View Full Version : Calling all model-makers etc....

28th Apr 2014, 16:39
We've just spent two days refining the detail on a bronze sculpture, using mostly a Dremel tool with Dremel and Parkside accessories.

Two complaints: the Dremel cutters, polishers and grinders are (a) fearfully expensive and (b) wear out alarmingly fast. The Parkside equivalent from Lidl is (a) very cheap and (b) wears out just as fast.

Can anyone out there recommend small metal-working tools (ranging from cutters, engravers and polishing stuff) which lasts more than a few minutes without wearing out ? I won't write "price no object" but frankly time IS money and the amount of time we spend replacing cutting bits and polishers is out of all proportion to the time we spent doing actual work.

Incidently all the Dremel stuff from the electric drills themselves to everything which plugs in them is marked "Made in Mexico". I don't mean to "do a Clarkson" but surely there's better on the market ?

28th Apr 2014, 17:26
Have a look here :- Foredom Electric Co. (http://www.foredom.net/)

Alternatively, if you know a friendly dentist they and dental technicians use a variety of motors with various polishers etc, they might be able to point you in the right direction.:ok:

28th Apr 2014, 17:29
Are there any appropriate tools made for lathes perhaps?

PPRuNe Towers
28th Apr 2014, 17:50
Can I suggest a search on Proxxon Ofso. Haven't used any other miniature tools or tooling in years other than dental sizes.


28th Apr 2014, 18:53
These people: Carbide Burrs - Arc Euro Trade (http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Cutting-Tools/Carbide-Burrs) make some very tough carbide tool bits that fit the Dremel. I've used them a lot, and they seem damned near indestructible. My only observation is that they will clog up long before they go blunt. They also do a range of diamond tools that will also fit the Dremel, but I've no experience of them.

28th Apr 2014, 18:57
Carbide tools are very hard and last. A company I worked for that worked on brass / alloy used them and they lasted ages before needing replacing, even if they were more expensive !

28th Apr 2014, 20:47
Hi, I am a shipwright and a boat builder and on a daily basis I use a Dewalt Multi-tool (DWE315)...
DeWalt DWE315KT Multi Tool Quick Change Kit With TSTAK 300 Watt | Save 55% | UKToolCentre.co.uk (http://www.uktoolcentre.co.uk/Shop/p~82694~DWE315KT-Multi-Tool-Quick-Change-Kit-With-TSTAK-300-Watt.html?Refid=GA&gclid=CJq_9K_0g74CFSfmwgodikoAtA)
and am fairly happy with the worklife of their bits, even if I do find them expensive. It is a pleasure to work with this tool since I cut mainly through wood but do not always have time to get the metal detector out... hence, "eating" a fair amount of nails, screws, rods in the process when working on refits or repairs... and there are specific blades for steel work. I used a Fein Multimaster for years which was a great tool and longer lasting bits but the difference with the Dewalt is the quick change (one second compared to two or three minutes with the Fein... if you could find the allein key fast enough!!! which I found frustrating after the four or five years of using it...) It has 300W and is not afraid of long using time.... You can still use Fein or Lidl / Aldi attachments if necessary as you have an adaptor but you lose the fast change facility!. It has plunge/saw guides too which I find practical. Hope this help. Al.

28th Apr 2014, 21:15
Thanks to all, addresses noted. Thanks also to Dushan.

Our year consists of the Sculptor in Residence spending January to May preparing new pieces for the Annual Show in St Genis des Fontaines in July/August/September, plus a couple of other exhibitions. Then all goes deathly quiet for the rest of the year as far as sculpting is concerned. Which gives me time to trace down your suggestions and order in the autumn.

OFSO and Mrs OFSO, she who posseses the talent.

28th Apr 2014, 21:38
Mrs OFSO has pointed out to me that she has a miniature Proxxon angle grinder which is of far superior construction to the Dremel tool. For example, the button & mechanism which locks the spindle so cutting tools can be changed is made of plastic on the Dremel and has already broken after a year's use; on the Proxxon it is of metal and has already lasted twice that long with no trouble.

29th Apr 2014, 03:45
OFSO - One of these, along with some top-quality, various shape carbide burrs, and you'll be cooking with gas.
You'll need a small (about 5-6cfm) quiet air compressor, as well, of course.

Sydney Tools - Shinano Medium 1/4" Collet Air Die Grinder - SI-2011S (http://www.sydneytools.com.au/products/14457-shinano-si-2011s-shinano-medium-14-collet-air-die-grinder)

29th Apr 2014, 04:30
Or an electric die-grinder! :ok:

500 watts....


Lon More
29th Apr 2014, 08:45
Binned the Dremels several years ago, Proxxon is definitely superior, they even do CNC machines now. I do a fair bit of milling and found the Proxxon cutters good value.

29th Apr 2014, 09:56
People who modify cylinder heads in order to extract extra power use a die grinder.
That's the proper tool for the job.
These are fitted with burrs made from tool steel and powered by air.
You'll need a compressor, but the time saved will be massive. You'll get a lot more work done this way.

29th Apr 2014, 11:43
Another Proxxon vote here. Not got one myself but personally know model engineers and model makers who rate the tools very highly.

13th May 2014, 19:55
A final word - she was just finishing off a new sculpture tonight and the wife's Dremel died. Took it apart, (yes it's held together with four screws but mainly with adhesive metallic 'paper' side panels which you have to peel off) all the electrical connections were fine but nothing coming out of that tricksy little speed switch. And the chuck lock which you have to engage to fit a tool is broken - tiny piece and tiny spot weld fractured.

So after less than 12 months, Dremel goes in the bin. My opinion, having looked inside, is it is vastly over-priced for what it is (or was).

Luckily I had a spare 12v drill which through some risque work connects to my 12v battery charger.

13th May 2014, 20:06
MAKITA Industrial Power Tools - Tool Details - GD0600 (http://www.makitatools.com/en-us/Modules/Tools/ToolDetails.aspx?Name=GD0600)

13th May 2014, 20:15
OFSO, treat them all as disposable... Dremel shremel


13th May 2014, 21:08
Just looking at the Proxxon FBS 240/E drill/grinder in a tool catalogue. Described as for "Trade" use. Hmm.....

14th May 2014, 01:05
Permagrit make a wide range of Tungsten Carbide tools. None of mine have worn out yet despite extensive use.

Perma-Grit Tools (http://www.permagrit.com/index.php?cPath=67)