View Full Version : Fifth New Jersey Camp Shopbot !!!

07-27-2004, 08:41 AM
Fifth NJ Camp Shopbot!!!
Hopefully many of you have been checking the Camp schedule for 2004/5 on Shopbot's web page. If so you'll see that we are holding the 5th annual New Jersey Camp on Saturday October 30th,2004, here in scenic Toms River ,NJ.
We are 70 miles South of NYC, 50 miles East of Philadelphia, and 50 miles North of Atlantic City, so if you plan to fly in you can choose the most appropriate/economical airport for your trip. We'll be posting the complete schedule once we figure out what it IS, but generally speaking we have a preliminary get together Friday afternoon/evening for those arriving early and looking to pinpoint the shop's exact (Latitude-39 degrees,59.445 minutes North,Longitude- 74 degrees, 16.275 minutes West for those arriving by sea..)location...
As usual we'll cover a bit of 3D design and cutting since that's the main focus in this shop. We're also thinking about a tie in for some basic part file programming, and as always we'll feature the ever popular "Show and Tell" session where you can bring ( this year we'll have to limit it to TWO pieces) of work you have done with the'Bot. Since we usually have people travelling long distances we're also going to add the option this year for you to bring some pictures on CDs, floppies, USB drives, digital camera cards, etc, so you don't have to try and schlepp furniture/boats/carvings as carry on items...
I am also in the process of upgrading one of my machines to an Alpha, so if you haven't seen one of these 'Bot rockets in operation yet, this might be a good opportunity.
Over the next few weeks I'll post full directions for those driving into the area, as well as local accomodations..
If anyone has specific areas they'd like to be addressed, please contact me as soon as you have narrowed down your thoughts to a manageable concept, and we'll see if we can include that into the schedule as well.
I welcome back all of our previous Campers, as well as any new or prospective owners of a machine. And as last year the welcome also goes out to owners of other CNC's as well..
Looking forward to seeing all of you in late October...Regards, Bill P.
P.S. If you plan to attend please send me some notice (baycraftdesigns@comcast.net, OR 732-286-2700) , so we can keep a running head count to prepare materials/food/etc. thanks..

07-27-2004, 04:12 PM
Hey Bill,
I want to make it to your camp this year...haven't been able to get there last 2 cause of schedule conflicts but that date looks good so far...I'm in Delaware prob just an hour or so away....Keep me informed.
Thanks, Dave

Brady Watson
07-27-2004, 04:17 PM
Looking forward to it, Bill!

If anyone hasn't had the opportunity to attend Bill's camp in the past, this is one of the best on the globe! I have been to several in and out of the US and you can always expect the latest and greatest ShopBot tips and tricks at this one! Don't miss it!


07-29-2004, 07:09 AM

Sign me up! It has always been a good time for meeting folks and picking up tricks/tips/suppliers etc etc etc...


08-10-2004, 08:52 PM

I'm now in FL so it'd be a simple train trip up. if there's room sign me up. if there's anything I can do to help, let me know.

08-10-2004, 09:34 PM

Sign me up. It is a long way to come . . .I am told it is worth it.

08-12-2004, 10:27 PM
The more the merrier gentlemen, all are welcome. I have a general question to ask ALL who have attended before, and plan to attend this year; exactly WHAT kind of things would you like us to cover this year???
We'll have some defined sessions, such as the ones on the Alpha machine, Windows software, and writing Shopbot files. I have also had two offers by 'Botters to do hour long software segments; one covering how to create a basic item in Rhino and then machining that item in Millwizard. And another one on using Visual Mill 5. I'd really like feedback so I know just how much to attempt to add to the schedule.
Please try to remember that some processes don't lend well to 50 people standing around a machine for a very long time...
We will probably have a fairly large group again this year, so if it's easier for some of you to bring your (TWO) "Show and Tell" items on a CD, flash drive, etc. feel free to do so. As those who attended last year saw "S&T" could easily go on for hours without some sort of limitations...Maybe I can work out some sort of demo in the Shopbot room while we do software on the other side of the shop, etc., etc. Please continue to let me know when you have decided to attend. It helps to get materials together as well as laying out the shop for enough chairs etc..

08-13-2004, 11:31 AM
Bill: Just to confirm, Greg & I will be there. As always, let me know if we can be of any assistance, in any way.
Thanks for jumping into the fire again, you have a great camp. Looking forward to it.

08-24-2004, 08:52 PM
If anyone is interested in sharing a car to drive from La Guardia on Thursday Oct 28th, I will be arriving at 15:30. I have rented a car to drive down to Toms River and will be attending INDEXER CAMP 04 at Marshall's Millwork on Friday the 29th.

