Dremmel tool advice?


Hi, Don and i have been having more fun with our hobby. We enjoy refinishing furniture. When we have too much, we freecyle it. We generally are working on 'good bones' solid wood pieces. Its sanding the odd round bit or the detail work that has me looking at the dremmel models.
If any have experience with them, could use some on which model to get. I do not need the heavy duty professional level stuff.
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cshenk wrote:

I have refinished a lot of antique furniture, not highly valuable, but I would never sand it. Don't believe I ever have sanded antiques. I also own a Dremel and have used it for lots of hobby and odd household work - fixing rust on my old Buick and regrouting ceramic tile in our shower. My battery operated Dremel has variable speed, which is very handy.
When I refinish furniture with grooves or carving, I scrub the paint remover into the fine spots with whatever tool works. I slop it on thickly first, let it work, then scrub it around - toothbrush on fine detail, fine steel wool on flat surfaces. Dig with toothpicks or wood skewers to get the gunk out of grooves and carvings - paint remover softens wood, so I don't like to use anything harder. Unless there are many coats of paint, I usually get the finish off with three applications - one will get most varnish off, but a couple more get to the last remnants of finish and most stain. I clean it all off with rags, paper towels and finally, fine steel wool. Scrub with steel wool and mineral spirits to get the stripper out. Let dry. The scrubbing with steel wool has the effect of sanding, as far as removing fuzzies, but I would hesitate to sand part of a piece of furniture for fear of ruining the patina.
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I have a Dremmel and I refinish furniture, but don't use a Dremmel to do it. I sometimes mount a spindle on my lathe to strip off the old finish. The abrasive rope (sold in woodworking shops) works well getting into crevices. Power tools can quickly damage furniture unless you are always careful.
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I know little about antiques except the more they are screwed with the less they are worth (gleaned from the Antiques road show). Dremmels, though I have some experience with. For versatility try to get a variable speed with a flex shaft, get a selection of collets, get a big package of off brand tools for it cheap, so you can experiment & see what works for you, then you can try to find a quality version of the bits you use a lot. I still use most of the cheap set, & never found anything I needed the best of except the cut- off wheels.
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wrote:

I have a Foredom, which was a gift, and I dearly love it. Of course, I went crazy and bought about $300 worth of bits for it. Then I got a $14.98 7,000 piece Chinese plastic case with tons of stuff in it. Guess which ones I use the most................. Using an handpiece is tricky to say the least. You can't beat them for some things, and for other types of work, they are worthless.
Steve
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perhaps the oscillating sanders like the Fein Multimaster or it's Harbor Freight "equivalent" would be better. Ryobi and others make similar products,too.They're good for the detail sanding,all sorts of crevice tools.
A Dremel can take off a LOT of wood or finish before you realize it. Also,I've read the Dremel quality has dropped.
My old model 270 fixed speed Dremel is still running fine.
--
Jim Yanik
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I agree with norminn completely. I've done restoration work for many years and always use the least destructive procedures possible. One note: 'Fine' meaning use #0000 (four-ought) steel wool, the finest generally available.
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Get a good one. Get a Foredom.
Steve
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Thanks all!
I will also look at the other tools out there. One minor confusion, this isnt for 'antiques', but regular stuff. Generally mistreated bits that are 20 years old or near it. Confusion probably because I've mentioned I also work on antiques but they are a whole nuther ballgame in how we do it!
Ryobi sounds like a possible path for our simple needs.
I used to help Don with the sanding for our hobby but we are both getting older (VA just officially said I'm 50% disability). Nothing wrong with a few simple tools suitable to keep enjoying a hobby!
Last project is kinda funny! Cheap ass pressboard 3 drawer dresser. The kind you used to get at Kmart for 15$ in 1990. We used it to teach our 15YO daughter how to paint furniture after proper stripping down and undercoating. It's actually pretty cute in the garage in it's new cherry red color!
It will go eventually maybe to a family that needs it, but might keep it as one of her projects ;-) She learned staining but that was her first time painting one alone.
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There are some good things to this economy. One is that people are selling GOOD tools for GOOD prices. If one does have a lot of disposable income, they can go out and buy really spendy stuff, but for a garage operator on a budget, one can still enjoy quality equipment and not spend an arm and a leg. There are lots of GOOD tools that aren't really expensive, as Ryobi stuff. If you're not going to use it 8 hours a day 5 days a week, one can get their money's worth out of it. And if one gets it at a yard sale for cheap, so much the better. For all the rest of the "stuff", yard sales, Harbor Freight, the Borg, and wherever will soon get you a nice setup that will put out nice work.
I've always said it isn't the tools, it's the workman. Fifty and a hunnert years ago, craftsmen cranked out some pretty nice stuff with what we wouldn't consider using today. Spend all day on one newel or post when today, we'd do it on a wood lathe in ten minutes. Same for planing and sanding. A good craftsman can do good work with what he has to work with. Others have thousands of dollars of stuff, and still don't grasp plumb and level.
My two cents, anyway.
Have fun. I'm disabled and retired, but still manage to work my butt off. Need to go fishing more. Yeah, right. Just as soon as I redo the woodwork on the boat. And the upholstery. And the carpet. It never ends and there's never enough time.
Or money.
Steve
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They had lathes back then,they were pedal-powered,though. PBS used to have a woodworking show where the guy used only 1800's style woodworking tools.

