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 what you can use a phase converter to save you both time and money. For more information about what phase converter is best for your needs, click here.
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 other projects around the shop. He was kind enough to take a few moments to share with us his top five tips for those who are looking to get into machining and we are glad to show them with you here.
If a beginner came to you, what tips would you offer them? Do you know somebody that would find this video helpful? Share it with them!
Recap: 5 Machining Tips and Tricks For Beginners:
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen. It’s how you learn.
2. Don’t be afraid to get big equipment. You can outgrow small equipment and you can still make small and intricate pieces on large equipment such as a large lathe.
3. Use your resources. The internet is a goldmine of information for anything you want to learn. One of Dusty’s favorites to learn from on YouTube was Tubal Cain.
4. Be creative. Everyone’s different and has a unique perspective to offer.
5. Have fun. It doesn’t always have to be work.
We hope you enjoyed these tips and find ways to apply them to your work. Starting out in any trade is exciting and you may even discover some things on your own over time that you feel others might like to know as well. By sharing insights with others we can all help each other by paying it forward as those did who helped us.
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 note is some of the similarities between each in addition to some golden nuggets unique to their own.
YouTube Tips – Part 1
In this first video, we give you a first-hand take on the top 3 tips for creating a successful YouTube channel from many of your favorite machinists.
YouTube Tips – Part 2
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 people want to watch.
Whether you’re a machinist, metalworker, woodworker, or maker of any sort and have been thinking about how to share your knowledge with others, video is a great way to do it. It’s often faster than writing, it’s engaging, and you can create more of a personal connection with your audience.
Most of all, it’s really cool to see a community of people come together who enjoy making things and sharing different tips and insights with each other.
If you’ve ever been considering sharing what you do with the world, hopefully, you can find the tips here of help. The most important thing is to just get started. We all have something unique to share and you never know who else might find value in it!
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 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.
Although many types of machining equipment operate off three-phase power, owners of this equipment often don’t realize what this means until it’s in their shop. But a lack of proper three phase power can prevent you from getting the equipment you really need, setting up the equipment you have, getting the equipment they really need, or even from growing your business.
So let’s clear the confusion and help you get three-phase power right.
Common Misconceptions about Three-Phase Power
— You have to get a building that already has three- phase power installed.
— You shouldn’t buy three-phase power equipment for your workshop or business because — you won’t be able to install it.
— Your only option for three-phase power is to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get it installed by the electric company.
— You need a diesel-guzzling, dirty, noisy generator to create three-phase power.
Worst of all, some machinists even buy three-phase machinery without knowing it requires three-phase power to run! Now, that’s frustrating!
3 Keys to Optimal 3-Phase Power
Whether you operate a full-time shop or like to tinker around in your garage on the weekends, here’s some good news. For manual mills and lathes, CNC mills and lathes, or machine and turning centers, a rotary phase converter can give you the precise power you need while keeping your costs low.
So, what makes a good rotary phase converter? The right solution should provide these three advantages:
1. Voltage Balance 2. Reliable Start-up 3. Scalability
1. Voltage Balance
CNC phase converters are phase converters that meet the requirements of 3-phase CNC applications by maintaining at least a +/-5% voltage balance. The more balanced the output of the rotary phase, the better a piece of equipment will operate and the longer it will last. Unbalanced voltages seen with non-CNC phase converters can be hard on the equipment, causing undesirable conditions such as excess noise and poor performance.
Rotary CNC phase converters can be used on any type of equipment, especially voltage sensitive machines such as CNC machining centers, milling machines, lathes, PLCs, EDMs and any other type of equipment that relies on balanced input power. But first, verify that the rotary CNC phase converter is rated for the specific kilowatts (kW) that your equipment or machine requires.
2. Reliable Start-up
For years, phase converters have had a reputation of drawing a huge inrush current upon start-up. This disproportionate power draw has resulted in, among other problems, dimming neighbors’ lights, demand charges from the utility and large increases on power bills.
So it’s important to look for a phase converter that has variable impedance technology built directly into the idler/generator. This will drastically reduce inrush (starting) current for reliable starts, every time, with no voltage drop.
Unfortunately, many phase converter manufacturers claim that they have such technology, when they instead use a regular stock motor, rewire it for low voltage and cut off the exposed rotating shaft, which is also a huge safety hazard. If you’re not sure whether a particular phase converter actually provides variable impedance, feel free to contact us.
Additionally, a phase converter should be rated to run single or multiple motor loads. This capacity is only limited by the single-phase current available. By selecting a converter with precision balanced from a “no-load” condition, you don’t need to worry about running a small motor together with larger ones using the same phase converter. More importantly, it should also be able to operate with no load engaged for an indefinite period, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your unit while your equipment loads are not operating.
One of the great things about phase converters is the ability to scale your energy use as your shop or business grows. However, if you build your own or buy a lesser-quality converter, this is hard to do. You might not get the best fit for your usage and equipment.
High-quality phase converters are capable of phase synchronization for increased capacity to double, triple or quadruple your power.
