DIY Woodworker Takes Specialty Skills all the way to the Super Bowl with Epilog Laser
Laser engraver an asset to the shop and has opened new opportunities
Bill Morrow of River Ridge, Louisiana, has been an avid DIY woodworker and hobbyist for many years. It wasn’t until 2003 he opened his retirement venture, Papa’s Workshop, on a part-time basis. In 2010, the engineering firm where Bill worked unexpectedly closed its doors; however, in the long run Bill says this was actually a positive thing as it allowed him to get his retirement business up and running sooner than expected.
“Roy Brewer brought a machine to the workshop for the demo and considering he drags that machine just about everywhere, I figured it must be quite durable. The demo convinced me that the engraver would be an asset to the shop and possibly open some new opportunities.”
In the very same year, Bill purchased an old auto repair shop and transformed it into a fully functioning woodworking shop. Today Papa’s Workshop is a thriving woodworking business that tackles all kinds of specialty projects – including bid projects for football’s most important game.
Never one to enjoy a lot of repetitive work, Bill has always been more interested in custom woodworking projects from cabinetry to furniture to specialty gifts. “My preference is unique and one-of-a-kind projects,” Bill told us. “I had seen an advertisement for the Epilog Laser in one of the woodworking journals and thought it a good idea to look into it. After receiving an information package I scheduled a demo at the shop with Engraving Concepts and purchased an Epilog Mini shortly after.”
Like many Epilog customers, Bill was fairly new to the engraving industry prior to selecting his laser.
“I didn’t have any background in laser engraving and wasn’t looking for any features in particular,” he said. “Honestly, I didn’t do a lot of research on other lasers,” Bill said. “Roy Brewer brought a machine to the workshop for the demo and considering he drags that machine just about everywhere, I figured it must be quite durable. The demo convinced me that the engraver would be an asset to the shop and possibly open some new opportunities.”
Being in the business of producing customized wood creations, one of Bill’s most interesting projects was assisting with New Orleans’ recent bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.
“The New Orleans Sports Foundation commissioned Cabinets by Perrier to fabricate boxes in the form of a book. Mr Perrier came to me to engrave the designs for the front and rear of the boxes,” Bill told us. “The project had a fairly tight deadline, and one of the challenges was trying to work out a system to reduce the engraving time. By splitting the design into ‘columns’ I was able to eliminate a lot of ‘dead-time’ in the movement of the laser head. I also needed to run several variations for the client’s approval, which added to the time crunch” he said, noting that all the boxes were completed to spec just in time for the bid process.
“The Super Bowl bid boxes were the biggest engraving job I’ve done so far,” Bill says, “and although we didn’t win, it really was such an honor to be part of the process. Without my Epilog Laser system, one of my most exciting and memorable projects wouldn’t have been possible.”