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Welcome to a new year with the Dremel® brand! As you embark on new endeavors and begin to tackle resolutions for making 2009 a joyful, rewarding year, remember that we’re here to help you accomplish your craft, hobby and DIY goals. Whether you’re looking for first-hand experience from other tool users or advice from the pros, answers are just a phone call or Web site
visit away.

Visit Dremel.com for expert advice, product information, message board commentary and
project ideas.

Dremel Tools Help Guitarist Sing the Blues

Brad Harris loves playing the blues as a guitarist and vocalist in the Stacked Deck Blues Band (www.myspace.com/stackeddeckbluesband), based in Charlotte, N.C. But he doesn’t like spending thousands of dollars on a really good guitar.

Instead, Harris improves the quality of older, inexpensive guitars by modifying them himself using a Dremel 395 Variable Speed MultiPro Rotary Tool and accompanying Dremel attachments.

“I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 11 years old, and decided one day that I wanted to replace the electronics in the guitar on my own,” Harris said. “I got hooked on that method because it’s much more rewarding and cheaper, too.”

Harris modifies parts including tuning machines, pickups and volume and tone controls to improve his guitars’ sound quality. When replacing a pickup with a larger one, he’ll use his Dremel rotary tool with a grinding or sanding attachment to widen the wooden cavity for the pickup. He often uses a routing attachment to create a cavity to place a new control. Harris also uses drill bits when he needs to drill holes for pickup mounting rings, and he uses polishing compound and a polishing wheel to remove scratches from the guitar’s surface. He even builds his own amplifiers occasionally, and uses his Dremel rotary tool with a drill bit attached to drill holes into the amp’s metal surface.

“I like that my Dremel tool fits so comfortably in my hand, so I can keep one hand on the tool and one hand on the project,” Harris said. “It’s easy to swap out the accessories and has become a versatile, affordable solution for me.”

Featured Product – Dremel Message Board

Whether you have a lot of experience with Dremel tools or only a little, the Dremel Message Board is a must-visit resource. There, you can pose questions to unbiased peers, offer suggestions for improving the Dremel brand and share your experiences with Dremel tools so that others can learn from them. Nearly 3,000 members currently visit the board and respond to discussions about new tools, tips and tricks for using Dremel tools and new product ideas. They also offer feedback when other members need project or product advice that they’re having trouble figuring out on their own.

Becoming a member is easy. After filling out a quick registration form (also accessible via the “Register” link in the top left corner of the home page), you’ll receive an e-mail to validate and activate your account. Once you’re a member, you can visit and comment as little or often as you like.

If there’s something missing from the message board that you’d like to see, let us know. We’ll be adding to and updating the board all year.

Expert Advice – Cutting

Cutting with Rotary Tools

Dremel provides two types of cutting accessories for rotary tools to help users achieve the best cuts on a variety of materials. Cut-off-wheels cut along their edge and are designed to cut or slot materials. Cutting bits cut in a similar manner as spiral saw blades and are designed for use in conjunction with Dremel cutting guide attachments. The Dremel Experts offer these tips for determining when best to use each cutting accessory:

Cut-off wheels
Dremel offers three types of cut-off wheels designed for slicing and cutting metal, wood and plastic. They make it easy to cut or slot screws, bolts, sheet metal, thin wood and plastic.
See the EZ409, an EZ Lock fiberglass reinforced cut-off wheel, in action slotting a screw.
    • Regular cut-off wheels (409, 420, 540) provide a thin cut
    • Fiberglass reinforced cut-off wheels (426, 456) are more durable and
       have a thicker cut than regular cut-off wheels
    • EZ Lock™ fiberglass reinforced cut-off wheels (EZ406, EZ409, EZ456,
      EZ476)
make accessory changes as easy as pull, twist, release.
       A one-piece mandrel simplifies the process. These wheels are material specific (metal or plastic), and
       the material designation is listed on the wheel

Carbide cutting/shaping wheels (543, EZ544)
These wheels are coated with super-tough tungsten carbide and have holes in their faces to keep the wheels cool during high-speed use cutting soft and hard woods, fiberglass, plastics and laminate. They can be used like regular cut-off wheels, and the 543 can also be used to shape material. Although most cut-off wheels can not cut on the face of the wheel or on a curved surface without breaking, the edge of the 543 wheel will work to accurately cut off and slot materials and the face can be used to shape materials. For example, it can cut a slot in wood using the edge of the wheel and then shape the wood using the wheel’s face.