My dad always preferred wood boats,and he did a lot of woodwork and refinishing on the 18ft Thompson we had.I used to help him.

--
Jim Yanik
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"SteveB" wrote

Yup! I don't have a huge expendable income, but I'm not complaining. I use it wisely and support local businesses when I can.

Absolutely! Don and i have done some really pretty pieces over time, out of other folks botched 'attempted to fix the stain etc' sorts of things. One we just got, a lovely little piece. Sort of a combination short credenza and hall wall table sort of thing. Good bones underneath the truely ugly orangy antiquing job on black walnut stain someone had tried. Got it for 10$ at a yardsale. It turned out to be solid cherry. Potentially a true antique, the stain job was so bad there was no way to recover without completely sanding down to bare wood.
Now that we have it stripped totally (some had to be done by hand, no tool would be suitable this time due to the looks of the item and it's construction), I'm going to google a bit for the *right* products to get to finish this one off.

Yup. Seen that plenty a time.

Grin, I hear ya. I'm still working full time but Don's truely retired now.
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Hi Folks! An update.
Don found a sweet little 4.8v hand held unit, cordless rechargable. Dremmel Model 754. Came with an extensive attachment kit (looks like about 50 pieces in there). Dunno exactly what he paid but he said it wasnt bad.
This isnt a heavy duty tool, but we needed one like this for tons of small lightweight jobs on relatively delicate woods where the bigger units would chew things up. Like, my 100 year old shadowbox kitchen from germany (has a kitchen inside, parts built at angle so the depth is neat to see). I can use this to carve a new chair since one of them subsided pretty much beyond repair. Once I get the chair right, I can put it in place.
We will still be looking at the Ryobi's as well as we also have a need for a fairly heavy duty tool to strip rust off a fair amount of metal tools and fishing equipment. They got damaged while in storage for 7 years.
Ok, lets face it. I wanted an excuse to get some new toys ;-) I know how to insure it too! I'm getting Don a 100$ gift certificate at the local Lowes for his birthday in October! Yeah! I bet I get lots of new toys too since he's the sort who's happy to share with his wife |:->
Yeah, I'm a girl who drools over the tool section. Shoot me.
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cshenk wrote:

We have his-and-hers tools ... his toolbox is like my purse, and if any of my tools go into his toolbox, they disappear :o) Live in condo, no garage, so front closet and some creative storage schemes contain some of his tools - wicker trunk in living room for huge wrenches and pry-bars :o)
My mom used to build miniature rooms, 1/12 scale. She made some fantastic things from scratch, perfectly to scale - my favorites are a working floor loom and wicker porch furniture made with wire and linen macrame string. A 100 y/o room would be interesting to see - mom had lots of mini tools, including lathe. Inherited her Dremel and still use it - drilled a hole in a teacup so I could use it as a little planter. Re-grouted shower tile, cut out rust to do body work on the old Buick, etc. If you have a full shop of standard-sized tools, you can always start on mini's :o)
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cshenk wrote:
(...)

Let Reddy Watt do the heavy lifting WRT rust removal: http://antique-engines.com/electrol.asp
I tried it. It works if you dry and coat the piece as soon as it is derusted. If not, it will begin to rust immediately.
--Winston
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"Winston" wrote

Thanks but no. Don would freak at that used on his grandfather's fishing lures! Naw, we'll just clamp and brush as normal.
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cshenk wrote:

Just tryna be helpful.
:)
--Winston
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