A total of 130 registered attendees and 18 vendors gathered at Slabworks of Montana’s facility in Bozeman, MT, on August 9 and 10, 2018 to take part in one of several workshops held by the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA) throughout the U.S. each year. The two-day event had a full schedule, including educational seminars, machine demonstrations and networking opportunities.
Dave Scott, the host and owner of Slabworks of Montana, expressed enthusiasm about the success of the workshop. “Early in 2016, I started to get more involved in the SFA and signed up for their Italy tour,” he said. “You don’t have a concept of what an incredible experience/opportunity it is to talk to people that do what you do in a non-competitive environment until you experience something like that. It’s just amazing. The amount of hopefulness people will give. They just spew information. It is pretty wonderful.”
Scott, who was awarded the 2017 Stone WorldFabricator of the Year Award earlier this year during The International Surface Event in Las Vegas, explained that it was on that trip to Italy where he first offered his shop for a workshop. “A lot happened on the bus in Italy,” he said. “I mentioned to Dan Riccolo that I wouldn’t mind hosting [an event]. I wanted to repay or put something in the ‘stone karma pot,’ so to speak. I had already gotten so much.”
Among the topics covered over the two days were digital fabrication, business metrics, surface finishing, stone sinks and digital tool measuring. Focuses of the educational sessions including employee issues, silica and a lesson on the geology of stone, which was presented by geologist Karin Kirk.
Scott’s shop is equipped with a Titan 2700 and 2800 CNC stoneworking center, a Fusion sawjet, a Saber 5-axis sawjet and a Fastback edge polisher – all from Park Industries, as well as a Pristine Flocculant Tower, Water Treatment Solutions filter press and white water filter, Slabsmith software, AlphaCam and the most recent addition to the lineup of equipment, a Gmm Sirio texturing machine, which was a popular demonstration during the workshop.
Additional demonstrations were given by employees of Slabworks of Montana. These included milling stone sinks by Tyler Menzel, cutting Dekton by Stephon Segura and finishing stone sinks by Chris Warden.
The next event for the SFA will be Marmomac 2018, which is held annually in Verona, Italy. The SFA will have a booth during the international stone exhibition that will take place from September 26 to 29th.