my machine when it comes.

Looks like I have started to "think in ShopBot" asking myself all day long, "How can I make that on the 'Bot?" Funny how every carved sign and 3D object that I passed on my way home was seen in a new light.

I think that the ShopBot community and network is what really sold me on this product, in addition to the high quality machine and value. I am confident that I made a wise investment with this product.

I am looking forward to attending the Jamboree next year after I have some cutting and designing experience under my belt.


10-26-2002, 11:00 PM
Great Show, Bill! Thanks for all of oyur effort!

10-27-2002, 07:49 AM
Thanks Bill your Camp was fantastic. Had a great time and really enjoyed meeting others in the shopbot family of craftsman. One of my personal challenges is finding new ways to make money with my robotic employee and the camp opened my eyes to some new ideas and opportunities.

10-27-2002, 05:17 PM
To ALL who attended...
Many thanks to everyone who came to this year's Camp! In particular I'd like to thank Ted Hall, Bill Young, Ron Brown, and Chip Marshall who all gave us a hand by presenting sessions.I'd also like to thank Paul Nielsen for sending us the great samples of his Metalia metal finished products, they were a big hit!
Each Camp is different, and this year's group was no different. We had quite a few experienced 'Botters and some more potential new owners all blending in very nicely. The level of sophistication during the "show and tell" session has risen significantly over the last few years, and it shows that people are really fine tuning their skills on the machine. The questions were intelligent, the groups were productive, and I'm hoping that some of the allliances formed here carry on afterward.
If anyone who attended has pictures they'd like to share, please pass them along to either me, or Bill Y. and we'll get them posted somewhere on the web site. Bill P.

10-29-2002, 04:20 AM
Bill P: wish I was there sounds like you had a good show.
Ron V

10-31-2002, 05:06 PM
Camp Pix???
I know there were a bunch of people taking pictures during the Camp, but we haven't seen any of them yet! Shopbot has asked me to provide some shots for the web page, so if any of you have pictures you'd be willing to share with everyone please send them to either myself, or Nancy @ shopbottools.com. If you forward them on to Shopbot directly please try to identify anyone included in the pictures..Thanks..Bill P.

11-19-2002, 05:45 PM
Pix on the web site!
Nancy has placed a bunch of pictures on Shopbot's
web page from ALL of this year's Camps. Many thanks to those who sent us the images...