Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Old December 15th 04, 05:33 AM
SteveB
 
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Default Foredom Hand Rotary Tool Question

I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light welds.
I will also be touching up the veining on stamped rods that look like tree
limbs. I need a tool that will use a wheel or cutter, and cut veins up to
1/8" thick, but mostly less. The welds I need to dress would amount to 1/4
to 1/2 square inch. Not a lot.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which unit would be the best for
this. They come in all sorts of horsepowers and RPMS. A Makita grinder is
14,000 rpm, and these go up to 18,000.

Should I just bite the bullet, and go for the big one since it has a foot
pedal to vary the speed and compensate for different work? Would the
smaller ones like 1/6 or 1/8 hp be an invitation to burnout?

What do you think?

Or would a top of the line Dremel be acceptable?

How about replacement tool cost comparisons?

Yah, yah, I know I can find all this out by googling, and reading the
Foredom literature I got, but I would like to hear from someone who's been
there, done that.

TIA

Steve



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Old December 15th 04, 06:56 AM
Richard J Kinch
 
Posts: n/a
Default

SteveB writes:

Should I just bite the bullet, and go for the big one since it has a
foot pedal to vary the speed and compensate for different work?


Dare I mention that this has worked for me:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40432
  #3   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 04:47 PM
Boris Beizer
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"SteveB" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light

welds.
I will also be touching up the veining on stamped rods that look like tree
limbs. I need a tool that will use a wheel or cutter, and cut veins up to
1/8" thick, but mostly less. The welds I need to dress would amount to

1/4
to 1/2 square inch. Not a lot.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which unit would be the best for
this. They come in all sorts of horsepowers and RPMS. A Makita grinder

is
14,000 rpm, and these go up to 18,000.


I say this from the perspective of one who has, and uses, three flex shaft
machines: Dremel, Foredom, Pfsing.

Yours is a heavy duty operation. The weak point of the Foredom tools (and
any other flex shaft machine) is that the flex shaft coupling springs
breaks -- twists off. You have to consider torque in addition to top-end
speed and a spindly flex shaft seriously limits torque. I don't know the
Makita but I assume that it caters to the die-grinder crowd. As such, it
will be beefy but the handpieces won't be interchangeable with the Jewelry
industry standards (see below). But you rarely go wrong with Makita. The
difference between 14,000 and 18,000 RPM is of little significance. You
can't really make good use of anything above 10,000 without some kind of
coolant. Also, sustained high-speed operation overheats the coupling, the
handpiece, the bearings, and leads to premature wear. I've never had a
motor burn out. I almost never go full-throttle on my flex shaft machines.
Slower speeds with good torque are probably more important than top speed,
unless you're planning to do a lot of dentistry.

Should I just bite the bullet, and go for the big one since it has a foot
pedal to vary the speed and compensate for different work?


A flex shaft machine without a foot pedal is almost useless. If you're
budget limited, go to the sewing machine store and plug your Dremel into a
sewing machine foot pedal. The Dremel has an AC/DC motor so the cheap foot
control works just fine. Lot cheaper than Dremel's foot control.

Would the smaller ones like 1/6 or 1/8 hp be an invitation to burnout?


Not merely an invitation, but a guarantee.

Or would a top of the line Dremel be acceptable?


Not a chance. Good high-speed performance, but really funky with respect
to collets, chucks, etc. A Dremel is what you get if you can't afford to
buy a Foredom or other professional grade flex shaft machines.

How about replacement tool cost comparisons?


With Dremel, you're stuck with the Dremel handpiece and chucks and almost
nothing worthwhile comes on the used tool or auction market. With Foredom,
you have a wide variety of handpieces. You can't use 1/4" tooling with the
dremel. Serious limitation. As for bits, burs, saws, grindstones, sanding
and polishing discs, etc. As long as you have a good handpiece with a
variety of collets, you buy these almost any place other than at a Dremel
retailer.

I suggest you consider the following handpieces:

1. Big collet chuck handpiece for 1/8 to 1/4" tooling. Essential for what
you're planning. 1/4" tooling is generally cheaper than equivalent Dremel
tooling.

2. A Jacobs chuck ball bearing hand piece -- good for everything else and
high precision.

3. A quick-change collet chuck if changing bits becomes a bother.

4. A hammer -- used by diamond setters to set prongs, but you might find it
useful.

The nice thing about the Foredom and other top-of-the-line flex shaft
machines is that there is an industry standard for the hand pieces. They
are interchangeable -- push-pull, click-click. Foredom (and others) make
about 20 different kinds of industry-standard handpieces. I've bought
junky, burnt-out, flex shaft machines just to get the handpiece.