Diamond wheels (545, EZ545)
Diamond wheels are very thin cut-off wheels that are coated with diamond and have holes in their faces to keep them cool while cutting and slotting hard materials like marble, concrete and brick. Using moderate speeds between 15,000 to 20,000 rpm will be most effective and add to the wheels’ lives.

Rip/crosscut blade (546)
This long-lasting, mini circular blade cuts both with and across the grain on wood and wood-like materials up to ¼-inch deep. It is designed to be used only in conjunction with the Dremel 670 Mini Saw Attachment.

Drywall cutting bit (560)
This bit is designed to be used with the cutting guide in the Dremel 565 Multipurpose Cutting Kit for cutting drywall. The piloted tip of the drywall cutting bit makes cutting around electrical boxes and air vents a breeze when moving in a counterclockwise direction.

Multipurpose cutting bit (561)
This bit is designed for use with the cutting guide in wood, plastics, drywall, fiberglass, vinyl or aluminum siding, acoustical tile and laminates. When using, start the bit into the material at a 45-degree angle then slowly bring it to a 90-degree angle to begin the cut.

Tile cutting bit (562)
This bit is designed to cut most wall tile with the help of the cutting guide, but not floor tile, which is typically much harder. When using, start the bit into the material at a 45-degree angle then slowly bring it to a 90-degree angle to begin the cut.

Grout removal bits (569, 570)
The 569 bit (1/16-inch diameter) and 570 bit (1/8-inch diameter) in conjunction with the 568 Grout Removal Attachment are ideal for small do-it-yourself projects such as cleaning old grout or removing grout to replace broken tiles. The 569 bit should be used for tiles spaced more than 1/16-inch apart, and the 570 bit should be used if tiles are more than 1/8-inch apart. Run these bits at speeds of 20,000 rpm or less for best results and longer life.

Cutting with the Oscillating Tool

Flush cut blades
Flush cut blades are ideal for cutting in areas that are hard to access, such as baseboards or underneath bathroom sinks.
    • Wood flush cut blades (MM440, MM411) are designed only
       for wood. Both cut 1 1/2-inches deep, but MM440 is 3/4-inch wide,
       and MM411 is 3/8-inch wide
    • Wood and metal flush cut blade (MM422) is designed for both wood
       and metal and can also be used on plastic. It’s ideal for cutting away
       old copper or plastic pipes


Wood and drywall saw blade (MM450)
Designed to cut precisely through wood, plaster or drywall material for tasks such as installing an electrical outlet.

See the MM440, a 3/4-inch wide wood flush cut blade, in action cutting wood dowels.
Grout removal blades (MM501, MM500)
Designed for jobs that require a large amount of grout removal, these blades remove grout from between wall and floor tiles. The MM501 blade should be used for tiles spaced more than 1/16-inch apart, and the MM500 blade should be used for tiles spaced more than 1/8-inch apart.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Dremel Experts via e-mail or 800.437.3635. They can be reached Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.

Dremel News

Win a Dremel Cutting Kit

The Dremel brand is giving away five EZ688-01 EZ Lock Cutting Kits this month so readers can put this month’s Expert Advice to use. To enter the drawing, you must complete this sentence in the body of an e-mail: I’ve been a Dremel user for ________(length of time). Include your name, shipping address (no P.O. boxes) and phone number in the body of the e-mail and “Cutting Kit” in the subject line. We’ll pick five entries at random and announce the winners next month.

Congratulations

Congratulations to the five winners of last month’s eNewsletter giveaway, who will each start the new year with a new Dremel Driver™ compact power screwdriver. The winners, chosen at random, were: Dave Efurd, Lakeland, FL; Bob Spoljaric, Harrisburg, PA; Brenda Volpe, Hilliard, OH; Mark Soeken, Scott City, KS; and Ian Biggs, Queensland, Aus.

Stay tuned for more Dremel news this year!

Safety reminder: When working with Dremel brand or any other power tool, always wear eye protection and a dust mask, and read and understand the owner’s manual prior to using.