When you contact RD Machine and Manufacturing as a new supplier, not only will you be pleased with their capabilities and their technology, but also you will undoubtedly find your introduction to Dusty Dastrup, founded and owner, absolutely inspiring. I know I felt this during our interview.
Dusty is daring and adventurous. He’s tried everything, his colleagues in the industry say. Aside from the machine shop Dusty opened more than 27 years ago, for a number of years, Dusty was an auto daredevil (like his rival Evel Knievel), traveling throughout the western United States and Canada performing stunts for audiences. Today, Dusty’s part-time job, when he is not running the machine shop, is teaching scuba diving to those looking to certify. And on his holidays, Dusty and his wife travel to exotic islands to dive, and to take exquisite underwater photographs.
Dusty first experienced machining during his 8-year tenure in the Navy, where he repaired pumps, valve bodies, and other parts on the small Destroyer he was deployed on.
Over the next dozen years, Dusty really learned the machining trade, working at a number of small shops in Southern California, and subsequently in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“My last job as an employee was working as a supervisor for a large worldwide mining bit company. (Mining bits are tools for boring into rock and earth, used to drill blasting holes and penetrate both soft and hard rock materials.) When they laid off a number of the employees, including me, I decided the next time I got laid off, it would be my choice.” And so, when the layoff occurred at 7 am one morning in 1985, by noon Dusty had his new business, RD Machine and Manufacturing, up and running.
RD Machine and Manufacturing launched with the purchase of a lathe and a mill, in Dusty’s 3 car garage, where he ran his race car shop during the evenings and weekends. It was, and remains today, a Veteran-Owned small business supplying quality and precision machined and fabricated parts. Today, Dusty’s 2 sons, Richard and Troy, and his son-in-law, David are active in the family business.
The company handles all types of metal material including Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Copper, Stainless Steel, Titanium and Tool Steel and performs the following services for their customers:
• Machining, including 5 Axis
• Screw/Swiss Machining Turning
• Machined Castings
"I will try pretty much anything once", Dusty said. And when referring to taking on a new project or part at RD Machine, Dusty says "If it can be machined by someone, then I can do it also. Maybe slower at first, but I'll get it right."
Early into business, Dusty was recommended for a start-up company that needed components for valves for natural gas. Dusty says, “The young company only wanted one or two parts at a time, and other machine shops weren’t interested in oddball one-offs. I took the job on.”
That company was called Mooney Controls. It was founded in 1984 by Dick Mooney, a mechanical engineer with over 25 years experience in industrial controls and the natural gas industry. The Flowgrid ® Regulator he developed is a patented, pilot-operated pressure regulating valve for both gases and liquids, and is now known for its unparalleled high performance, ease of maintenance, low minimum differential, reliability and versatility.
When asked why Dusty continues to purchase Mazak machines, he said, “Why do I always buy Dodge pick-ups? I like them, and I stick with them. The same is true for the Mazak machines, and today I own 7 Mazak machines.”
But it is not just the Mazak machines sold by Smith Machinery that Dusty appreciates. “Clark Smith and the entire team at Smith Machinery are outstanding. They are absolutely professional, from my sales engineer, Scott Trumble, to the ladies in the office, Dorothy, Mindy and Sue, to owner, Clark Smith. The Smith Machinery team is extremely reputable -- if they tell you they are going to do something, they do it.”
He continued, “Scott is amazing. I didn’t know until a few years ago that he was experienced in CNC programming and ran a machine shop before moving into sales. If I need anything, I can call Scott or Clark -- I have their cell phone numbers -- and I get an immediate response. If I have a problem with a machine, I receive immediate support first from Smith Machinery, and then, if needed, by Mazak direct. I have at my disposal an extremely knowledgeable staff that is an extension of my business.”