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Dremels and tools


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19 minutes ago, Corsair said:

A basic Dremel with cord will last decades. There are many, many types of discs to use. ALWAYS wear eye protection.

 

True enough, as far as it goes. My experience with cutting plastic with a Dremel has been mixed at best, though. Even at the lowest speed (usually around 5000 RPM), it's really easy to melt plastic when attempting to cut it. And if the plastic melts, that tends to cause the cutting disk to catch in the mini. If you're lucky, the mini will be thrown across the room. If not, you can find out what a cutting disk feels like on skin.

 

Some people have good results, of course, but its not really all that easy.

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29 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

True enough, as far as it goes. My experience with cutting plastic with a Dremel has been mixed at best, though. Even at the lowest speed (usually around 5000 RPM), it's really easy to melt plastic when attempting to cut it. And if the plastic melts, that tends to cause the cutting disk to catch in the mini. If you're lucky, the mini will be thrown across the room. If not, you can find out what a cutting disk feels like on skin.

 

Some people have good results, of course, but its not really all that easy.

That's been my overall concern as well.

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

True enough, as far as it goes. My experience with cutting plastic with a Dremel has been mixed at best, though. Even at the lowest speed (usually around 5000 RPM), it's really easy to melt plastic when attempting to cut it. And if the plastic melts, that tends to cause the cutting disk to catch in the mini. If you're lucky, the mini will be thrown across the room. If not, you can find out what a cutting disk feels like on skin.

 

Some people have good results, of course, but its not really all that easy.

I have better results when I’m using a clamp for the mini.

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8 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

True enough, as far as it goes. My experience with cutting plastic with a Dremel has been mixed at best, though. Even at the lowest speed (usually around 5000 RPM), it's really easy to melt plastic when attempting to cut it. And if the plastic melts, that tends to cause the cutting disk to catch in the mini. If you're lucky, the mini will be thrown across the room. If not, you can find out what a cutting disk feels like on skin.

 

Some people have good results, of course, but its not really all that easy.

 

dont have time to go through all the history on this topic of dremels.  I've cut and grinded multiple resin models (FW resin/garage kit resin), GW hard plastic, reaper pvc bones plastic, vinyl models with my dremel.  You dont need the highest speeds.  the only material that has "melted" was the vinyl, and in my case, the damage i was doing to that model, didnt matter as it's gonna be a 80% resculpt of its entire surface so i was just trying to break down the surface texture and then grind into the center of the model (like gouging it out)

 

If anyone wants to see images of a dremel circular saw and its effect on bones at low and high speeds, let me know. i can take one of my bones models and go to town on it... and post photos.

 

Sanjay

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10 hours ago, Disciple of Sakura said:

What do you recommend?

When I'm buying tools I always try to go for the best quality I can afford.

I've used various Dremel tools over the years as well as the products from other manufacturers.  These come in various sizes and power ratings, for miniatures work I would suggest one of the smaller tools, more compact case but not as much power as the larger models.  For miniature work, especially the ones made of plastic, power shouldn't be as much of an issue as ease of control.

I would definitely recommend a variable speed tool and ball bearings are preferable to sleeve type bearings.  If you have to choose between go for the variable speed function.  Make sure you have multiple collett sizes in your kit.  This is the inner part of the chuck that actually grips the shaft of the tool.  The tools have different sized shafts and the colletts have a limited grip range so you need a selection of sizes.  If you are familiar with how a needle vise functions then you know how a collett system works.

Spend some time on eBay just looking at what accessories are offered, you can usually find kits of grinding or sanding tips and other accessories for considerably less than you will spend in a retail store.

I use the fibre cutoff wheels for a lot of things, but these are dangerous in unskilled hands as the least amount of side pressure will cause them to fracture and send very high speed chunks flying off along the cutting axis.  Be very careful when using these or the miniature circular saw blades, they can do a lot of damage in the blink of an eye.

Once you become comfortable and proficient with this tool you will probably wonder how you got along without it before.

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1 hour ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

When I'm buying tools I always try to go for the best quality I can afford.

I've used various Dremel tools over the years as well as the products from other manufacturers.  These come in various sizes and power ratings, for miniatures work I would suggest one of the smaller tools, more compact case but not as much power as the larger models.  For miniature work, especially the ones made of plastic, power shouldn't be as much of an issue as ease of control.

I would definitely recommend a variable speed tool and ball bearings are preferable to sleeve type bearings.  If you have to choose between go for the variable speed function.  Make sure you have multiple collett sizes in your kit.  This is the inner part of the chuck that actually grips the shaft of the tool.  The tools have different sized shafts and the colletts have a limited grip range so you need a selection of sizes.  If you are familiar with how a needle vise functions then you know how a collett system works.

Spend some time on eBay just looking at what accessories are offered, you can usually find kits of grinding or sanding tips and other accessories for considerably less than you will spend in a retail store.

I use the fibre cutoff wheels for a lot of things, but these are dangerous in unskilled hands as the least amount of side pressure will cause them to fracture and send very high speed chunks flying off along the cutting axis.  Be very careful when using these or the miniature circular saw blades, they can do a lot of damage in the blink of an eye.

Once you become comfortable and proficient with this tool you will probably wonder how you got along without it before.

Also - do not hurry, take your time, do not force the wheel.

 

Part of the melting problem can be forcing the wheel, and not giving it time to clear. Push a little, pull back, let the detritus clear, push again.

 

It takes very, very little pressure.

 

The Auld Grump

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5 hours ago, Disciple of Sakura said:

How much damage does clamping do to the miniature? I'd be concerned about that, TBH.

I have clamp that’s made for minis, it has this squishy rubber covering in the clamp bits that keep the mini from being damaged. I think it was made by citadel? It’s supposed to suction onto the table, but it’s suction wasn’t so good, so I had to attach it to a board, which I clamp to my table.

 

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20 hours ago, Corsair said:

Im glad to hear they are improving as many of my friends still play 40K and I would hate for them to see the company kill itself.

 

There are some clothespin type clamps that have a softer plastic face on the clamping area. Those work really well, they are cheap too!

You can also make your own pads for the clamping faces from craft foam and a little bit of glue.

GEM

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Remember my experience is not the same as everyone else so at the end of the day you will have to figure out and do what works for you.  Here are my two cents. 

 

I used dremels for many years and have now gone back almost exclusively to hand tools.  I found that I have more control when doing cuts and I am able to cut and file closer to details than I would ever attempt with my dremel.  I still use it intermittently but only if I have heavy cuts to do on thick metal materials.  A jewellers saw covers my thin cuts and I have several cutters for both wood and plastic. 

 

For vices there is not much else to say but pad the face of the vice.  For both metal and plastic minis I tend to use small soft pine wood shims sometimes with a strip of leather to support any odd shapes as the leather and wood hold fast and give enough not to damage surfaces. 

 

Hope that helps.

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I recently picked up a Dremel 2050 and it is fast becoming my go-to tool for miniatures.  It gives you a lot of precision and I've been using it to remove mould lines and perform minor miniature surgeries for a couple months now on both metal and Bones figs without any complaints.

 

The Egg

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