As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently assisted Jill Timm with her Amazing Dremel workshop for the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. In this post, I’ll talk about some of the new bits I used.
Before I start, I’d like to make it clear that in no way am I paid for endorsing Dremel products – I am merely talking about the products I used in the workshop. I’m sure that there are alternatives to the items listed below. Of course, being the tool junkie that I am, I sooo want one of everything!
In reviewing my What do those Dremel bits do? Well I’ll tell ya! post from last year, I discovered that I left out some information about another option for cleaning & polishing (I blame information overload) – emery impregnated bits.
These bits look like grinding bits, but they’re much softer. Unlike the felt polishing bits, you don’t use these bits with polishing compound. These bits are good for use on rougher surfaces, including scratches and burrs. If scratches still remain after using these bits, you would move to the felt polishing bits for finer work.
The polishing point is good for detail work, as you can get better control with the tip.
The emery impregnated disc is better for general use and for work on larger areas. As is the case with cutting wheels, you have to attach the disc to a mandrel. You can see how to attach the disc to a mandrel in this post (scroll down to the cutting section).
In addition to using the polishing bits on metal, they’re also great for use on mirror. If you use one of these bits on the backside of a mirror, it will remove the paint and silver without affecting the glass – you’ll get a clear glass effect, not frosted (the diamond bit creates the frosted effect).
Something else I did at this workshop that I didn’t get to do last time was drill glass. To help with stability, I put my Dremel into a workstation, which essentially turns your Dremel into a drill press.
I so have to get one of these. It makes drilling sooo much easier. I can totally see using it in my studio for drilling sewing holes.
I started with making a small hole with a diamond bit. Once I got through to the other side of the glass, it climbed up my bit and started spinning. The tip of the bit glowed a really scary red before I was able to turn off the Dremel.
While I was successful at achieving a hole, the edges of the hole were chipped. I would need to sand down those edges to get a neat hole.
Next, I used what I’m pretty sure was a tungsten carbide cylinder cutter. The bit is hollow in the middle and allows you to drill larger holes.
I didn’t make it all the way through the glass before it shattered. Luckily, the bit didn’t burn out. Oh, and no one was hurt by the flying glass shards.
Here’s what I learned about drilling glass:
- Make short passes with the Dremel – let the bit cool off.
- Put a drop of oil on the glass prior to drilling to both increase speed and keep the bit from overheating.
- If your bit turns red, it’s overheating. Once it burns, it will turn black and you won’t be able to use it again.
- Be careful when drilling too close to the edge of the glass because it can shatter apart.
- For safety, tape the edges of glass before drilling.
Jill told me that the bits we were using to drill glass weren’t really recommended for that use. She added that as of now, there are no “official” Dremel bits intended for drilling glass.
There is hope – in October 2010, Dremel will release two new glass drill bits.
From the Dremel website:
This diamond-impregnated core-style bit features superior long life and is ideal for drilling in both flat and contoured surfaces. Diamond grit a full 360-degrees around the circumference of the bit allows it to be used in a rasping action to enlarge a hole if needed. Holes on the side of the bit allow the removal of glass dust from inside the bit. Each bit is packaged with Dremel cutting oil to increase the speed of cut and prevent damage to the bit from overheating.
For use on glass, ceramic wall tile, glass block, glass bottles, jewelry.
The new drill bits come in two sizes – 1/8″ and 1/4″. These seem like good sizes for use in bookbinding and I look forward to trying them out.
As promised, my next post will focus on new tips for using a Dremel on specific materials, both new and old (includes materials covered last year).
* Many thanks to Dremel for allowing me to use product photos from their website.