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6 Best Metals for Machining: What Do You Need?

The world of cutting and shaping metal is wide open with possibilities. Choosing a metal for a machining project isn’t as simple as just grabbing any available piece of material. So, which metal is right for you? Explore the six best metals for machining in this guide. 1. Steel Steel—a metal alloy of iron and […]

What Welder Do You Need? Buyer’s Guide and Our Picks

Buying a welder is a key decision for any DIYer. Depending on your needs, you could be looking at investing a couple hundred dollars … up to a few thousand. And there are thousands of choices out there. Plenty of questions to sort through, too. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Read on as we break […]

The 5 Basic Types of Welding Joints

If you’re an aspiring welder, you know that welding creates a strong connection between two or more pieces of metal.  But just how strong that connection is—and what you need to do to achieve it—depends on several factors. One of the most important is the type of welding joint you’re working on. The term “welding […]

Understanding Welding Symbols 

To the uninitiated, a welding symbol can look like ancient hieroglyphics. Or some convoluted math problem.  The truth is it’s neither of those. But it’s complex, for sure! A welding symbol on a print is also packed with important information, unlocking the secrets of a weld specification. Within its cryptic marks are all the keys […]

Metal Lathe Tips

Metal Lathe Tips Make Making Easier and Safer

A metal lathe is a mesmerizing machine. Watch it spinning a workpiece at high speed. Then the metal gets smaller and smoother—almost like magic. Except it isn’t magic at all. Nothing happens on a metal lathe without skill and attention. At least, nothing good. If you don’t follow the fundamentals of effective lathe operation, you’re […]

Milling machine for beginners title graphic

Milling Machine for Beginners: Buyer’s Guide and Basic Operation

Learning how to use a milling machine is an important step for any beginning machinist. With precision metal-cutting capabilities, a mill (along with a lathe) is a must-have for any machine shop. Get to know this vital machine with this buyer’s guide and overview of basic operation. Parts of a Milling Machine By rotating a […]

Title graphic for Metal Lathe for Beginners

Metal Lathe for Beginners: Basic Operation

A metal lathe plays a key role in so many different machine shop jobs. So, getting to know this versatile machine tool is an important first step for beginning machinists.  This article will provide an introductory overview of the basic operation of a metal lathe.  How a Metal Lathe Works A lathe does its job […]

Title graphic for CNC Turning and Milling: Understanding the Differences

CNC Turning and Milling: Understanding the Differences

It’s precise. It’s efficient. It’s the state of the art. No wonder CNC (computer numerical control) is the platform of choice for so many types of modern manufacturing processes.  In this guide, we’re going to focus on the dynamic duo of CNC machining: turning and milling—the two most popular machines around the world. Why and […]

TItle graphic for What Do You Need to Tool Up a Home Machine Shop? [Buyer’s Guide]

What Do You Need to Tool Up a Home Machine Shop? [Buyer’s Guide]

If you have some machining skills and entrepreneurial aspirations, setting up a home machine shop could be a dream come true. But of course, it’s going to cost you. Your major pieces of machining equipment can run up to several thousand dollars each, so it is worth doing your due diligence. To help you make […]

TItle graphic for CNC Machining for Beginners

CNC Machining for Beginners: How to Start Learning the Basics

CNC (computer numerical control) machining makes possible some of the coolest, most complex metal parts you can imagine. It can be a thrill to program a CNC and watch it work its magic by efficiently cutting metal at high precision. Want in on the action? If you’ve got some manual machining chops and want to […]

5 Tips for Machining Aluminum to Maximize Efficiency

Aluminum is a soft and ductile metal used in a wide range of applications. Should be easier to machine than harder materials, right? Not so fast, my machinist friend. Because of aluminum’s high thermal conductivity and low melt point, you need to manage several tricky issues when machining this popular material to avoid tool damage […]

Lathe Vs. Milling Machine: The Differences and Use Cases

A lathe and a milling machine are the two most important workhorses of any complete machine shop. With either one, you can perform many of your fundamental machining techniques. Each is great at cutting away metal. But there’s an essential difference between these machines. And that difference means that each one is best suited to […]

Starting a Machine Shop? Here are 5 Tips to Help You Succeed

Do you love making things with metal? Do you thrive amid the sights, sounds, and smells of a modern-day machine shop? Maybe it’s time to transform your passion into a business. Assuming you have some solid experience in machining, setting up your own machine shop can be a great adventure. It’s a chance to showcase […]

