American Rotary Blog

Bar Z Summer Bash 2017 Recap

Back at the end of June, we had the honor of attending the 2017 Bar Z Industrial Summer Bash in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

The Bar Z Summer Bash is an event that takes place every summer and hosted by San Zinkosky of Bar Z Industrial. What makes this event unique is it brings together YouTube creators who are machinists and metal workers and their communities to one place to meet, network, and collaborate.

In our second year there, we were honored to be a main sponsor of the event. In doing so, we raffled off a 20hp AI Industrial phase converter, which found its new home in Louisiana. We also ran a raffled for those in attendance for a 10hp ADX phase converter among many other giveaways from other sponsors.

Overall, it was a great time as expected and it was also nice to meet many new people too. If you weren’t able to make it this year, we hope to see you next.

Here’s a recap video of the event.

Customer Spotlight: Parks Repair and Restoration

At a young age, Brian learned how to work on things. His Dad ran a bulldozer and his mom stayed home to raise the kids, cook dinner and so on. They were allotted one pair of shoes, two pairs of jeans, and a couple of new shirts at the beginning of the school year.

In High School, Brian earned money by bucking hay, being a lifeguard at a local pool, and worked for farmers. He could not wait to graduate high school and get a real job. He started working at John Deere for $6.00/ hour.

Through his hard work ethic, he got noticed and was asked to come work for a local auto shop for $5.00/hr, but it was a heated shop this time. This gave him more experience working on cars.

During his own time, he would keep his eyes open for old pickup trucks and threw a cam and carb on them. He would then sell the truck hoping to make a few dollars on it. After working for the auto shop for a while, he started to work for a truck company where he worked as the Operations Manager in the service department.

Now earning a little bit more money, he was able to restore a 1969 Chevy pickup. Learning has he went, he did a body and paint restoration on the truck as well as an engine rebuild. A week after the truck was done, he sold it for a $1,000 profit.

After moving onto another truck company and building a new house with a shop, he started buying a few cars and trucks to tinkering with, then sold them for a profit. Brian also started getting trucks to work on from the truck company that he worked for.

After a few years of this, he was swamped! He was working full-time, taking care of the paint and body work for three truck companies, and doing full restorations on cars. He quickly had a waiting list building! He finally decided it was time to quit his job and focus on the restorations.  

With Brian’s eye for perfection and his wife’s patience, they have grown the company to be a full restoration garage. They do everything in house from paint to exhaust and interior. With being a start to finish shop, Brian needs to have various pieces of equipment on hand to help speed along the process but still produce a high quality finished product.

While still having a bottom line to watch, finding the best equipment for the best price can be quite the process. Brian ran into this when looking for an air compressor. He found the perfect air compressor for his needs but there was one problem, it had a three-phase motor but he did not have a three-phase power source at his shop.

This did not stop Brian, he knew there had to be a way. He did a little bit of research and found American Rotary. He liked that fact that American Rotary is American made and had a nice, clean, professional look. He called the support line and had a conversation about what his needs were.

He ended up going with the ADX30 and found this to be a very economical solution. Brian also likes how it takes up little space and is very quiet. Now, Brian is able to grow his business by getting efficient three phase equipment and still watch his bottom line now that he has a three-phase power source!

Having an American Rotary Phase Converter is a great economical solution for a location without three phase or where three phase power is cost prohibitive to bring in. An American Rotary phase converter can be tailored specifically to your needs.

Please give American Rotary a call and speak with one of our Applications Engineers to find out we can help make your dream your reality. 

Customer Profile: The Knotted Cone

In this Customer Profile, we headed to Appleton, Wisconsin to visit with Kathy Turek of The Knotted Cone Gelato Company.

Inspired by a trip to Europe, Kathy decided Gelato might have a unique place of its own in the dairy state. Before long she headed back to Italy to study the art and production of the tasty treat and since returning has been bringing the high-quality treat and happy taste buds to many from around the area.

While The Knotted Cone may be sold out of a food truck, the gelato is carefully made in Kathy’s lab with specialized industrial food service equipment that requires three-phase power to operate.

Kathy’s lab is located where three-phase power is not so when she needed an affordable solution to make her dream a reality, American Rotary was able to help.

Here are a few takes of our time with The Knotted Cone.

The Knotted Cone Customer Profile:

The Knotted Cone’s American Rotary Phase Converter Setup:

Gelato Food Truck Tour:

The Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream:

All of American Rotary phase converters have been designed to provide the precision output voltage needed for voltage sensitive applications such as pizza ovens, regular ovens, rotisseries and ice cream machines. This type of quality performance is ideal for Hobart mixers, wine presses, coffee grinders and other types of food processing machines.

To learn more, visit our Food Service product page or download our free three phase power resource guide below.