With these three key attributes in mind, you have a good head start toward finding a rotary phase converter that best suits your needs. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
In the meantime, here’s an example of how a machining company is scaling their business with help from rotary phase converters.
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 people want to watch.
Whether you’re a machinist, metalworker, woodworker, or maker of any sort and have been thinking about how to share your knowledge with others, video is a great way to do it. It’s often faster than writing, it’s engaging, and you can create more of a personal connection with your audience. Most of all, it’s really cool to see a community of people come together who enjoy making things and sharing different tips and insights with each other.
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.
In attendance was Autodesk, providing some great tutorials and training. YouTube machinist, John Saunders of NYCCNC, was also in attendance. As a friend and Sponsor of John’s channel it was great to visit with him as always. American Rotary can not wait to see what Tormach has in store for everyone next year and we sure hope to see you there!
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, John, Keith, Ray, James and more.
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 the bash the next morning. You can check out the prologue video below to get an idea of more to come!
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!
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. By always trying to keep the “small guy” in mind they are able to help a wide array of customers and keep their business going strong while doing what they love.
Marton Brothers Shop Tour
As part of our recent trip to Lake Elsinore, CA to visit John Marton of Marton Brothers, John was kind enough to take some time and describe his experience with American Rotary. For someone who is running their machines 18-24 hours/day, 7 days/week, including 2 CNC milling machines, a Bridgeport mill, a CNC plasma cutter, a Miller 875 Spectrum, air compressor and more, John is able to keep his operations running smoothly at an affordable cost. In addition, American Rotary has been able to assist him in the growth of his shop over the years.
Marton Brothers with American Rotary Part 2
American Rotary phase converters are perfectly suited for precision metalworking equipment such as wire EDM’s, CNC lathes, CNC mills, and other voltage-sensitive applications. General Metal Fabrication equipment such as grinders, welders, shears, brakes, and benders, are often run on American Rotary phase converters. When converting from single-phase to three-phase power, American Rotary phase converters produce balanced 3-phase output to accommodate both very small, lightly loaded machines and very large or heavily loaded machines…all with just one phase converter.
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 you weren’t able to make it to Zanesville in 2016, we hope to see you next year.
Oh, and did we mention? There will also be a raffle for the chance to win an AI12 20hp Nema3R outdoor rated Rotary Phase Converter! All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to benefit youth machining and engineering!
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 their workshop in Union Mills, Indiana to see what they were working on, including fully functioning, miniature cannons!
Dusty and Richard have an impressive workshop that includes a Bridgeport Mill, a LaBlond Lathe, a CNC machining center, a crane and welder all powered by American Rotary phase converters. Dusty shared, “We don’t have access to three phase utility power and the cost to bring it out to our property is outrageous.”
The Hicks are also running two of our new AI Industrial units to irrigate their fields, driving their farm lease revenue. We also had a chance to visit their forest of impressive black walnut trees. Richard added, “We used to run our irrigation systems on diesel generators, but we’ve found it is more cost efficient to use an American Rotary phase converter.”
Dusty and Richard are both full of entrepreneurial spirit and we had a great time checking out all the new products they were working on. Dusty was experimenting with a number of new projects, including; tractor attachments, chess pieces and our favorite. . . Dusty’s miniature, fully functioning cannons. Check out this video to see these amazing cannons in action!
Big thanks to Richard and Dusty Hicks for having us out to their workshop. We had a great time on our visit. Seeing the cannon in action was a definite highlight. “I could sit out here and do this all day!”, Christopher Feavel, American Rotary.
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 companies are really there to sell, and just about any machine looks good when new, with a factory pro running it, in an environmentally controlled carpeted showroom. With the age of social media, there may be a new way to get a realistic perspective on equipment beyond the video.
Our friend John Saunders of Saunders Machine Works, YouTube: (NYC CNC) may just be onto something a bit different. John is hosting a mini-trade-show or open house so that any of his more than 45,000 YouTube subscribers can see first hand some of the machines working that he uses daily in his videos about metalworking and machining.
John’s YouTube channel is called NYC CNC and he provides his viewers with a first-hand look at some of the problems and solutions of running a small machine shop. Attendees of his open house will get to see his equipment, making real parts in a real shop, in real-time. No salespeople, just technicians on hand to answer questions and to demonstrate the machines in a real working environment.
American Rotary is here in Zanesville, Ohio at John’s shop to help support his efforts and to answer any questions regarding the use of American Rotary Phase Converters which run some of John’s equipment.
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 has the vision to bring this type of technology to market in the near future, creating on-demand vehicles for various markets. American Rotary was there to document this new use for the world’s newest industrial manufacturing technology, 3D printing!
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.
Dave & Dave visit East Side Cabinets, a maker of european style cabinets. Bryan gives us a tour of his shop and shows how multiple phase converters from American Rotary power all of his equipment from his edge-bander, air-compressor, to his CNC router, all three-phase. As East Side expands, American Rotary has continued to provide the single to three-phase solution for the company.