10 Easy CNC Milling Projects for Beginners

Precise. Powerful. Versatile. A CNC mill is one of the most exciting pieces of equipment you can work with. Sure, it’s not a cheap machine, and learning to use CNC (computer numerical control) takes time. But if you have access to a CNC mill and a willingness to fail forward, you can make lots of […]

Essential Tools for the Beginning Machinist

One of the best things about getting into machining as a beginner is all the new tools and resources you get to tinker with. In addition to your lathes, milling machines, and other machining equipment, many different tools will help you advance your skills in common machining techniques. But let’s not get too carried away […]

The Most Common Machining Techniques or Operations

Ever look at a metal part and wonder how that thing got made? Whether it’s a practical part like a gear or crankshaft, or an aesthetic piece of metal art, you can bet it was made with the help of machining. Maybe you’re familiar with the basic techniques from our intro to machining. But the […]

10 Cool Metal Lathe Projects to Hone Your Skills

A metal lathe is one seriously versatile machine, and turning is considered one of the 3 core machining operations. The lathe spins your workpiece at high speed, and you can bring a wide variety of tools against the material to cut and shape metal in lots of different ways, including facing, threading, boring and creating […]

What is Machining? An Intro for New Machinists

Machining is the precise process of removing metal or other materials to make a wide variety of useful tools and parts. Machinists in machine shops use mills, lathes, and other equipment to cut away and shape workpieces to precise specifications. Read on to explore the basics of this key manufacturing discipline. Think of an object […]

12 Tips and Tricks For Beginner Machinists From an Old Pro

The rumble of mills and lathes. The clanging of metal materials. The gleam of newly polished workpieces. Metal machining is so metal! Without a doubt, it’s a fun, fulfilling, and useful pastime. But it’s not the easiest thing to pick up. So if you’re interested in getting into machining as a DIY hobby or, a […]

9 Milling Machine Projects to Expand Your Toolset and Skillset

For the DIY enthusiast, metal machining can be an incredibly useful hobby. Whether you’re already into woodworking, 3d printing, or just making in general, once you get some basic skills down, you can machine a huge variety of metal parts and tools—practical stuff you can use in your shop or all kinds of machines, vehicles, […]

The 4 Main Types of Welding: What You Need to Know About Each

Considering doing some welding in your shop? Great idea! Welding is one of the primary forms of metal fabrication. As a hobbyist, you have four main choices for welders: flux-core arc, gas metal arc (or MIG), gas tungsten arc (or TIG), and stick. There are several other specialized welding processes, as well. But in this […]

The Most Important Metalworking Tools to Have in Your Shop

The array of metalworking machines you can get for your home shop is amazing. But assuming you don’t have six figures to drop on your shop, you’re going to have to prioritize. Which metalworking tools are the most important? We run down the fundamentals in this overview. Crafting a new piece of patio furniture. Shaping […]

Three Phase Precision

Yates Precision Manufacturing is owned and operated by Jake and Ashley Yates in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in June of 2017, Yates Precision began as a contract manufacturing shop and actually began making safety razors by accident! After receiving one as a gift from his dad, safety razors soon piqued Jake’s interest and he began wondering […]

CNC mill head cutting a workpiece with Guide to Choosing a Rotary Phase Converter for CNC Machining as a caption

Guide to Choosing a Rotary Phase Converter for CNC Machining

CNC machining is great for a lot of different applications. But you need a stable and consistent power supply, or you risk damaging this valuable equipment. Is a rotary phase converter a good option for powering CNC machines? Yes, but you’ll need to keep some key considerations in mind. First off, why would you need […]

How to Choose a Three Phase Converter for Welders and Metalworking

A three phase converter is a great way to provide reliable, efficient power to a wide range of the best welders and metalworking equipment. Choosing the right converter for your needs involves considering the load requirements of your equipment, your existing electricity service, and other key factors. Metalworking equipment can be as varied as the […]

Garage Workshop – BBQ Smoker Build with American Rotary Phase Converters

Last month we were doing some work in Tennessee when we decided to drop into this home workshop to see what was cooking! This video contains a lot of great information for those new to the idea of using a phase converter. If you have a garage workshop you can probably imagine the possibilities of […]

