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Old 04-14-2005, 04:47 PM   #1
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Wink Dremmel Tool Thread


Originally Posted by stefrobrts
02-02-2005, POST#141

Makin' sawdust
Originally Posted by stefrobrts

I get a lot of use out of my Dremel tool, in fact I've burnt out three of them over the years. Very handy tool to have around, get lots of bits and it seems like you can do anything with it.

I saw this above post and got to thinking about my lack of use of my 4 Dremmel type tools.
Actually 3 are Craftsman that I have accumulated as left behinds in my rent properties or bought at yard sale. I think Dremmel must have built the Craftsmen as they look alot alike. One is non-functional, prob burnt out and not worth the repair charges, but maybe just needs brushes???? Is that feasible?

I have quite a few odds & ends attachments and even have a flexable shaft (snake) thing.
I have never quite gotten the hang of using the tool, but sure want to. I read that many folks do wonders with theirs'.

Anyway I thought a thread strictly relating to what you all have accomplished with similar tools and how to use them tips and which gadgets are the best and worst accessories and "bits" would be helpful. At least to me.

I have tried a few different tackle boxes and things to keep mine organized in, but it is hopeless.
I know I break the "fiber cut off wheels" much too often. And the little brass and steel wire brushes have not exactly satisfied my expectations for polishing or rust busting. Oh I have lots of paperwork instructions etc, but never quite know what speed to run the variable speed one on and just don't feel like I am doing too much good.

Help! Am I alone? If not your answers will help others too I think.

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Old 04-14-2005, 05:07 PM   #2
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Dremmels (and their close cousin, Rotozip) are one of those tools whose actual usefulness is not nearly as great as it's apparent usefulness. Just looking at it, it seems as if it would be great at all sorts of things, but in reality it is really, really good only at a very few, fairly narrowly defined tasks, mostly involving very small work surfaces.

The other side to that coin is that those things which Dremmel can do are very hard to do with any other tool.

One use mentioned on another thread, which I have used myself, is to grind down the head of Olympic rivets. Sort of a poor man's rivet shaver. They would be good at polishing some of the tiny crevices in nameplates and so forth if you are doing a show-quality polishing job. Of course people who have hobbies involving miniatures or small parts (jewelry, clocks, doll houses, etc.) find lots of uses.

Tom, of Tom and Ray, the Tappet brothers (Car Talk Radio show on NPR) did a funny riff a while back on the Dremmel. He bought one, could not figure out a use for it, decided he must not have enough accessories, bought them, still found no uses for it, bought MORE accessories, and repeated twice more before deciding that maybe the thing was just basically useless. On reading this, it really is not very funny. I guess you had to be there.

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Old 04-14-2005, 05:17 PM   #3
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Unhappy I like my Dremel

I use the Dremel for several things, it is excellent for cleaning the crap and old caulk out of the edges of windows on the AS prior to resealing. With cut off wheels it got in between the channel sides to cut off the rusty bolts holding my outriggers to the non existent floor. I also use it for modeling N scale trains, as a light weight die grinder, polishing small parts and general hobby use. It has many uses but it seems that a lot of people try to over use it, and it does have its limitations...

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Old 04-14-2005, 05:55 PM   #4
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I bought my first one to customize plastic model cars (before I advanced to 1:1 scale vehicles). Then I found a lot of uses for it in my mustang restoration, and again in the caravel.

The cutting disks are great for slicing through sheet metal, but it does take some practice, and you may break a few before you determine the speed and the amount of pressure to use (high speed, low pressure seems to work for me). I've never broke one yet, though I have worn many many down to tiny little discs. They also slice through frame bolts just fine, and get into places where bigger tools just won't fit. Like cutting the nuts off the bolts that went through the floor in front of the step. Nothing else I had handy could have got up there, and the dremel is small and light so I didn't mind using it while laying on my back under the trailer.

The sanding drums are good for cleaning up rivets until you can get the shaver and do it right. I think the dremel can't do as professional looking a job as the shaver. Of course it's good for all kinds of wood shaping.

I have the snake-like attachment, and a right angle attachment. I've used those for grinding, polishing, or drilling in hard to reach places. I do keep all my bits in a small tackle box. I find the little stones the most useless. I've still not figured out what they are good for. All the drilling, engraving, carbide tipped pointy bits for gnawing through wood and metal are great. Especially if you say, drill a hole in sheetmetal with your largest bit and find you still need to make it a little bigger to get the bolt through.

