Help: Need advice for a friend hopefully someone with experience using a dremel can answer this

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I think this is crazy. But I'd rather have someone with experience of using a dremel tool explain whether this is safe or not.
A female freind wants to cut some dado's or grooves for a shelf. For the sake of arguement assume the depth to be 3/8" x 3/4" wide. Dremel tool. I assume she has the router base for it. The wood is old pine. It's hard and very dense.
Is this safe to do. "Personally I think the bits just going to come flying off the dremel, when it get's hot and snaps...
Any thoughts...
Pat
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Two good rules:
1. If you don't think it's safe, don't do it. 2. Friends don't let friends do unsafe things.

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Just because I say it's unsafe - doesn't mean she's going to listen. I ain't never used a dremel, but I have seen my 1.5 HP router spinning a 3/4" bit in that stock and the dremel's going to come apart in my opinion.
Naturally, I don't want to see her get hurt doing something dumb, so I'm looking for backups and advice regarding her doing this.
Thanks
Pat
On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 21:40:30 GMT, "Michael Latcha"

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Maybe you lend her your 1.5HP router and 3/4" bit and be done with it.
-Jack
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Hi Jack,
Naw, she wants to graduate to the big league. Leave crafting and start building things. She wants to do this herself and she's bent on using the dremel tool. I suspect from seeing it used on TV, in those wonderful commercials.
Unfortunately in the real world it's not as easy as seen on TV.
As for lending tools. My current tools are the replacements for the ones I'm still waiting to come back. I'd be happy to coach her through using my router "she's never used one before", but she wants to use her dremel.
Pat

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Then my advice is:
Let her try.
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    Greetings and salutations.     First off.. a big thumbs up to your friend for wanting to do it herself...and a big bottle of Anacin to you for being willing to help in the process.     (*smile*).

    That is a great goal.

    Yea, I get a big kick out of those bits of fantasy.

    But, commercials are selling a dream...so of COURSE it looks fantastic. I should say that the dremel is not a bad tool for what it does...but, as with others in this thread, I have to laugh at the idea of cutting the planned dadoes with it. On the positive side, at least it will keep her out of trouble and off the streets for QUITE a long time.

    Well, she probably won't want to use it after the first groove. If she is serious about expanding her building skills, I would suggest that she invest in a decent router. I would not recommend Sears, but Dewalt makes a nice one. I, personally have used the Porter Cable 690 for some time, and, find it a REALLY nice tool.     I would not buy it new, either. I would either see about getting one off Ebay, or, spend some time haunting the Pawn shops in your area. They always have a handful of routers, and, as long as it sounds ok, it probably is. Also, although they hate for it to become widespread news, if the tool is on the shelf out front, they want to get anything for it they can, which means that the price ON the tool is negotiatable.     By the by...as others have said...it won't be TOO dangerous (assuming she wears eye protection and hearing protection - which she should do ANYWAY), but it will be slow, and the dadoes she produces will likely be ugly. Oh yea...if she DOES plan to push ahead with the dremel, I would suggest that she cut the outer edges of the dado first, then, clean out between.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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If she wears safety glasses, the chances of getting hurt are remote. The chances of burning up the Dremel are great.

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Do the job for her with your router. I think the dremel is not the right tool for the task, but could probably work if done correctly. If she won't listen to you, what makes you think she will listen to us?
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Do the job for her with your router. I think the dremel is not the right tool for the task, but could probably work if done correctly. If she won't listen to you, what makes you think she will listen to us?
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SawDust wrote:

Try it. The concerns you're expressing here IMO reflect a lack of familiarity with the capabilities and limitations of the tool. Whatever you expect of it, I suspect you'll find that the reality is quite different.