Boris




  #4   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 05:55 PM
Randal O'Brian
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If you go Foredom, get the 1/4 hp H series at the least. I have one and
have done a lot of grinding with it. It does require the H series
handpieces, but I have never found that to be a problem. If I were
starting over , I would get the 1/3 hp TX series since it has a wider torque
band. It uses the standard handpieces, so that might be plus. Foredom is
top quality and customer service is excellent.

I also have the 398 series Dremel. It is a big improvement over the
previous models, but it is only about 0.15 hp. It does go to 35,000 rpm,
which is handy running small carbide burs and dental bits. However, it is
not suited for serious grinding.

I don't know anything about the new 400 series Dremel, except it is rated
2.0 amps., or about 1/4 hp.
More power is good.

Randy


"SteveB" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light

welds.
I will also be touching up the veining on stamped rods that look like tree
limbs. I need a tool that will use a wheel or cutter, and cut veins up to
1/8" thick, but mostly less. The welds I need to dress would amount to

1/4
to 1/2 square inch. Not a lot.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which unit would be the best for
this. They come in all sorts of horsepowers and RPMS. A Makita grinder

is
14,000 rpm, and these go up to 18,000.

Should I just bite the bullet, and go for the big one since it has a foot
pedal to vary the speed and compensate for different work? Would the
smaller ones like 1/6 or 1/8 hp be an invitation to burnout?

What do you think?

Or would a top of the line Dremel be acceptable?

How about replacement tool cost comparisons?

Yah, yah, I know I can find all this out by googling, and reading the
Foredom literature I got, but I would like to hear from someone who's been
there, done that.

TIA

Steve




  #5   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 07:58 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default


SteveB wrote:
I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light

welds.
I will also be touching up the veining on stamped rods that look like

tree
limbs. I need a tool that will use a wheel or cutter, and cut veins

up to
1/8" thick, but mostly less. The welds I need to dress would amount

to 1/4
to 1/2 square inch. Not a lot.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which unit would be the best

for
this. They come in all sorts of horsepowers and RPMS. A Makita

grinder is
14,000 rpm, and these go up to 18,000.

Should I just bite the bullet, and go for the big one since it has a

foot
pedal to vary the speed and compensate for different work? Would the


smaller ones like 1/6 or 1/8 hp be an invitation to burnout?

What do you think?

Or would a top of the line Dremel be acceptable?

How about replacement tool cost comparisons?

Yah, yah, I know I can find all this out by googling, and reading the


Foredom literature I got, but I would like to hear from someone who's

been
there, done that.

TIA

Steve


I've used Dremels, I've used Foredom flex shafts, right now, my
preference is for none of the above. Dremels are built to a price,
probably won't last in a production environment. Foredom has the
advantage of all the different handpieces you can get, I've been using
the one that came with it that has a Jacobs chuck on it. Downside is
that you have to maintain that flex shaft, regular greasing and such.
It's easy to kink the sheath if you're not careful. Used to be I lived
where the local hardware store carried Foredom parts, got a deal on the
outfit from them, too. Not there anymore, any Foredom parts I need
have to come by the big brown truck. What I favor now is the pneumatic
mini-die grinders for the small stuff and either a 3" pneumatic cutoff
tool or a 4 1/2" angle grinder for the big stuff. I've also been using
a band sander that works wonders in tight spots. The mini-die grinders
are small enough that they can get into a lot of tight areas, no shaft
to kink, more power than any Dremel has in a smaller package and speed
can be varied right on the handpiece. They don't use a whole lot of
air, just about any cheapie compressor can run one. With extended
running, electric motors and flex shafts get quite hot, the pneumatic
stuff just gets cooler. My Foredom mini-die grinder can use all the
Foredom collets, I've got one HF import that does, too. Very handy if
you can get surplus burrs and such.

Stan



  #6   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 09:25 PM
Ted Edwards
 
Posts: n/a
Default

SteveB wrote:

I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light welds.


I have a Foredom that has given good service over the 20 years or so
that I've had it. If I didn't have it, I would seriously consider an
air operated mini die grinder. Have you considered going the air tool
route? Air tools tend to be smaller, lighter and cheaper (once you have
the compressor setup) than equivalent electric tools and less
restrictive than flexible shaft tools. Might be worth looking into.

My regular die grinder gets more use than my Foredom.

Ted


  #7   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 09:32 PM
SteveB
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Ted Edwards" wrote in message
...
SteveB wrote:

I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light
welds.


I have a Foredom that has given good service over the 20 years or so
that I've had it. If I didn't have it, I would seriously consider an
air operated mini die grinder. Have you considered going the air tool
route? Air tools tend to be smaller, lighter and cheaper (once you have
the compressor setup) than equivalent electric tools and less
restrictive than flexible shaft tools. Might be worth looking into.