I think you're right that the few things the dremel does well, it does better than anything else in the garage. It's not the only tool you'll ever need, but I probably use it more than any other tool I own. Except hammers, of course

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Old 04-14-2005, 09:08 PM   #5
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yet another use.....

I use mine to grind down my dog's toenails. They used to run at the sight of the clippers and while they're not exactly jumping for joy when they hear the dremel turned on they allow me to do it by myself (as opposed to having my husband tackle them and force them to hold their legs out for a trim.
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Old 04-14-2005, 09:19 PM   #6
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I use mine alot, too. Too add to Stephonie's uses, I use it as a grinder a whole lot. I have used those stone tools to smooth off metal burrs and the tool is great for polishing up the little brass trim pieces on the cabinet hardware (in the 60s models, at least). I used it to cut off a couple of screws that we found sticking up, also for cleaning up rust in some small crevices in the hitch where the drill wouldn't hit. I use mine about every week!

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Old 04-15-2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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Post Dremals in poditry

Originally Posted by moogie32
I use mine to grind down my dog's toenails. They used to run at the sight of the clippers and while they're not exactly jumping for joy when they hear the dremel turned on they allow me to do it by myself (as opposed to having my husband tackle them and force them to hold their legs out for a trim.
While I have used mine for some metal work on the GT, I mostly use it for model making.
Took the better half to her podiatrists and he has a rechargable one fitted with course sanding drums. Appearantly it makes quick work of those stubborn heel callious.
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:14 PM   #8
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the nose hair attachment works really well.
seriously, I bought my craftsman sometime ago and it has been used to poilsh small items, like antique watches, clock parts and beer steins lids in my collection, as well as guitar parts. I also use th cut off wheel for many things.
I have used it as drill for small applications, and use the sander for things like the window trim on my AS when I had some spots that needed sanding lightly.
It is used although not as much as I thought it might be when I first got it.
Now if I could trade in all the tools I bought, that I don't really use, and get a whole bunch of news ones, THAT would be cool.
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:57 PM   #9
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A Good Tool

The kids got me the Black-n-Decker model for X-mass a couple of years ago. It's come in handy..I got lucky,,mine came with a built in "gadget" box molded into the carry case.......I wish I had the smarts to invent a "quick change" device for the cut off wheels....I spend more time looking for that tiny screw I ALWAYS drop! Then when I'm all set back up...Doink! goes another disc.....Has anybody ever seen such a thing?....
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:32 PM   #10
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I have two dremels, the drill press holders and flexible shaft bit. I find them very handy to do many jobs that require micro work. The diamond cone will sharpen some of the finest micro scissors and blades. The drill press will guide a hail size drill through metal so it can be threaded for a micro screw. And delicate polishing in small areas cannot be done with larger tools. When you need them it is nice to have them.
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Old 04-17-2005, 09:44 PM   #11
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Just this last week, I installed the switch for my new Velvac mirrors in the side console of my Argosy MH. The material is ABS about 3/16" thick - not terribly tough, but hard to cut with precision and impossible to access with a sabre saw. With a carbide burr in the Dremel I was able to rough out the hole in about 2 minutes. The finishing to size I did with a flat file.

Also last week, I replaced the power steering pump in my Argosy. Its bracket was slightly bent so that it was impossible to get one bolt restarted. With my trusty Dremel and burr cutter, I was able to enlarge one end of an adjustment slot enough to get the pesky bolt threaded properly.

I've also posted about replacing the weatherstrip in MH windows. That project required enlarging the slot in the center window post. The job would have been nearly impossible with hand tools but was a snap with the Dremel - again with a carbide burr.

I mainly use carbide burrs with mine. Every time I go to a car swap meet where there are tool vendors, at least one of them is selling assorted 1/8" shaft burrs. They're usually 3 for $5 or so, and I keep an assortment on hand. I don't bother with most of the other accessories. They're probably fine if you're a modelmaker but not too useful in the full-size world.

The Dremel is a great tool - indispensable in come cases - but you have to recognize its limitations. Those TV ads showing somebody sanding a chair or derusting a railing with one are ridiculous - this is not the tool for those jobs.

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Old 04-18-2005, 06:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ALANSD
the nose hair attachment works really well.
Oh, my gawd...
Mine is invaluable in my hobby of model railroading, as well as using it in and around automobiles. When my big He-Man die grinder is too big, I can usually get in the spot with the Dremel and get the job done. There are times I could actually use that flex-head attachment, but I have gotten by without it so far.
Burnishing brake parts, and drilling out the tiny spot welds on some electrical components are two things that come to mind.
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