I will be leaving Toms River Monday morning, November 1, to drive back to La Guardia for a 15:30 flight.

If interested, email me, thingswood(at)shaw.ca

09-08-2004, 01:13 PM
New Jersey Camp update..
I'm starting to get a number of inquiries about what topics we'll be covering at this year's Camp. And as usual I am asking all prospective attendees for feedback to help us determine this. Even though we have done some of the topics before I plan to review some of them again, as we all seem to learn a few new tricks in the time between Camps, so expect some coverage of hold downs, vacuum jigs, new materials to cut, etc.
In addition I am trying to figure out a way to break the shop into separate areas so we can have some software demos in one room, while doing some hands on stuff in the other. I'm not sure how this will work, but it's worth a shot.
I DO plan to add at least two new sessions this year; one will be "New Products that work". I'm asking all attendees to think about something they have discovered that has worked for them. it could be anything from router bits, to material coatings, etc. The idea is to let other people know what's out there.
The second new area I have in mind is an area set aside for a "Shopbot flea market". With all of the upgrading going on these days many of us have spare parts from various machine incarnations, and this could be a great time to pass along your old faithful parts to others who are evolving up the food chain ( so to speak..). Get out those old motors, encoders, Z axes, etc. and see if other people have a need for them. I'll bet there will be enough spare parts to build a few new machines. The only "restriction" I will stipulate is that the parts in question be Shopbot specific. Please do NOT drag along old table saws, planers, etc. and claim they are an integral part of the process...
Perhaps some of you can use this thread in advance to see if there IS a market for your items before you truck them here to Toms River. Weather permitting we'll have an area outside to show off what you have. If it's inclement we'll have to use tarps, vans, etc. I'm going to have a considerable mountain of steel for sale myself, including motors from a cable drive classic,a complete PR machine, as well as an X,Y and Z axis from a PRT ( I recently upgraded my machine to an Alpha...). Feel free to bring pictures if you can't fit your treasures into your luggage...
Again, I'll ask for your input on what you would hope to see while you are here at the Camp. We are going to have a VERY busy couple of days here with THREE Camps going on within 10 miles in two days ; Programming Camp- Friday/29th, Indexer Camp ( Marshall's Millwork) - Friday/29th, and the Toms River sessions on Saturday/30th. Please let Gene Marshall or myself know if you plan to attend any of the sessions so we can make preparations well in advance. At the moment I have 24 "campers" signed on for Saturday and if history holds true that number will go well beyond 60 by the time we bite into the first donut...

09-18-2004, 12:42 PM
Driving directions..
I've had some requests for driving directions to the shop so I'll include them here. Also the phone numbers for the closest places to stay are;
Super 8 motel (closest place. .5 miles from the shop) is; 732-657-7100
The Quality inn is about 3 miles from the shop, and they are at: 732-341-2400
Holiday Inn ( 6 miles): 732--244-4000
Howard Johnsons ( 7 miles): 732-244-1000
Lakehurst Motel ( 5 miles-least luxurious, lowest rates probably..) : 732-657-8464
Almost all of the above locations are on/just off of Route # 37 which is where the shop is located...
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..

09-18-2004, 02:02 PM
Your address doesn't come up on mapqwest, could you post zip+4 to see if that works.

09-18-2004, 02:31 PM
I had no problem bringing up Bill's address in Mapquest:

1735 Route 37 W
Toms River, NJ

09-18-2004, 02:47 PM
Zip is 08757....

10-05-2004, 01:32 PM
Rough Camp schedule..

Since it’s getting close to Camp time, I thought I should post my latest guess as to what we are going to cover this year.
Friday Oct.29th – Programming Camp/Indexer Camp (Check web pages for details.).

Saturday Oct.30th : 8-9AM Donuts/Coffee
9-9:30 Brief demo of Alpha machine, questions/answer period.
9:45-11:15 – Shopbot software. Windows version 3/Part Wizard updated features/ How to use variables in writing Shopbot files

11:30-Noon – “New things that work”- If you have anything for this session please bring either the item (or an image on a USB disk we can project ) If the software sessions run over their time ( a distinct possibility) we will squeeze this session in somewhere else..

Noon- 1 PM -Lunch-Special Interest Groups
(We’ll try to identify who cuts signs, builds boats, etc. just before we break for Lunch so you can all find one another..).

1-2 :30 “Show and Tell” – Please bring NO MORE than TWO items, again in person, OR on a disk, so we can see what people really DO with these tools. (VERY flexible time frame for this session since I haven’t heard much feedback yet..).

2:30-4:30 – (Main shop) “Designing and cutting in 3D”. We will have an object “drawn” in Rhino, and then (virtually) milled in Millwizard, Visual Mill, and Artcam Pro so people can get an overview of some of the software options available. Other problems pertaining to 3D work will be addressed in this session also..

2:30-4:30- Robot Room – Vacuum jigs, hold down systems, probing.

4:30-? Round table discussion(s) based on the interests of those attending the session..

We’ll also have a few tables to display any Shopbot items you might have for sale in the “Shopbot flea market/ parts exchange..”.

All of the above is subject to change based on feedback from prospective attendees (35 on board so far…)

If you plan to attend and have not yet contacted me please do so soon as I'm starting to order stuff..

10-11-2004, 09:24 AM
If anyone has any leads or suggestions for things that fit into the above "New things that work" category please send me some info in advance of the Camp so I can make enough copies for everyone. I hope to have one of my standard "resource" sheets available and I'd like to add this category ( and any others people would like ) to the list. If we can generate a good list we'll try to make it available to anyone that will not be able to make the upcoming Camps in person as well..
Just send the info to my e-mail address. I will be gone from the 13-17th as I'm headed to the Artcam User's group and will try to pick up some of the latest tips and tricks to bring back with me...
I now have 40 people who have contacted me to confirm their intention of attending, anyone else? We NEED to know as soon as you can confirm your plans as we have to figure out where to put people,things, etc...Thanks..
P.S. Another reminder; for those of you with Shopbot stuff to trade/sell you might want to take pictures if the items are too large to travel with.

10-19-2004, 07:07 PM
10 Days to go...!
I've modified the schedule a bit, and I think this is pretty close to what we'll actually be doing on the 30th.
We'll still do the Alpha and Shopbot related softwares in the AM session. And time permitting will let us do the "new stuff"and "gadgets that work"( probably all in the same category actually..).
Then in the afternoon we are going to attempt to try what I'll now call "an intro to designing and milling 3D files". We will have a file drawn up in Rhino, and then 4 of us will show how we would generate a toolpath for that file in; Millwizard, Visualmill,Desk Proto, and Artcam Pro. THEN after that session we will have the Show and Tell displays. I've made this schedule change since we realize there is NO way we can cover any of these programs in depth so we wanted to have some time where anyone interested in any of the programs would have the chance to find one of us afterwards for specific info. I have to draw the line at 4 programs at this point or we'd never finish the session....
(If there is sufficient interest in 3D programming we might consider working on a "specialty Camp"later in the year somewhere and spend a full day with scanning,drawing,milling techniques as well as reviewing a few other programs...)
And since it's obvious that our world consists of hardware as well as software we are also going to have a tooling rep there all day who will be able to sit down with you and discuss what kind of bits would be best for the work you are doing. He represents a number of different lines, and the Onsrud Tool company will provide him with literature on CNC tooling to give to Campers. For those of you trying to figure out ways to get a better cut, maybe you can bring a sample of what you need info about...
PULEEZE contact me if you plan to attend but have not notified me yet.

Coy Frisbee (Unregistered Guest)
10-21-2004, 10:12 PM
Bill- This will be the first time I am attending the Shopbot Camp and I am looking forward to meeting you and others. See you on the 30th.

10-22-2004, 06:05 PM
Bill, What is the weather like up there, we are coming from OKlahoma again.

Brady Watson
10-22-2004, 06:43 PM
Damp and cool...It's been in the mid/hi 50s to low 60s during the day and mid 40's at night. Hopefully it will clear up a bit next week to make travel a little easier on people. Pack your longies!


10-24-2004, 05:08 AM
Bill, I've never been to a Camp Shopbot. Do I need to bring Anything?


10-24-2004, 01:24 PM
Not really. Some people bring a camera to get shots of things they'd like to go over when they are home. And others remember to bring business cards instead of scribbling their e-mail address on little scraps of pizza crust.
We'll have handouts in folders that will let you take notes, etc. And Shopbot has graciously provided refreshments and door prizes. I think we have more than enough to keep everyone busy for the day..See you there...! Bill P.