My regular die grinder gets more use than my Foredom.

Ted



Can you please provide any sites, brand names, model numbers, or other
helpful things? Air is getting more attractive all the time.

Steve


  #8   Report Post  
Old December 15th 04, 10:55 PM
Perry Murlless
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I recently upgraded my original "Type F" Foredom to a "Type CR", (1/10 hp,
reversing) with an electronic footswitch. I used the original for 40 years
and only had to replace the brushes! Other posters are right, Foredoms are
lower power and ALL flexshaft machine springs can kink if you abuse them.
But the "Duplex Spring" option helps reduce kinking and allows you to get
into tight spots.While the Foredoms are NOT heavy duty machines, they do
have a 100% duty cycle and a ton of options (handpieces, drill press
fixtures, etc.) and are EXTREMELY tough. I have done some larger work with
them but they do really shine on smaller stuff. I have no experience with
the air driven types but my thinking is that they lack torque, relying on
speed to get the job done.


"SteveB" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light

welds.
I will also be touching up the veining on stamped rods that look like tree
limbs. I need a tool that will use a wheel or cutter, and cut veins up to
1/8" thick, but mostly less. The welds I need to dress would amount to

1/4
to 1/2 square inch. Not a lot.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which unit would be the best for
this. They come in all sorts of horsepowers and RPMS. A Makita grinder

is
14,000 rpm, and these go up to 18,000.

Should I just bite the bullet, and go for the big one since it has a foot
pedal to vary the speed and compensate for different work? Would the
smaller ones like 1/6 or 1/8 hp be an invitation to burnout?

What do you think?

Or would a top of the line Dremel be acceptable?

How about replacement tool cost comparisons?

Yah, yah, I know I can find all this out by googling, and reading the
Foredom literature I got, but I would like to hear from someone who's been
there, done that.

TIA

Steve




  #9   Report Post  
Old December 16th 04, 03:18 AM
DoN. Nichols
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Perry Murlless wrote:
I recently upgraded my original "Type F" Foredom to a "Type CR", (1/10 hp,
reversing) with an electronic footswitch. I used the original for 40 years
and only had to replace the brushes! Other posters are right, Foredoms are
lower power and ALL flexshaft machine springs can kink if you abuse them.
But the "Duplex Spring" option helps reduce kinking and allows you to get
into tight spots.While the Foredoms are NOT heavy duty machines, they do
have a 100% duty cycle and a ton of options (handpieces, drill press
fixtures, etc.) and are EXTREMELY tough. I have done some larger work with
them but they do really shine on smaller stuff. I have no experience with
the air driven types but my thinking is that they lack torque, relying on
speed to get the job done.


And my primary application for my Foredom would not accept that
speed. I run mine from a Dremel foot pedal, which lets me adjust speed
down to a near dead stop.

The application is the tuning of concertina reeds. While some
are large enough to be ground (1" green stone, with edge rounded by a
diamond dresser) at full speed -- for short bursts, others are so
sensitive so I do the final tuning by drawing the stationary stone along
the reed, with all variations between those speeds. The high speed has
a greater chance of drawing the temper from the spring steel which makes
the reeds, thus degrading their characteristics. An air-driven tool
would be far too fast for this applicaton.

And I used a flexible-shaft Dremel, before I lucked into the
Foredom at an estate sale. I would not go back to the Dremel for this
task, given a choice. I have a special handpiece on the Foredom, which
offers a few inches of much smaller diameter flexible shaft, and a very
small tool handle, making it easier to control the effect on the reed in
the tuning fixture.

Enjoy,
DoN.

--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
  #10   Report Post  
Old December 17th 04, 12:12 AM
Orrin Iseminger
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 13:32:38 -0800, "SteveB"
wrote:


"Ted Edwards" wrote in message
...
SteveB wrote:

I am looking at Foredom tools to use them for finishing work on light
welds.


I have a Foredom that has given good service over the 20 years or so
that I've had it. If I didn't have it, I would seriously consider an
air operated mini die grinder. Have you considered going the air tool
route? Air tools tend to be smaller, lighter and cheaper (once you have
the compressor setup) than equivalent electric tools and less
restrictive than flexible shaft tools. Might be worth looking into.

My regular die grinder gets more use than my Foredom.

Ted



Can you please provide any sites, brand names, model numbers, or other
helpful things? Air is getting more attractive all the time.

Steve


I purchased two micro die grinders, on sale now for $19.99, apiece,
from Harbor Freight. I see something similar listed in some of the
major machine tool suppliers for three times that much. I suspect
they were built on the same assembly line in China.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47869

Harbor freight also lists a mini die grinder for $14.99

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47050

The micro grinders have done everything I've asked of them.

Orrin


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