5 Machining Tips For Beginners

A while back, some of the American Rotary team headed back to Indiana to visit Dusty Hicks at his machine shop, where we first met with him a couple of months earlier to get to know him and his work. Dusty is a hobbyist and machinist who enjoys building (and shooting) cannons and working on […]

How To Create a Successful YouTube Channel Doing What You Love

If you’re a machinist, metalworker, woodworker, or maker of any sort and have been thinking about how to share your knowledge with the world, this is the video for you! In these videos, we talk with several YouTube channel creators to get their take on what they believe makes a successful channel. What’s interesting to […]

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 […]

A Primer on Three-Phase Power for Machinists

Here’s What You Need to Know to Make the Most of Your Equipment Are you confused with the difference between single-phase and three-phase power? If so, you’re not alone. One of the best beginner machinist tips we can give is to use three-phase power from the git. Although many types of machining equipment operate off […]

How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel (Part 2)

In our first YouTube Tips video, we gave you a first-hand take on the top 3 tips for creating a successful YouTube channel from many of your favorite machinists. In this video, we go a little deeper and get their thoughts on how they got started, why they share video content, and how to create content […]

2016 Tormach Open House

Not long ago, American Rotary visited another Wisconsin based business and their good friends at Tormach for their 2016 open house. The turn out was amazing as it was packed the entire time! The show featured seminars that were held all day long to help educate and inform machinists at all stages in their development. […]

2016 Bar Z Summer Bash

Stan from Bar Z Industrial held his second annual Bar Z Summer Bash for YouTube fans and fellow YouTube contributors. After American Rotary sent down the AI 12 phase converter for the online contest, Chris and Jason went down as well. Here is a video recap of the day’s events, with commentary from Stan, Adam, […]

2016 Bar Z Summer Bash: Prologue!

Before the 2016 Bar Z Summer Bash event in June, we stopped by the Marton Brothers shop in Lake Elsinore, CA. This was Stan’s second year hosting the bash for YouTube fans and contributors. So while on our visit with John, we decided to whip up something quick in the shop to give away at […]

2016 Bar Z Summer Bash Phase Converter Giveaway

We’re excited to announce that we will be at the 2016 Bar Z Industrial Summer Bash coming up in June. Leading up to the event, we are accepting submissions for the chance to win a 20 HP AI Smart Series Industrial Phase Converter. Enter here for your chance to win and watch below for details! […]

Marton Brothers Machine Shop Tour

In this video, we go behind the scenes with our friend John Marton of Marton Brothers in Lake Elsinore, CA. Marton Brothers is a versatile machine shop that takes on all types of requests and orders of all sizes. Whether it be thousand piece orders or a one-piece order, Marton Brothers can likely do it. […]

2016 NYC CNC Open House Recap

In its second year, the NYC CNC Open House had another great turnout! People came from all over the country and even out of the country to meet and network with other machinists and metalworkers alike.  A huge thanks to John Saunders of NYC CNC for putting this event together. It was a great time! If […]

2016 NYC CNC Open House

On April 30th, we will be attending the 2016 NYC CNC Open House in Zanesville, Ohio, hosted by John Saunders. Last year, we gave away a 10hp AI Industrial Phase Converter. This year we’re excited to give away another phase converter, but we’re going to give away a 20hp Industrial Phase Converter! In addition, we […]

Cannon Shooting with Richard and Dusty Hicks

At American Rotary, we have the opportunity to connect with customers across the country who create amazing, American made products. Last month, we had the chance to meet up with Richard and Dusty Hicks at the NYC CNC Show. Dusty and his father, Richard, are long time American Rotary customers and invited us out to visit […]

NYC CNC Open House with John Saunders

The DEATH of traditional tradeshows?   When you go to a trade-show, do you ever get the feeling that you are being sold to?  If you are like me, I just want to look at equipment and get more information.  A tradeshow provides a chance to see a machine up close, but everyone knows that […]

The World’s First 3D Printed Car!

In 2014, Local Motors along with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Cincinnati Corporation, US Department of Energy, BAAMCI, used a Large 3D printer known as BAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) printed a functioning car chassis, eliminating approximately 20,000 parts from a typical car’s Bill of Materials. While only a technology demonstrator at this point, Local Motors […]

MD Helicopters and Notar with American Rotary Phase Converters

American Rotary visits an MD helicopter maintenance facility. They have a shop full of 3-phase equipment from mills and lathes to welders and air compressors. Hangars that are off the 3-phase grid can run three phase equipment on American Rotary phase converters.