10-25-2004, 07:35 AM
Bill,we are on our way

Coy Frisbee (Unregistered Guest)
10-28-2004, 11:05 PM
Hey Bill- I've been having some trouble with my vector XT 9.6 program and was hoping to network with other users on Saturday. I would like to bring my laptop to show an example of the problem I am having- would there be any problem with this? Also, in addition to myself attending, I have one member of my staff that will also be coming. Thanks-Coy

Brady Watson
10-28-2004, 11:34 PM
You can also get help from Fred directly here:



10-29-2004, 11:51 AM
Bring your laptop, maybe we can find someone to help you with it. Bill

10-31-2004, 09:42 PM
Camp report...it's been a busy week around here. We've had over 60 Campers/visitors at the shop from as far away as England, Newfoundland,Oklahoma,Florida, etc. During that period we had the chance to play a lot with the machine and software, as well as meeting some very interesting people.
The Camp sessions themselves went very well this year. Thanks to Ted,Gordon, and Bill Young for coming up and serving as "resource personnel" to answer a lot of one on one issues.
Also many thanks to Harold Weber, Jim Zaccaro, and Brady Watson for giving their presentations on Rhino/Millwizard, Visual Mill, and Desk Proto respectively. I got a lot of good feedback regarding their combined 3D drawing/milling lessons.
The good folks at Shopbot, Onsrud Tools, Active Tools, and All Star Adhesives all contributed samples, CD's ,and materials to work with , and Richard Friedman of Design Services served as a tooling consultant to help people find the right router bits for their specific applications.
Each year we notice that the people attending the Camp are getting more and more proficient with the tool, and this year's group was no exception. Lots of good ideas were kicked around, and a few new and interesting applications were discussed. It's getting tougher and tougher to fit everything into a limited time span, but everyone really used their time well and I hope some of those parking lot discussions evolve into opportunities...
If you missed this Camp keep an eye on the Shopbot web page schedule, as we have a bunch of them scheduled for the Spring already (in Atlanta,Ga., Orlando,Fl., Austin,Tx. and Ada, Ok.). And the Big one- The Jamboree, will be at Shopbot during the last weekend of April, so start blocking out dates on your schedule soon...
Again thanks to all who assisted and attended, it a lot of fun.....Bill P.
P.S. If you have any pictures from the Camp please forward them on to me and I'll try to post them on the web page.
P.P.S. If anyone has lost a blue hooded sweatshirt, I have it here. Contact me and I'll get it to you..

10-31-2004, 10:20 PM

I feel so alone up here in Québec Canada... and winter cold is coming with loads of snow!

11-01-2004, 12:22 AM

I would like to publicly thank you for hosting this event. Your hospitality, enthusiasm, knowledge, and willingness to share are greatly appreciated.

The Camp was great. Meeting old friends, meeting people I've only talked to on the forum, and meeting new people is an important part of these camps. There are some very, very smart people in the ShopBot community. Their willingness to share made this year's camp a great success.

Thanks also to all of the presenters and the ShopBot crew. I especially found the 3D software demonstrations and comparisons to be extremely helpful. The hard work put into those presentations is very much appreciated.

Thanks again,


11-01-2004, 08:35 AM

I too have the same feelings of loneliness. Come this spring though, we are going to try to make a few of the camps..

Hope to hear good things from the weekend camp.


11-01-2004, 08:44 AM
I know the feeling. Winter's coming in Minnesota, and I've been raking so many leaves I've had almost no time to shape wood. Next comes the snow and cold! Maybe I should get a generator and benchtop for my ice fishing house?

Jim Frost

Brady Watson
11-01-2004, 09:47 AM
Hats of and special thanks to Bill P, Bill Young, Ted, Gordon and the rest of the ShopBot team. The programming camp was very informative and showed a lot of tips and tricks for making custom applications for the Bot.

Saturday at Bill's shop was great. Lots of new faces and many old familiar ones. The best part was being able to share ideas and talk about cutting-edge products, techniques and ideas. I've been to a few camps, and I think that Bill's is by far the best of the best in my opinion.

It was nice to be able to participate in the 3D presentations and discussions, and I hope that a few of you there will take some of the ideas and run with them...and then show us what you learned next year. I am always impressed by the generosity of shopbotters in sharing tips and techniques. My feeling is that many other groups would be stingy with their sharing and as a result, no major breakthroughs would happen. I think it's pretty cool when owners of machines costing well over $100k come to my shop and see what I do on my SHOPBOT! More often than not, it is a humbling experience for them...and an opportunity for me to cut things that they can't


11-01-2004, 10:23 AM
Great Week up in Tom's River. I have no stress now and am ready to start the week with things that I saw and learned at camp. I have talked to one of my deales and told him what I can do now and he told me of a guy that was looking for my services ASAP.

Thank you Bill

11-01-2004, 11:43 AM
The donuts were stale, the pizza was cold, the soda was flat and the chairs were hard. Not to mention the poor attitude of all the attendees…sheesh I’ll never go to one of these again!

Kidding, of course, great job Bill et al, when’s next year’s camp?