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Thread: Dremel type tools and how I have used them

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Dremel type tools and how I have used them

    There may be people out there who would like to know how to use Dremel tools on steel (and carbide) but wouldn't know where to begin. This is a video explaining a little of what I have learned about these tools and how I have used them. These are very inexpensive and versatile little tools. I use them mostly to shape and sharpen cutting tools.

    Sorry about the noise blocking out what I was explaining. Basically I was saying that I am careful not to touch the wheel against the web of the drill bit. That can be thinned later. Also when sharpening the straight edge of a normal drill bit I imagine a line intersecting the middle of the wheel through the arbor and use that line as a reference for the final edge to be cut. Otherwise the angle will not be consistent.
    Last edited by Traffer; 05-15-2019 at 04:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Over the years I've worn out several Dremels, and used them for all sorts of gunsmiting chores. I think the cut-off wheels proved especially useful, as did the various small Craytex polishing points and wheels for small, hard to reach areas in preparation for rebluing.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Truly a handyman's secret weapon, along with vice-grips, duct-tape, and JB Weld.

    BUT, in the hands of Bubba.....a weapon of mass destruction!!!
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

    WWG1WGA!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    Wouldn't know what to do without mine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Worth noting that Dremel's drive shaft has a small plastic tube with inside splined that connects the motor to the shaft. That tube I guess provides give in the drive train. However with age the plastic goes from soft and pliable to hard and the splines strip out.

    Symptom is motor runs and shaft may still spin but under cutting or grinding load the shaft stops or turns slowly while the motor still runs fast. Plenty of good YouTube videos on making the easy replacement.

    Tube is the most common replacement part shipped by Dremel so if yours does this or you find one at a garage sale or flea market with those symptoms the part to fix it is cheap and might make buying the used one a deal. I replaced it in a Dremel that is at least 25 years old recently. I couldn't get new brushes for one that old but until those I replaced a good while back fail it will work fine. I have been using it for that entire time and yes it has pulled my chestnuts out of a fire more than once.

    Hardened metal that will dull or destroy a hacksaw blade is no match for the cut off wheel. However you have much to cut and room a 4 inch. angle grinder with cut off is faster and easier. For bulk "project" building there is another tool that rocks.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Other uses for a Dremel type tool

    I have found that the shank of a cheap Q-Tip will fit into a Dremel type tool collet.
    The Q-Tips with the paper wound shafts, not the plastic tube, and I use them for light/final polishing in small areas.
    I charge the Q-Tip with Nu Finish car polish as the abrasive, while spinning inside a paper grocery bag to catch the spray.

    I also use wooden shish cabob skewers, they fit into the collets too, also for polishing or as a mandrel for spinning small stuff that has a hole thru it.
    Once mounted the skewer can be spun and filed to any size/dia. needed.
    I spin small washers this way to file the OD, etc.
    I will never accuse anyone of providing TOO MUCH information

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Most crankshaft grinding shops will not do a very good job of deburring the oil holes in the main and rod bearing journals. I like to use a Cratex bob on a Dremel arbor to deburr the crank shaft oil holes.
    EDG

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickok View Post
    Truly a handyman's secret weapon, along with vice-grips, duct-tape, and JB Weld. :
    Don't forget a couple of different Cresent wrenches.

    They'll save you from buying metric tools.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Never ask an old person, "how are you doing"?
    They eagerly look forward to telling you,,,,,,,, and ya really don't want to know.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    While the same basic tool I have used a pencil grinder for years in the shop. My arrow and dotco pencil grinders are 80,000 rpm the high speed dotco is 100,000. the added rpms really make a difference in how it cuts and finishes. I have a flex shaft dremil that's 20,000 rpms that does okay and a industrial flex shaft that's 30,000.
    I have a 1/4" die grinder that's set up for ID grinding in the lathe. It does okay a little more power would be nice, but it allows me to ring and grind chucks and some other small work

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I use a dremel a lot doing barrels and cylinders. Dremel + Cratex rubber abrasives are excellent for polishing feed ramps in auto loader barrels, and I use the same setup to deburr and "melt" cylinder chamfers for easier loading.

