The letter “D”

The ring – my very first Dremel creation described in the last post – was gifted to my girlfriend Mari. I was now really excited about the possibilities, and was thinking about what to make for our 7-year-old daughter.

One of my all-time favourite washroom graffitis is “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” Well, to come up with ideas, sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I doodles. This time, I doodled. My favourite place to do that is the Paper app on the iPad. It was named App of the Year for 2012 by Apple, and rightly so. Our daughter’s name begins with a “D”, and here’s what I doodled:

Dremel 4000 - letter D

I settled on the small “d”, and my idea was to have it taper down toward the bottom. When I started drawing the design on wood (same piece of softwood I used to make the ring), the overall size of the letter was dictated by the size of the round hole, which in turn was determined by the 1/2″ (12.7mm) diameter of the 407 sanding drum. Luckily, these sizes were pretty close to my “artistic” intentions.

The first step was to cut out the inner hole, and the procedure here was the same as for the ring. The little sketch on the left-hand side of the picture actually shows how I explained it to my girlfriend: drill a bunch of holes around the circumference with the 150 drill bit, join the holes into one “cut” with the 191 cutter to get an irregularly-shaped opening, then shape and smooth it into a circle with the 408 60-grit sanding drum.

Cutting the outside shape of the letter was more annoying. I once again drilled a bunch of holes along the perimeter, then used the EZ456 cut-off wheels to make a series of partial cuts. As I mentioned previously, this accessory is ill-suited for such tasks, and I could not make all the cuts to completion. In the end, I ended up breaking the remaining connections by hand – luckily, they snapped along the pre-drilled / pre-cut lines.

Then it was back to the 408 & 432 sanding bands for final shaping. One trouble spot was the place where the ring of the “d” joins the ascender – the 1/2″ sanding drums simply couldn’t get in there. I also used the sanding bands for giving the letter the vertical taper I had planned, so that it was now 1cm at the top but only 5-6mm at the bottom. As with the ring, I switched to the 932 grinding stone for final shaping and smoothing, and its smaller diameter also allowed me to do a decent job on the trouble spot as well. Again, I used the 932 stone to smooth down the sharp edges, then the 511E abrasive buff, followed by the 414 polishing wheel for final smoothing.

The final step was to drill a small hole for the string in the top part of the “d”. The 1/8″ (3.2mm) 150 drill bit is a little large for this, but it’s the only one I have for now. Mari handed me a piece of yellow string, and the final product was presented to our daughter. She put the finishing touch of two small beads on each side of the letter – another designer in the making? – and went to bed with the “d” around her neck 🙂 .

Here’s the final product:

Dremel 4000 - the letter "d"

Yes, you can see where I lost control of the grinding stone and gouged the letter’s face, and also that the joint between the bottom loop and the ascender is not very smooth. However, I’m pretty happy with my handiwork overall! 🙂

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Made – Pen Rack « The Dremel Amateur

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