It’s a classic American success story. Visionaries meet in garages and great ideas emerge. One such idea is the line of high-quality, vintage-style teardrop trailers from Camp-Inn tinycamper.com. The Necedah, Wisconsin, company was born when Craig Edevold was planning a family trip to the Grand Canyon. Edevold and his friend Cary Winch, both mechanical engineers, saw a teardrop trailer in a magazine and decided to build one. With time and demand, the duo began to produce the trailers full time as they moved from garage to airplane hangar to full-blown factory that relies heavily on Laguna Tools’ machines for both quality and productivity.
Winch related, “The heart of Camp-Inn production centers around the SmartShop II 5 x 10 CNC router we bought about a year ago. It’s a custom-size unit because a lot of the birch veneer we use is five feet wide. A more traditional 4 x 8 router would have worked. After all, most plywood sheets are four feet by eight feet. But the flexibility of the larger unit more than justifies the small difference in price we paid.”
Winch goes on, “Our router is equipped with a two-pump vacuum pump, an eight-tool tool changer, and a dust collector. The pump and tool changer have saved us countless time, money and frustration. We added the dual vacuum pump at the suggestion of our Laguna Tools’ sales rep. He pointed out to us that most marine-grade plywood, which we use to form body panels, doesn’t lie flat without vacuum assistance.”
Asked about the role the tool changer plays in production, Winch replied, “It’s like having an employee who works for free. We looked at other CNC machines before we settled on the SmartShop II. They either didn’t include a tool changer, charged as much as $20,000 to add one, or were small shop units that we knew wouldn’t hold tolerance with heavy use. The tool changer has paid for itself within two years, since it eliminates the need for someone to change tools manually and constantly monitor the operation of the machine.
“Even more importantly,” continued Winch, “The router and tool changer have improved our whole production floor and product quality in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. Our parts have a better fit and finish than they did a year ago. We’ve found we can add little assembly details like tabs and slots that we couldn’t or didn’t use before. Our trailers look the same as they did last year, but there’s a marked improvement in what was already recognized as a quality product.
“We use the SmartShop to cut parts out of plywood and solid maple, as well as aluminum for trim pieces and Plexiglass windows. We even use it to create our own signage, which brings up another advantage of the unit, its ease of use.”
“CNC routers were quite complex as recently as 10 years ago,” Winch observed. “The SmartShop II couldn’t be simpler to program and use. It’s almost a matter of ‘push-and-go’ and the machine takes care of everything else.”
Winch concluded, “We like to say we’re perfecting the past as it appears in your imagination. But a lot of that perfection is very real and comes from the Laguna Tools’ router we rely on every day.
Craig Edevold & Cary Winch
- Smartshop II 5×10 CNC Router w/B&R Controller
- 3HP Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector
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