American Rotary Blog

5 Machining Tips For Beginners

A few weeks ago 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.

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.

Farm Technology at the WPS Farm Show

In this video, we take you to the Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Farm Show on the EAA grounds in Oshkosh, WI. Here we talk with a handful of companies regarding farm technology and how data is being used to yield better returns by minimizing expenses and maximizing efficiency.

American Rotary phase converters are built for the demands of agricultural equipment and applications from grain dryers to pivot irrigation systems.  Often, farms are located in areas which do not have access to the 3-phase power grid.  Paying the power company to bring 3-phase power onsite is expensive, and often cost-prohibitive.  American Rotary phase converters provide reliable and cost-effective phase conversion for any agricultural setting.

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 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!

Phase Converter Installation & Wiring with Jim Bollinger of DoRite Fabrication

Considering updating the electrical in your shop?

In the first video below, Jim Bollinger of DoRite Fabrication walks you through his process of removing and installing a 200 amp panel to power his new American Rotary AI Industrial phase converter.

In this second video, his unit has arrived. Here he takes you inside the box to show you what it looks like and how he rewired his shop to complete the installation.

As always, please consult a professional electrician as needed to ensure your safety.

Phase Converter Installation and Wiring – Part 1

Phase Converter Installation and Wiring – Part 2

Not sure which model phase converter is right for you? Check out our free resource guide below. Inside you’ll learn the difference between products, get an advanced sizing chart, installation guide, and answers to our most frequently asked questions.

We’ve put years upon years of experience into creating what we believe is by far the best selection of phase converters available on the market today. We include a variety of sizes and deployment features, and offer complete on-going support for as long as you have your phase converter.

7 Power Tools Every Woodworking Shop Should Have

woodworking tools

We recently took a random survey of our woodworking customers and asked them what were the top five wood working pieces of equipment that they suggested every woodworking shop should never go without. We got a lot of feedback and we wanted to go through and inform you of the top results. In fact, we got such good feedback that we decided to inform you of the top seven woodworking power tools.

1. Table saw – Table saws are a good resource to have available to you. They can be used to make various cuts depending on the project you are working. Some of the more frequent cuts that the saw is making: cross cutting, ripping, making miter joints, and miter cuts just to name a few.

2. Router – The versatility of a router usually goes unnoticed. There are a lot of uses for a router that many beginner woodworkers don’t realize are available to them. Not only can routers be used for finishing off the edges nicely, but also for cutting in mortise joints, inlay grooves, and keyholes. There are many other available features available to you when you use a router.

3. Jigsaw A jigsaw is smaller saw, but a very important one. The jigsaw is a good way to start before access to a band saw is available. The jigsaw is good for cutting a whole in the center of the wood, cutting circles, and different shapes out of material. The jig saw is very compact and does not take up a lot of space.

4. Circular Saw – This is often the first power tool added to one’s tool armory. This saw can be used to cut large or small pieces of wood. This saw is also smaller and very portable to move to different locations. The saw can be used to make plunge cuts, angle cuts, and rip cuts. There are many other uses available.

5. Sander – Whether you’re using precut wood or cutting it yourself you will be using a sander at one point or another. There is hardly any project involving wood that you will not be sanding. Having a power sander will save your arm from sanding manually. A power sander will give you a nice smooth finish across all surfaces.

6. Power Drill – Once all of the wood is cut and sanded you will need to assemble the pieces to get your final project. This means there are bolts and screws to assemble and possible holes to be made. A power drill has multiple bits that you can swap out depending on your jobs needs. This tool can be a big time saver compared to using traditional screwdrivers and hand drills.

7. Planer/Jointer These can be sold as individual machines or as a combo set. These machines are important to make sure that you starting your project off with a straight and true piece of wood. You want to think of your boards as the foundation to your project. If the first few boards are off, the rest of the project will be off. There are much more uses for a planer/jointer as you get more experienced in woodworking. These units can be sold as simple table top units or large industrial sized machines.

Your individual shop needs may vary, but these were voted as the top power tools needed. As always, make sure you do your research and follow all of the safety recommendations from your tools manufacturer. Make your American dream your reality.