Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dremel 220-01 rotary tool work station & press

Dremel 220-01 rotary tool work station & pressThe Dremel Work Station allows you to use almost any Dremel rotary tool as small table-top drill press.

You can tilt the Dremel Work Station in 15-degree increments from 15 to 90 degrees horizontal. It can also be used as a telescoping FlexShaft tool stand. Finally there is a little tool caddy for holding a few bits, collets, and wrenches. Comes with the accessory nest, mounting wrench, and instructions.

Here is the link to the Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Work Station

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Acra Mill Plus - create your own mini machine shop

Acra Mill Plus - create your a mini machine shopThe Acra Mill was designed to help model makers perform a wide range of tasks from sanding, grinding, and polishing to machining small pieces to with precision tolerances. The Acra Mill holds a Dremel or similar rotary tool. The Acra Mill comes ready to use. There are many configurations and accessories. If you are tight on space and work with small parts, this is an option to consider.

Here is where you can learn more about the nifty Acra Mill Plus (Warning: ALL CAPS AHEAD).

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Proxxon 38481 IB/E Professional Rotary Tool

Proxxon 38481 IB/E Professional Rotary Tool
While most of us are familiar with the versatile rotary tool, we tend to equate it with the Dremel brand name. I have owned many, many Dremel tools and do not have any serious complaints.

Still, this Proxxon profession model appears to offer some noticeable improvements. The manufacturer claims that this model can be use for extended periods when polishing, grinding, cleaning and engraving -- without becoming overheated. That is one problem I have had in the past, but I think I pushed the poor Dremel too far.

Like the better models of Dremel rotary tools, this Proxxon can be run at a range of speeds from 5,000 to 20,000 RPMs. Variable speed is a an important feature in any make of rotary tool.

Finally, the Proxxon features a die cast aluminum head which serves as a study housing for the steel spindle, running within a ball bearing assembly. This strikes me as more robust than most Dremel tools.

The unit comes with six collets (sized 1/32", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64" and 1/8") and is compatible with a number of Proxxon accessories such as a foot switch, flexible shaft, and drill stand.

Here is a link to the Proxxon 38481 IB/E Professional Rotary Tool

Note: Those of you who know you will be using a rotary tool a lot, should consider something like the Foredom rotary tools that jewelers and serious woodcarvers use.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lathe Basics: History, Tools, and Safety Article

Photo of middle ages European pole-lathe in useHere is a great three page article covering the history of wood lathes, the tools currently used, and safety considerations.

From the article:
"One of the greatest features of turning is the chance to gain enough knowledge in short order to make finished projects in just a few hours--lathes give us the possibility of completing, including finish, many worthwhile projects inside a single evening. "

The article is courtesy of Woodcraft, who sells a full assortment of lathes, lathe tools, and lathe accessories.

Here is a link to the article on Turning Basics: History, Tools, and Safety.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CNC Shark Routing System - Autonomous Carver

I posted a while back about the CarveWright automated carving system. A new model of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) router has entered the market at a similar price point -- well below more established, larger machines. The new one is called the CNC Shark Routing System.

Photograph of the CNC Shark Wood Carving System
This CNC machine is designed for routing wood, engraving plastics, and even etching or cutting tile.

Like the CarveWright, the CNC Shark is a fairly small, portable machine. Unlike the CarveWright which uses a media card to transfer information from your computer to the Router table, with the CNC Shark, you connect the USB cable from your computer directly to the controller box.

Another difference is that the CNC Shark uses a conventional palm router mounted to it to do the cutting. The CarveWright routing system uses a specialized flexible shaft attached to an on-board motor. The CNC Shark's system allows you to use a router you may already own (like the Bosch Colt Palm Router), or may choose to use on its own. Since this is the part that will get the most wear and tear, I think this is a brilliant approach. The palm router can be fixed or replaced. Bits for the palm routers are easy to find too.

Unlike the CarveWright, which uses its own proprietary software, the CNC Shark can be used with a range of established CNC programs used in the industry. There may be a learning curve here, but it's probably worth it for greater control.

The last important difference that I can see is that this machine moves in all three axes of motion (X, Y, and Z). The CarveWright moves side to side and up and down. For lateral motion, the CarveWright uses a friction belt (i.e. sandpaper belts) to move the workpiece itself. This seems like a potential area for slippage which could ruin a carving. The CNC Shark never moves the work piece -- only the cutter moves, ensuring that registration is on target.

From the product literature:

The CNC Shark is the best value for a complete CNC system. This impressive has power, speed, accuracy, and ease of use. We also have a technical support system to help you with any questions regarding the and any of its software. CNC Shark has a high quality design and its parts have been CNC'd to ensure its highest accuracy. The Shark's construction of steel, aluminum and high-density polyethylene make it robust, and it can take accidental impacts that would normally damage or destroy other machines.

The CNC Shark is offered through the Rockler stores in the lower 48 United States. Take a look!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Proxxon Rotary Tool & Accessories

I own some Proxxon tools and I own several rotary tools, but I don't actually own a Proxxon rotary tool.