    I had one of the high torque high rpm air driven Cratex rotary tools which fit right in the 5/8" collet that holds a boring bar on a toolpost, I had an awesome little high precision very accurate tool post grinder for my lathe until it gave it up. These things are $600+ bucks, and the shaft of the motor has a U shaped coupler just pressed on the hardened shaft, once it spins, you can toss the whole tool. Grrrrrrrrr.......
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    A Roto-zip with the proper collet is a Dremel on steroids

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickok View Post
    Truly a handyman's secret weapon, along with vice-grips, duct-tape, and JB Weld.

    BUT, in the hands of Bubba.....a weapon of mass destruction!!!
    Very sagacious words. And just call me bubba.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
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    A Dremel tool has saved me on more than one occasion.

    The heavy duty cut off wheels last about 10x longer than the standard ones.
    If you're careful you can cut the compressed rings off of Pex plumbing fittings and save the plastic pipe (important when you're replacing a cracked fitting on Christmas morning and you don't have another section of pipe on hand ! )

    Yes, a Q-tip will fit in the collet and so will some cotter pins with a piece of 600 grit sandpaper sandwiched in the middle !

    The Dremel is not a precision instrument but it sure is a handy one.

    Totally agree with Hickok in post #3

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post

    Yes, a Q-tip will fit in the collet and so will some cotter pins with a piece of 600 grit sandpaper sandwiched in the middle !

    The Dremel is not a precision instrument but it sure is a handy one.

    Totally agree with Hickok in post #3
    The cotter pin idea I gotta remember , thanks

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    In trained hands and with proper back up tools ( straight edge surface plate measuring tools ect) the dremil tool dies grinders can be very accurate. Mounted in a machine ( lathe shaper) they can do work that's really surprising. I used a 1/4" die grinder mounted in tool post to ring and grind 3 and 6 jaw chucks. It wasn't fast but they were accurate when done. Finish was very good when done.
    Several things to remember with these tools is to buy accessories rated for the machines top speed. We got some rawhides and felt bobs 3/8" dia on aluminum shafts that bent when turned up to speed. Brushes need to be ran slower to maintain the flex in the bristles when polishing. Always start a new mounted point or accessory under the bench top and dress it true under the bench top. The bench top becomes a guard or shield if the point lets go, protecting you from the bits pieces. Always dress a newly mounted tool before use to true and balance it. This makes then cut and run much better, and they are easier to control with out the vibrations. Dress / clean the stones as needed when loaded they just burn and don't cut well. Have a selection on hand white green pink brown cratex felt bobs rawhides and various brushes to do what is needed. Burrs can be very usefull at times and will remove metal faster and cooler. ALWAYS wear safety glasses A face shield is better. Those small chips are painful on the skin and really hard on the eyes. The sparks from them are hard on glasses. Be safe when running these tools

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    Dremel tool, one of man's best friends !!
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  17. #17
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    I used my dremel/ flexible extension with the bowtie style cut off wheels to cut the bowie blade curve into my junky 1917 bolo blade and make the diagonally cut through the handle of the bowie and a krag bayonet to build my version of a krag-bowie. Was leery about grinding the radius on it but the dremel cut right through without the heat. Been using dremel bits on my drill press for years.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    I’ve been getting ready to buy my first one. There are so many different brands, types and kits out there, it’s hard to know where to start and with which tools. How about shank size?

    Any advice on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Lowe's usually has a decent selection of Dremels and just about any accessory you can think of. Can buy just a small kit and go from there. And I have to warn you that if you go down the accessory road do not buy just one. Stinks when your favorite polishing bob or grinding wheel just won't do it anymore and off you go to get some more. I have a tupper ware container full of wire brushes, stones,cutoff wheels and so on. And see if they have spare wrenches for the collet chuck. Don't ask why I said that as been there done that. Frank

  20. #20
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I am getting some good ideas. I really like mine for making handgun grips. When i first started in machine shop many years ago used industrial flex shaft grinder to final shape parts that couldn't be machined had a standard that had to match shape. Showed a knack for it so got to do it for next five years. You'd be surprised just how close you can get with one.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check