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Modifying Tools

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Modifying Tools
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, May 10, 2021 2:21 PM


        I bet this one scares a lot of folks. Modifying tools of any kind-Power or Manual! It's really Not that bad. Depending what you do. Yes, you can screw up big time. For instance. I had a friend who wanted a " Variable Speed" table saw. He burned out the Foot control and the Saw motor! A table saw is not made to run at half of it's rated speed.!

        Now the same cannot be said of a Dremel SINGLE speed tool. The Sewing machine Foot control works well with it. It's not recommended with the Variable speed models BUT! If you keep the speed control on level 1 it works okay and doesn't seem to bother the tool. Now here's one many have done. Build a cradle for your Multi-Speed Dremel-or Dremel, knock off!. It can be used as a lathe! The other end is a Battery powered drill in Neutral and no battery( Thus you have the power head and the Chuck together. A sliding table for your cutter and lathe away!

       This is applicable for a drill press and limited table saw type arrangements. the Proxxon table saw is no more than a Dremel type motor on a saw table. Shoot, you can make one of your own with the proper clips brackets and table unit! Now here's the simpler stuff. Tweezers-usually the really fine point ones have no serrations inside the jaws at the tip. Things then go " Boing" and are gone in the Carpet monster. Or in your hair. The last was right. I had an item do that yesterday!

    When I combed my hair later there the part was, caught up in the old silvery strands! Shoot, I thought it jumped into a different dimension. Anyway, back to the subject! Tweezers with the " Teeth" as I call them are sturdy enough to grind down to the fineness of the non-serrated variety You just be careful and use a sanding disc or belt-sander and don't make sparks. If you're sparking you are pushing to hard and will destroy the temper at the tips.

      This goes for re-shaping sprue cutter jaws too. There are a great many out there and even the best sometimes are NOT fine enough to get between the sprue( Runners or Trees,to some of you) and the teensy part you don't want to destroy! So thin them down to a Smaller point(Top to Edge) and on the backside take and Flatten the blade faces. I say this because I have noticed many sprue cutters do NOT have a flat face on one side. Rather it's slightly dished toward the cutting edge. No, they are not Hollow ground either!

     Now, if you flatten that face and taper the top edge of the jaws near the point you can get in tinier spots and also get a cleaner cut! Just DON'T, as I said, Make sparks. If you do you have ruined the temper and the tool will NOT hold an edge anymore! Do Not use any Tiny File that says "Diamond or Diamond Coated" on them. You get them clogged with product or filler and they are darned near impossible to clean.

     Instead of the fancy " Diamond " type get a good set of Detail files from Walthers or Micro-Mark, these you clean with a Baby toothbrush and paint thinner after use.They will stay useable for years after you buy them. I have some over forty five years old and that's how I keep them clean. Now for cleaning after using them on metal, samo-samo using a fine file cleaning tool or BRASS wire brush. NOT the Steel one!

 Then clean with a thinned drop of 20 weight motor oil and a dry cloth. Put away and don't leave them laying around everywhere.They don't like that! Wrap them in an old piece of "T"shirt till next use( not all come in nice little cases). X-Acto or Excel blades, Can be resharpened. Micro-mark does sell a sharpening rig for that. IT Works!

 I haven't bought a blade for weeks now since I complained about paper dulling the blades. I bought one and now re-sharpen the blades. Whatta money-saver! You can also get a rig for sharpening those Mini-Drill Bits!

 The same goes for those tiny Rogers or other brand Mini Drills and finger drills. Especially if you are modeling with Resin parts too. You have to be very careful with resin because, if you get it to what it sees as hot, it sticks in the drill flutes and the bit stops working because of the sticky dust. It only takes a couple of minutes to clean tools and you have more money for Paint, Glue and More Models. Bye!


  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 9:25 AM

I often modify tools, and also build them from scratch.

I have repurposed brush handles into fork and hook for ship rigging.  Made a knob for a set of pin vises that were hard on hand. 

Big modification pending.  I am remaking a small hobbyist chop saw into a table saw.  Built my own modeler's drill press, but have replaced it with a commercial product. Gathering parts for a wheel drilling rig to make hubs and rims for wire wheels.

Long time ago I built a rig to use my Old dremel as a spar- turning lath.

PE bending jig.  Razer chop saw.  Glue appliers and accelerator appliers from needles.  A number of jigs for various tasks.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota


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