Monthly Archives: April 2017

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 www.ul.com. 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.

Customer Profile: Next Gen Classics

Not long ago, we headed to Clear Lake, Wisconsin to visit American Rotary customer, Jamie Lien of Next Gen Classics where he restores classic cars. 

Originally, Jamie started a pull truck team with Next Gen industries owner Matt Anderson and it eventually led to a new business venture in restoring cars, now in its 7th year. As a true craftsman, he does every facet of the restoration business (body, paint, welding, electrical, machining custom parts, upholstery) as a one-man team.

Growing up in a body shop with his dad he eventually moved onto learning machining as well. His whole family is into cars/motors and also competes in truck pulling. They’re hoping to build the shop into a high-end full restoration business.

They had just moved into the building you see in the videos here and were still getting set up while we were there. However, they did have their American Rotary phase converter hooked up to their lathe and mill as you will see. Enjoy!

Next Gen Classics Customer Profile:

Next Gen’s American Rotary phase converter setup:

Things to Consider When Planning a Car Restoration:

To learn more about how you can get quality three-phase power for your shop at an affordable price, download our three-phase power resource guide: