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Woodcarving Tools, Technology & Sharpening

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  #1  
Old 12-12-2006, 11:59 PM
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Default which dremel is the best etc.

There is so much I need to learn about the tools of the trade.. My son John has gone through the three dremel that we had and is using the " Montgomery Ward " one that my Dad had... very old.. He is not going to touch my proxxon dremel!!!!!! What I want to know is.. What is the best dremel out there that will hold up under his use.. He is now making a complete Santa with a dremel.. He is doing very good work but who can keep buying those dremels? I just would like some imput on the most durable dremel.
second question... Curtis had a four sided strop and that is what I am using.. In the catalogs I see the two sided strop and that sure looks tempting as I do hate to do all four sides.. I have been stroping thirty times on each of the four sides.. Now am I doing that right or not.?. The one thing I am at loss for is how to keep my knives sharpened CORRECTLY.. thanks for any information. Charlotte
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Well, I'm no expert on sharpening; but, my tools do stay sharp so will try and start the ball rolling. I use the paper wheel system (mine came from Grizzly) to sharpen my tools. The wheels are on a shaft run by an electric motor. One wheel has a coarse grit and the other a fine one. I put the tool to these two and then buff it on a cloth wheel. But, I only do this on rare occasions.

Once the tool is sharp, I can keep it there using only a one-sided strop. I took a piece of leather and glued it, flesh side up to a board, charged it with "yellowstone" and use that to strop my tools and it has been all I have needed for most of my tools for very long periods of time. I simply strop the tool about every 15 minutes or so of use or when I pick up the tool after not having used it for a while. I strop three or four times and it does the job.

I am hoping that I read your post right and am interpreting the dremel properly. I think since you said something about proxxon that you mean it to be generic. I have never used dremel (brand name) but have used several others. Generally, the more money you are willing to spend the better the tool and the longer it will last (just like hand tools). The only flex-shaft I have used for any period of time is Foredom. The one I have was purchased in 1980 and is still going strong. I have talked to people using other brand names and they have been satisfied with any but the cheapest.

Hope this starts to answer some of your questions.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

I would lay odds he is pressing too hard and probably because bits are dull imho
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Regarding the 4 sided strop. I suspect that you have Lynn Sheeleys RAZOR SHARP STROP.I personally think that if you are stroping the knife 30 times per side, that it's way too much. This may be especially true if when you reach the end of a strop stroke you flop the blade over on its cutting edge, for its return pass. This may round over the cutting edge. You must make sure that you never touch the cutting edge when you turn the blade over for the return stroke. I think that a properly charged strop, with 4 sides, only requires 3 0r 4 strokes per side to maintain a good razor sharp edge. Help me out folks! am I right or am I doing it wrong...? Tom H
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Thanks Paul and Hi Ho.. Well, Paul, I guess I have been working too hard on stroping..Thirty times to your three???? I bet now I will love carvling! It's about time.. So what you both are saying is dremels are about the same ..not one lasting longer than the other? I thought about the Fordom but didn't know how long they would last and I didn't want to spend that much money and have it last for a short time.. Hi Ho .. he might be pressing down too hard.. He is undercutting a coat pretty deep and does some deep cutting for the fur.. He also uses a chain saw and then uses the dremel for bear fur , eagle feathers etc. They are not so small of an object as the Santa that is around ten inches tall. My proxxen dremel is one that has an adaptor and I have a sander with a small set of sanding disks..It's just right for my hand . not much weight for my fingers that have corpal tunnel ..I don't use the dremel like he does for everythng . I just use mine for fur etc and I hand sand most of my work except for the finishing. Thanks for your information... I appreciate it .. Don't know how I would be getting along as well as I am,with my carving, without you guys,.gving all the help. Charlotte
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Its kind of natural even with a sharp bit to try to force the bit thru to get done...but the bit will do the work by itself, forcing it only strains the unit....and I do believe a Foredom is much much stronger than a dremel.....I know for a fact, you can't force a dremel, they are not built to take it. At least mine wasn't LOLSadApple
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Thanks Dave, I think that is probably why they have torn up. He is trying to do a lot fast.. I might invest in a Foredom if it will last a long time and we both can use it in the outside carport room..lol not in the house.. I just don't know what to get with it but John is pretty smart about tools and things so maybe he can figure it out.. Charlotte
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Most Dremels rely more on the speed of the tool to do the work than the horsepower. So if you press into the wood and slow the rotation of the tool down, it's not going to cut as well, which invites you to push harder, which wears out the tool...

Foredoms and similar flexible shaft tools may not rotate as fast as the dremel, but have more power; it's much harder to bog one of those down than it is the dremel.

For example, I have a 1/16"-diameter drill bit chucked in my standard dremel (in the drill press attachment) for drilling blade-entry holes for my fretwork. It bogs down if I go any deeper than 1/2" into a piece of maple. I've got a Mastercarver equipped with their Stealth handpiece (three-jaw chuck style) and I can drill holes all day without bogging down the motor.

While Foredom IS the top of the line for tools like this, don't discount Mastercarver or Weecher. I've got the small Foredom hooked up with a foot pedal and I use the big carbide bits in it for fast stock removal. The mastercarver is set up with a dial control and the Stealth handpiece to do more detailed work with stump cutters and smaller carbide bits. For detail work, I switch to a micromotor.

The one big advantage of the flexible shaft-style tools over the handheld dremel-type is that if you put too much pressure on it, you'll break the shaft. While it's a pain that you have to replace the shaft, the shafts are a lot cheaper than a new tool.

Bob
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

I'd also suggest that he get some of the big carbide burs (Typhoon, Saburrtooth or the like) for fast stock removal. They tear through wood quickly.

If you are using the standard Dremel burs, they dull very quickly.

Bob
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: which dremel is the best etc.

Now if we could figure out how to get freebies to test, evaluate and report on, we would be in hog heaven lolCheers I don't know what Rick has in burrs, you might ask him....but I get a catalog from Wood Carvers Supply.Inc that has more burrs than you can shake a stick at ..and some huge ones for really getting rid of wood fast! Look up www.woodcarverssupply.com and ask for their catalog.

Last edited by Hi_Ho_Sliver; 12-13-2006 at 03:47 PM.
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