Woodworking Tips For Beginners

woodworking tips

Over the past few months, we provided you with the top power tools for woodworking and hand tools for woodworking. Now that you know the top tools to have on hand it’s a good time to go over the top tips to follow as a woodworker who is just getting started on a new hobby or business. Following these tips will give you a great foundation to get started!

1. Know Your Wood.There are many different types of wood with different characteristics. Knowing the different types of wood, how to care for and treat it, and how it will react in different environments is key. Each type of wood will have a different moisture content. The amount of moisture will affect how stain, paint, and glue takes to it. This is key because if you stain a piece of oak and a piece of pine with the same color stain, you will yield different results. The wood will take the stain differently and show a different color.

2. Pre-drill Screw Holes. When using a screw to attach a piece of wood to a surface pre-drilling the holes is a good idea. Depending on how thick the wood is or how close you are to the edge, you can risk the board splitting from the pressure. Having a board split on you during assembly is one of the most frustrating things about being a woodworker. By pre-drilling the board with a hole slightly smaller than the screw will eliminate this issue. One key thing to keep in mind is to use a countersink screw head. The countersink feature allows the for a slightly larger opening at the top of the bit. This will widen the pre-drilled hole to allow the screw head to be recessed in the board. Failure to use a bit like this may lead to a cracked board even with pre-drilling. This bit will also give you the option to plug the hole to hide the screw head.

3. Use a Stop-Block. The stop block is a quick way to make precise cuts on boards when you are cutting multiples of the same size. The stop block can be secured to a saw to set the length of board you need to cut. Once set, you can butt the pieces of wood that need to be cut right up to the block to get the same cut every time. This makes for a quick and accurate method of cutting multiple boards.

4. Use a Jig.  Whether you are making pocket angle holes or just installing cabinet pulls, a jig is a great time saver. Using a jig gives you a template for consistent and even holes on different pieces of wood. A nice example of using a jig is when installing cabinet pulls on your kitchen cabinets. If you are able to make an angle jig that matches the corners of your cabinet, you can pre-drill the hole in the same spot each time. This eliminates the time you would spend measuring and marking each spot.

5. Plan Your Project. Last but not least, having a plan and a drawing of your project beforehand will really make for a smoother experience. Planning will also help with budgeting your time and money and will also help with making sure you are getting all of the supplies required for the project. Mapping out your project will help foresee any issues with the assembly of the project while allowing for any adjustments to be made prior to assembly. If you wait until then, you risk a loss of materials and your time. It is also a good idea to think about what tools you will need for the project. Planning this part out will help avoid getting to a point in your project where you need a tool and don’t have it. This will delay your project and push back your timeline potentially costing you more money.

Following these simple steps to start your woodworking adventure will not only give you a great foundation to start each project but also for building your new business or hobby.  And as always, remember to follow all safety procedures and to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations for each tool you use.

What is the UL Listing and Why You May Want it

what is a ul listing

When choosing an American Rotary phase converter you may see on the website or get asked about the option for the UL listing. For those of you not working in the electrical industry day-to-day, it may spark some curiosity. American Rotary is a UL approved Company that utilizes all UL approved components as part of the assembly of the phase converter. Understanding what UL means will help determine if having a UL certified phase converter is necessary for your installation.

UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories which is an independent safety science company that tests and certifies products in respect to their safety. If the relevant sample passes the test in any given case, it merits a “listing” which can be seen online at Once a unit has been UL listed it means a representative of UL has tested a sample of the product and determined that it meets UL’s requirements. They base these requirements on UL’s published and nationally recognized Standards for Safety.

Having a UL listed certified unit is not legally required. It is, however, a common practice because many large companies will only buy equipment that has passed the UL safety tests. It is also common business practice in the United States to only sell products that have a NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories) label. It doesn’t have to be UL per se, but a recognized marking is advisable. If a unit has a cULus Listing on it, that means that UL has tested the unit meeting Canadian and US standards. Having a tested product shows that the equipment meets a nationally recognized safety standard.

At American Rotary, we use all UL approved components in the assembly of our phase converters. American Rotary Phase Converters have been tested and approved by UL to meet their safety requirements. This means when using an American Rotary phase converter you will meet any additional safety requirements that your inspector may require. If you are having your installation inspected by your local inspector, it’s important to check with them prior to ordering your phase converter to see what is required to pass inspection. Some cities require the phase converters to include the UL documents in addition to being UL approved.

When the UL documents are required, this gets you all the information that some inspectors will require. This includes but is not limited to the UL licensing numbers, UL forms showing the phase converter does meet UL safety requirements, and other additional documentation on the phase converter. To prevent downtime, it is better to know what is all required up front prior to any installations.

If you have any questions you can always call American Rotary. We are always willing to help our customers make the American Dream their Reality.