Hi all and thank you for reading this blog!
You may have noticed that there hasn’t been much new content here for about a year-and-a-half. Incidentally, that is how old my baby daughter is. You can draw your own conclusions 🙂 Despite this hiatus, The Dremel Amateur keeps welcoming visitors like you: In the first half of this year, the site has received 2600 views per month on average – that’s almost 90 per day. Most visitors come from the USA, but many other locales are also represented – just today there were also readers from Portugal, UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, South Africa and Latvia. These stats speak to the persistent global interest in the topics covered here.
While I fully intend to return to woodworking and blogging some time in the future, it feels wrong to let the site go stale in the meantime. From this blog’s inception, I had hoped that one day it might turn into more of a community than a single-person venture, and perhaps that time is now. So, if you would like to contribute your own stories of amateur Dremel-ing, crafting, DIYing etc., if you have tips and tricks to share, if you’d like to show off some of your handiwork – you are very welcome to join in!
Read on for details. Continue reading
Brian kindly left this comment under Christmas #2. As it is chock full of useful Dremel-related miscellany, I am republishing it as a post, with his permission of course. Here it is, with a few minor modifications (and with a few comments from me in italics):
EZLock now has an extended range & overseas readers may find the SpeedClic info helpful.
EZ495 EZ Twist Nose Cap
Note: (As discussed here) collets have the advantages of better grip & less of the tool sticking out vs the chuck. That reduces vibration. If you use Router Bits in a chuck they often come loose.
The EZ Twist is just a new Nose Cap for the 4000 & older Dremels. It is used instead of the flat metal 90962 Wrench (spanner) to tighten & loosen the black Collet Nut & the silver Driver Cap or Driver Adapter used for the Flex Shaft (225), Mini Saw (670), & Right Angle Attachment (575).
I can say that the new EZ Twist Nose Cap works great. It can be retrofitted to most existing Dremels & just replaces the existing nose piece. It isn’t very expensive either at under $10. I have used it on a 395 Multipro as well as the 4000.
To use it you just unscrew it. It comes forward off the mounting thread & then the internal socket fits onto the Collet Nut to allow you to loosen or tighten it. You don’t have to take it off the neck of the tool to use it. Just slide it forward enough to fit the Collet Nut.
Simple & easy & nothing to go wrong.
Great that you can “upgrade” an older tool
While recently, in my mind, the word “jigsaw” has become more closely associated with the power tool, it nevertheless continues to remind me of the saw’s namesake puzzles. Des is no stranger to these, and takes justified pride in being able to put together puzzles intended for kids 2-3 years her senior. In light of that, the puzzle I made for her posed little challenge, but was still warmly received. Continue reading
Lumberjocks.com is great for general inspiration, for getting new project ideas, and for discovering and learning new techniques. The highlight, most certainly, is the “Projects” area where users share pictures and descriptions of things they’ve built. These range from rings and pendants to entire kitchens and caskets, so definitely there’s something for everyone. Some of the posts have little more that a couple of photos, while a few contain detailed write-ups about materials, tools and techniques that can be invaluable.
The site also does a very good job of making someone with only a Dremel and a couple of handsaws feel hopelessly outclassed, and it can make an itch for e.g. a band saw darn near uncontrollable. You’ve been warned!
While browsing the interwebs for ideas and inspiration, I stumbled upon and was immediately captivated by Maori carvings. The smaller, simpler shapes, many of them clearly inspired by fishing hooks, were particularly interesting. They are very organic and natural, and somehow seem to both have and break symmetry at the same time. Their simplicity is deceptive – clearly, these were not based on a few haphazardly drawn lines, but carefully thought through or, rather, felt through. Continue reading
Here’s something that’s been in the works for a few days:
Oof, this was a long one! I originally uploaded my blueprint for this thing at the beginning of January, then reported some progress two weeks ago, after which it stayed idle. The second delay was mostly due to a shortage of raw materials – something that took longer to rectify than expected.
I am glad that I decided to build this box since it, more than any other thing I’ve made so far, really made me stop rushing forward with a “close enough is good enough” attitude. I wrote about that lesson in the post On the Importance of Precision – that title really sums it up. Continue reading
The Visual Tools Guide is an old but still very useful thread on the bit-tech.net forums. It consists of user-submitted pictures of various tools, ranging from the simplest manual implements to the complex motorized apparatuses. Among other things, it was there that I found out the English name of the fret saw, and discovered the existence of the corner clamp – a thing that looks mighty useful for putting together frames and boxes.
My projects, it seems, come in groups. I started out with the Dremel 4000 by making a wooden ring and then went on to make two more in quick succession. More recently, I got going with the Bento Box and shortly after used the same mitre joining technique to make a kitchen tray. Today, I followed up on that with a third mitred frame, this one to serve as Mari’s earring rack.
The idea for this came from browsing Pinterest: there, someone had bought a picture frame, strung two or three lines of wire across it, and used those to hang necklaces and earrings. The only thing that was different about my version was that the frame was not store-bought but made out of 3.5cm-wide wooden corners: exactly the same approach as I used for the frame of the Bento Box. The frame is roughly 25 × 35 cm, with 45° cuts joined up to make square corners. The last two times I made mitred cuts, I did so with my own flimsy and undersized mitre box. This time, things went infinitely faster and smoother thanks to the fact that I had spent €9 on a mitre box / saw set.