When you say she has a "Dremel" do you mean a "Multipro" (or one of the older tools with more or less the same configuration) or an "Advantage"?
The "Advantage" with the router base is a router just like any other router. Only difference in practical terms between that and a Porter Cable or Bosch is power, features, and ease of adjustment. If she goes slowly then the Advantage should cut her grooves just fine.
If she has a "Multipro" then just tell her to use safety glasses and quit worrying about it. While it's possible to hurt yourself seriously with one if you deliberately set out to do it with a clear plan of action and a good knowledge of anatomy and don't wimp out from the pain, the only way it's likely to happen accidentally is if it manages to throw something into your eye. Anywhere else if it does anything at all it will most likely give you an itty-bitty burn--the bits do get hot--if it does manage to cut you the cut will be considerably less severe than the average cat-scratch. While it is possible to break a bit you have to work at it--get it caught in a hole and then bend it or the like, but even there you're more likely to stall the tool and if it does break the broken off part is going to remain in the hole.
The problem with using one of those for what she wants to do isn't danger, it's lack of power. Not only won't it spin a 3/4" bit, there is no way to attach one unless you take a regular router bit and grind down the shaft to 1/8 inch. The cutters that are made for it are tiny, the only ones larger than maybe 1/4" are thin saws, and the 1/4" has a depth of cut about the same as the diameter. There are grinding wheels that are larger but she wouldn't be using one of those to cut wood (she might try but she'd give up on the idea right quick) and even if she did use one, cutting wood she's just going to stall the tool, not shatter the wheel. Dremel and a couple of other companies sell router bits specifically for the MultiPro and its competitors but they are intended for modelmaking and the like and the diameters are tiny.
If she tries this with a Multipro then what is going to happen is that either she is going to develop immense patience or she is going to decide right quick that she doesn't have enough tool for the job. She's not going to get hurt unless she has quite phenomenally bad luck.
Just for hohos I tried cutting a 3/4" wide groove in a piece of 1x3 pine using a Multipro and a 1/8" diameter HSS burr (the 1/4" seems to have walked off). Didn't count the passes but it took 8 minutes to cut 3/16" deep with no sign of strain in the tool although there was little smoke coming out of the groove. No apparent burning though. Tried making one pass across a piece of lignum vitae at the same depth to see if it would cut hard stuff and it cut it just fine (it doesn't come much harder or denser than LV), no more strain than the pine, just had to feed a little slower and enjoy that marvelous aroma.
The way the router attachment is constructed by the way, the chances of it actually throwing a piece of bit at the operator in the unlikely event that it does break are pretty small. It's more likely to end up in the bottom of the cut.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Well I'm doing my best to follow those rules...
But since I've never used a dremel and I can imagine the results, I thought I'd get an opinion from someone with experience.
Rule #3 of life - Sometimes Friends don't listen till it's too late..
That's why I'm looking for advice to either resolve my concern or back up my argument that it is unsafe.
Thanks for your response.....
Pat
On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 21:40:30 GMT, "Michael Latcha"

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Sure will. Those Dremel brand bits are the pits.
I've used my Dremel in its router base with a flat-bottomed rotary file to cut mortises for hinges, but it's a slow and careful process, and a lot less area.

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Hi George,
I can see this, cause your only removing about a 1/16th of an inch.
Tell me, does the dremel spin in the same direction as a router.? I've been told with a router the bits generally fly away from the operator. What's the result with a dremel when a bit snaps.? What sort of rpm.?
Pat

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Imagine both spin clockwise, to avoid left-hand collet threads. Anyone operating either should work at arm's distance, that's for sure.
Problem I've seen is the heat buildup. No great mass to soak it up, so they heat/darken/soften, and potentially break with anything more than short-term use. Attempting to use them at less than the full 23-25K rpm would be tough, given the small diameter of the bit.

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"SawDust" wrote in message

With patience and small, incremental cuts, she should be OK. I would certainly advise using the available router base for the tool, going slow and easy, and using a guide fence and eye protection.
It's obvioulsy going to take some time, but that may well be a readily available commodity in this case.
--
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Hi Swingman,
I was always taught that a router is not a saw. That an awful pile of wood to remove with a dremel, and while hoping the bit doesn't snap, fly off and smack her in the face.
I think there are a lot safer ways to do this...
Thanks for the response though...
Pat

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Seeing how you've admittedly never used a dremel, how would you know?
If safety is your overriding concern, the "safest" method for her would be to get someone else to do it. The least safest would be a real router in unsupervised, unskilled hands.
Back off, let her use her dremel, with the safety precautions already mentioned, and she will quickly learn the wisdom of using the right tool for the job while being relatively safe.
.. nuff said.
--
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You could offer to do it with her in your much better equipped shop....
Or help her with using hand tools, which in this case may be faster, more accurate, and safer.
Do you think there's a good reason she asked you about the process?
Patriarch
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Thank you Patriarch, I was hoping for your comments.
I'd be more than happy to do this with my router for her. But she wishes to learn and do this herself. I agree she should learn, but I think there are safer ways to do this and I have never used a dremel tool, and personally I don't think this tool is safe to use, when removing that amount of material, even with shallow passes.
It's too many passes to make. The bits going to get hot. She will probably rush the cut. I can basically see that bit deflecting and snapping off.
She's gung ho to use the dremel - just like she see's on the TV commercial.
Personally, I cut kerfs, knock out the material and then use the router to clean up the shoulders and give me a consistent depth. I was taught a router is not a saw and it makes sense. A dremel is not a router. It's a detail tool.
As for her asking: I found out only today after asking what she was going to do with some old pine I had given to her, a month ago. She does crafts etc. Now she wants to build a book shelf.
I have suggested that glue and screws would work just as well, but she wants to use the dremel and cut grooves and dados etc.
Now I'm trying to find out if this is safe.
Thanks
Pat
On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 23:08:21 GMT, patriarch

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