There isn't anything inherently unsafe about using a dremel as a mini
router. Basically think of it as cutting a 3" wide, 3" deep slot with your
1.5hp and a 3/4" bit, you will need to make about 100 passes per slot :).
Since dremel's don't have much power and the bits are small and don't have a
lot of mass they don't hit very hard when they do break so long as she is
wearing safety glasses and not a low cut shirt like the girl carpenters
she's seen on tv ;)
Why not give her a handful of biscuits and let her cut biscuit slots with
the dremel? At least have her try on a scrap piece so she can realize that
it will take two hours of cutting or a dozen broken bits per slot.
So take up inlay work. With a base to turn it into a mini-router, it's
quite a useful tool for small jobs like this.
Personally I'd much rather have a hanging motor and flexi shaft, like
a Foredom, rather than a hand-held motor like a Dremel.
Well, this should be safe enough if she uses a 3/4 bit; the dremel will
immediately stall and not move. The low torque on the dremel's the issue. Just
like any router, safety relates to the bit size and how deep a cut. I've never
tried this with mine, but imagine that if you go slowly enough, it will
eventually work. Many people do use the dremel router on wood, mostly for very
shallow cuts following a pattern, for putting a design on the surface.
Regarding hot/snap, if she tried a 1/8 bit and pushed it a little too hard, it
could very easily fly off.
What she's trying to do isn't inherently unsafe. I doubt you'll be able to
find a bit for it anywhere near 3/4". I think 1/4" is the largest you can
get. The dremel doesn't have a whole lot of torque and with a 3/4" bit it
would bog down .3 seconds into the cut. She'll probably end up making a
dozen or so shallow passes with a 1/4" bit in order to get the required
width and depth, and if she has a steady hand it won't look that bad.
Sorry, I didn't answer that question.
Yes it will be safe to do if she moves the tool slowly and takes cuts
no deeper than 1/8 inch. 1/16 inch would be safer. Slower is better.
Going past safe to is it sane...
Calculate the number of cuts it will take.
1/8 inch bit cutting at 1/16 deep. 10 passes for width, six passes for
depth (probably 80, to do propoer cleanup at the bottom if doesn't have
a chisel...). 60-80 passes PER dado or groove.
Figure a Dremel bit MIGHT last 30-50 passes before it's too dull to be
useful. So 2-4 bits per dado or groove.
Value of her time + cost of bits = cheap router and 3/8 bit, IMO
I've done a little cutting with a Dremel. Limited usefulllness, but handy
for the "right" job.
Remember growing up and your mother told you not to touch the electric fence
or your father told you not to hold the spark plug wire as you pulled the
cord, or a couple of dozen other things you just had to experience? Same
Safety is not an issue if done properly Wear safety glasses, slow feed
The problem is not the tool but your friend. My guess is that she has the
tool and is determined to get the job done. Nothing you do or say is going
to dissuade her. However, you can be confident that she will soon learn her
lesson. You can suggest she try her technique on a scrap of wood first.
Three hours later, when she is on pass number 63, she may finally concede
the Dremel is just not the right tool.
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