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Happy Father’s Day to all Dremel® dads! From new accessories and project demos to expert advice, we share some great ideas this month for Father’s Day shopping or playing.
Dremel Turns the Tables
Dremel: When and why did you start ToolSnob.com?
Doug Mahoney: A little over two years ago. At the time, there were only one or two tool blogs, so I thought I would add my own voice to the online tool world. Even though a bunch more have been started since then, there's still room for everyone's opinion.
D: Are you a “tool snob?”
DM: Not really. In actuality, it’s not a very fitting name for what I try to do with the site. While I like a quality tool as much as the next person, my ultimate goal is to put the right tool in the right hands. Not everyone needs a $1,400 miter saw in order to tinker around their house.
D: What does ToolSnob.com offer its readers?
DM: A fair and honest assessment of new tools that are hitting the market. Hopefully it's a bit entertaining too. I try to keep things light and as a carpenter, I try to focus on how the tools work in a day-to-day sense, rather than getting too caught up in the statistics of the tool.
D: You’ve been a friend of the Dremel brand for several years. What’s your favorite Dremel tool?
DM: I’m a big fan of the Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool Kit. I’ve got a thing for the retro look, and combined with the functionality of a Dremel rotary tool, it is a home run for me. (Dremel note: The Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool Kit was a limited-edition kit available in 2007.)
D: Have you discovered any key tips for using Dremel tools?
DM: I'm constantly seeing people turn Dremel tools on with no eye protection. If you're using a tool, any tool, no matter the size, you've got to cover your eyes.
D: Have Dremel tools ever come to the rescue in a crisis?
DM: When I moved into my current house, all of the outlets and light switches were that awful cream color that manages to always somehow look dirty. Replacing them with white ones was a pretty big undertaking, and the Dremel Driver went a long way to making the process manageable. It had the right amount of power for the task and when I wasn't using it, it's small enough that I'd just drop it in my nail pouch.
D: Top five workshop supplies you can’t live without?
DM: I'm a carpenter, as opposed to a woodworker, so a good deal of my shop is storage. Shelves, old tool boxes, milk crates, I love anything that can contain and organize. I also have a healthy supply of drywall screws that I dip into almost every day. There's also this great ancient vise that I inherited from a friend. I always have a solid supply of chip brushes around for a quick priming job or applying some epoxy. And finally, there's my old notepad that's always on hand for a quick sketch to help me visualize a project.
D: You find yourself on a Saturday afternoon with nothing to do. What’s your ideal project?
DM: When I have free time, I prefer to play around with metal and stone. In a lot of ways, I think that wood is a limited material and the permanent nature of wood and metal really appeals to me. Dremel rotary tools are great in this regard, because they allow for some very detailed stone carving.
D: Favorite piece of advice for fellow tool fans?
DM: I have two contradicting pieces of advice: First, just because it's expensive doesn't mean that
it's good. On the flip side of that, is that sometimes the initial investment is going to be worth it in the
Have a favorite tool personality of your own? Let us know, and you might see an interview in an upcoming issue.
Featured Product – New Detail Abrasive BrushThe Dremel brand is expanding its line-up of EZ Lock™-compatible rotary tool accessories this month with the introduction of the Detail Abrasive Brush in three different grit strengths: 36 grit (EZ471SA), 120 grit (EZ472SA) and 220 grit (EZ473SA). The brushes’ unique, flexible bristles are designed to improve users’ sanding capabilities by helping them get into tight, intricate spaces and contoured shapes without damaging their work piece.
The Detail Abrasive Brush is compatible with all Dremel rotary tools and fits on both the 402 and EZ402 mandrels. It is recommended that users apply only light pressure when using the accessory and work at speeds of 15,000 rotations per minute or below for best results.
Detail Abrasive Brushes can be used for cleaning delicate surfaces such as wood, aluminum, plastic, metal, steel and vinyl; and smoothing or de-burring wood after carving or routing.
The Detail Abrasive Brush is now becoming available at hardware stores and home improvement centers nationwide. Brushes retail for a suggested retail price of $7.99 each. In Canada, each Detail Abrasive Brush retails for $9.99.
Expert Advice – Working with Plastic
Plastic is a versatile material that can be manipulated by almost all Dremel accessories, depending on the task you want to accomplish. Every accessory in the cutting, carving, drilling and sanding category will work with plastic. However, the one hazard to avoid when working with plastic is to avoid the dreaded melting point that a fast rotating tool can create. If plastic melts, it can clog accessory grooves and produce inaccurate results.
To avoid melting, use a variable speed rotary tool, such as the Dremel 300 Series Variable Speed, Dremel 400 Series XPR, Dremel Stylus or Dremel 10.8-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless, and set the tool to its lowest speeds.
Some types of plastics will have lower melting points than others, so practice on scrap material first to learn the material’s melting point. If the accessory you’re using isn’t providing the effect you’re looking for, it may be necessary to try a different one. Going faster or pushing harder will only dull the bit faster or force the melting point.
The EZ476 EZ Lock Cut-off Wheel is designed specifically for cutting plastic. It produces less heat than a Dremel metal cut-off wheel and therefore is less likely to melt the plastic and gum-up the accessory. Even the plastic burrs left after the cut are smaller in size and brush off more easily than the burrs left when using a metal cut-off wheel on plastic.
Unless you’re trying to lightly debur an edge, polishing is one task you won’t find successful on plastic. Most Dremel polishing accessories will leave more scratches on the plastic surface you’re polishing instead of reducing scratches, as polishing is intended to do.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Dremel Experts via e-mail or 800.437.3635. We can be reached Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.
Dremel Gets Social on Facebook and TwitterHungry for more updates from the Dremel brand? Connect with Dremel via our new Facebook and Twitter accounts for frequent updates on Dremel news, tips, tricks and even tool giveaways. Visit the official Dremel Facebook page to become a fan, and follow us on Twitter at @DremelBrand.
Win a Detail Abrasive BrushThe Dremel brand is giving away five sets of Detail Abrasive Brushes (one of each grit strength) to eNewsletter readers who’d like to be among the first to try the new accessory. To qualify, tell us your favorite Dremel rotary tool. Send us a one-sentence answer along with your name, shipping address (no P.O. boxes) and phone number in the body of the e-mail and “Detail Abrasive Brush” in the subject line. We’ll pick five entries at random and announce the winners next month.
CongratulationsCongratulations to the five winners of the May eNewsletter giveaway. The winners, picked at random from all complete entries, each received a new 225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment to help them get into tight spaces with their Dremel rotary tools. The winners were Janet Stuckey, Marrero, LA; Pat Jackson, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Evelyn Incze, North Fort Myers, FL; David Goodale, Hercules, CA; and Keith Miller, Chickasaw, AL.
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.