OK..that said, I love the Proxxon tools I do own. Woodcraft is sellng the Proxxon rotory tool at a close-out price right now (about $73). The specifications do sound impressive (see below).

Personally, I am very interested in that Universal Holder (D) for use with a flex shaft (sold seperately). That looks handy, indeed.

From Woodcraft's Site:

Great for detail cutting, grinding and sanding, the German-made Proxxon has a top speed of 20,000 RPM, continuously variable down to 5,000 RPM. Electronic full wave speed control gives almost constant torque, even at low speeds, easing micro drilling. The spindle rides in precision ball bearings, and has a lock button for changing bits. The Proxxon gets its power from a quiet, specially balanced permanent magnet motor. Our own testing showed superior low-end torque and far less vibration than the most popular rotary tool on the market.

Check out all the details of Proxxon Rotary Tool & Accessories over at

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Proxxon Precision Drill/Grinder

Proxxon Precision Drill/GrinderProxxon Precision Drill/Grinder
Precision drill/grinder is ideal for milling, drilling, grinding, polishing, brushing, cleaning, deburring, sawing, carving, engraving, rust removal and more!

Proxxon Router Base Attachment
If you make small boxes, frames or furniture, this router base attachment is the right tool for you! Great for routing slots, notches, grooves, edges and profiles with or without the fence or circle attachment (both included).

Check out the Proxxon Precision Drill/Grinder

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dremel 400-3/71 400 Series XPR Rotary Tool Kit

Dremel 400-3/71 400 Series XPR Rotary Tool KitHechinger Hardware is offering this amazing Dremel package for $105 -- about $30 less than Amazon!

From the marketing literature:
The Dremel 400 Series XPR rotary tool offers the performance, precision and control required to complete the widest range of projects of all Dremel rotary tools--from work, home or studio. Exclusive XPR attachments take advantage of the increased strength of the XPR's unique motor design plus it works will all existing Dremel attachments and accessories.

Look at what you get:
  • Features XPR Planer attachment, Flex Shaft & Circle Cutter
  • Includes XPR Storage Case plus 71 Accessories in their own integrated storage area
  • Variable speed provides maximum control and precision
  • Permanent magnet motor for increased performance and consistent speed at all speed settings
  • Ergonomic, contoured styling with soft-grip areas for greater comfort and control
  • Lightweight design for comfort during prolonged use
  • Separate on/off switch and speed control dial for the perfect speed every time
  • Lock-out collet button prevents engagement of spindle lock when tool is running
  • "Dove-tail" feature for Dremel-exclusive attachments
  • Cool-running ball bearing construction for smooth and quiet operation
  • Replaceable motor brushes extend tool life
  • Five year warranty

Product Includes:
  • 400 Series XPR Rotary Tool
  • XPR Planer
  • Flex Shaft
  • Circle Cutter
  • 109 High Speed Cutter
  • 150 Drill Bit
  • 191 High Speed Cutter
  • 401 Mandrel
  • 402 Mandrel w/ Screw
  • 403 Bristle Brush
  • 404 Bristle Brush Cup
  • 407 1/2" Coarse Sand Band Shank
  • 408 1/2" 60 Grit Sanding Band (2)
  • 411 Coarse Sanding Discs (15)
  • 414 1/2" Felt Wheel
  • 420 HD Cut-off Wheels (20)
  • 421 Polishing Compound
  • 422 Cone Polishing Tip
  • 425 Emery Polishing Wheel (2)
  • 426 1-1/4" Fiberglass Cut-off Wheel
  • 428 Carbon Steel Brush
  • 429 1" Felt Wheel (2)
  • 430 1/4" Sanding Band w/ Mandrel
  • 431 1/4" 60 Grit Sanding Band (2)
  • 432 1/4"120 Grit Sanding Band
  • 438 1/4" 120 Grit Sanding Band (2)
  • 540 1-1/4" HD Cut-off Wheel (2)
  • 541 Aluminum Oxide Grinding Wheel
  • 561 MultiPurpose Bit
  • 8193 Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stone
  • 84922 Silicon Carbide Grind Stone
  • 85602 Silicon Carbide Grind Stone
  • 932 Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stone
  • 953 Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stone
  • XPR Storage Case

Wow! This is an entire workshop in a box!

Check out the Dremel 400-3/71 400 Series XPR Rotary Tool Kit

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Woodworkers & Carvers - WoodCraft Catalog - Helping You Make Wood WorkWoodcraft Supply is a great store for woodworking tools and supplies. If you don't have a store near you, I recommend their catalog featuring more than 8,000 items. They offer more tools and accessories for woodcarvers than any other retailer I have found.

Not only does the Woodcraft catalog offer a complete listing of products for woodworking, but it's also free.

Get your Free Woodcraft Catalog.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mini Router Table Bargain @

As a follow up to my last post, I found this mini router table accessory for Dremel (or other) rotary tools. With the right 1/8" router bits,this tool turns your Dremel into a miniature shaper table for cutting grooves (dado), mouldings, sanding, and edging on small wood stock.

This is looks to be exactly the same as the one sold under the Dremel and Craftsman name, but for much less.

Check out this great deal on Mini rotary table at

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