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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Dremel rotary tool has been a faithful helper with a number of tasks around the shop, I am sure that I use this tool every day. With a sanding drum installed, I was able to carve the wooden "fingertip" that I used to improve the Lyman trigger pull gauge, and with various polishing points I've been able to do quite a bit of polishing on Glock parts, such as connectors, trigger bars, firing pin safeties, and the like. The Dremel has also been called into service to polish barrel ramps and even chambers on other pistols. Once I discovered the Cratex® rubber-bonded abrasive tools I started to take on more challenging projects, such as making minor (!) contour changes on parts.

My Dremel, although trustworthy and useful, does have a few minor shortcomings that have always bothered me.

· First, collets of different sizes are needed to fit the shaft of varying diameter bits to the tool. I would prefer to have an adjustable chuck, like you would find on a garden-variety electric drill. Changing bits or tools with an adjustable chuck is a lot faster, and there's only one tool you need to make the adjustment, a chuck wrench. With collets, you need the various-sized collets themselves along with a wrench to change them.

· The other shortcoming is that the speed control is on the tool itself. If you want to change speeds while using the tool, you need to stop, make the adjustment, and then resume work. Not a huge deal, admittedly, but a little attribute that could be improved.

· Finally, the power of the Dremel is limited; it's not really suited for heavy polishing or cutting.

Dremel has expanded the original "Moto Tool" product that I bought thirty years ago with a broad array of tools, power sources (battery versus plug-in) and accessories. While the quality is very good, the prices are getting a little ahead of where they ought to be, in my opinion. So, I started looking around for an improvement.

With my recent interest in the 1911, I bought a copy of a book (The Colt 45 Automatic, A Shop Manual by Jerry Kuhnhausen) specifically for that gun, and came across a section on tools in the manual. And there before me lay the answer, the Mother of All Handheld Polishing Tools: the Foredom® tool.

The Foredom Electric Company of Bethel, Connecticut, has been in business since 1955, and is the leading manufacturer of flexible shaft rotary power tools in the world. Here's a link to their site: Foredom Electric Co. - About Us

At this point, I should add that although my posts are normally liberally festooned with photos, in this case I'm going to ask you to look at the Foredom and Otto Frei websites for illustrations. I can't do nearly as good a job as they have done with the photos.

The more I read about the Foredom® tool, the more enthused I became. Here are the notable advantages that this tool has over other types of electric hand-held and air-driven power tools (taken pretty much verbatim from the Foredom site, and validated by me in my shop):

· Variable-speed foot-operated control allows the user to find just the right speed for the accessory, material, and application, up to 18,000 rpm. Think of a dental drill and you are getting the idea.

· Hand pieces are slim and light compared to a Dremel-type tool. Since this tool uses a flexible shaft to connect the hand tool to the motor, heat and vibration are isolated from the user. The model I chose has an adjustable chuck.

· This tool has a permanently lubricated, ball bearing, fan-cooled motor that is maintainable.

· Almost any cutter, bur, bit, drill, buff, brush, wheel, or saw designed for a hand rotary tool will work with this tool.

· This tool is made in the U.S.A.​

There are a number of different models, but I quickly focused in on one that was going to be suitable for my purposes. The prices quoted on the Foredom Electric Company site are what I would call "optimistic", but it was easy to find a company that sells these tools at a discount: the Oakland (CA) -based Otto Frei Company, a jeweler's supply house: Foredom Power Tools, Flex Shafts, and Micromotors | OttoFrei.com

The model I chose was the SR-2230 kit, at $254 including a motor hanger: Foredom SR-2230 Flex Shaft Kit in 115 Volt or 230 Volt - Foredom...

I admit I did have to swallow twice at the price, until I thought about it for a few minutes. This is a professional-level tool, it will last for years and years, and it does solve the few problems I found with the Dremel and its lookalikes.

If you are interested in this tool, there is one thing about the Foredom® tool that you should consider before taking the plunge: it occupies space. If you use a Dremel, you probably take it out of the box, use it, and put it away. The Foredom® tool is big enough that you won't be taking it out and putting it away, it will need to be "installed".

If you choose the motor hanger option (I did) then the motor hanger pretty well needs to be semi-permanently mounted on your bench. It does stick up in the air a bit, but the hanger kit is of very high quality and allows a good range of height.

If you can justify the initial cost and dedicate some space to this tool, I think you will be pleased with the purchase. I know that I am.

Chris
 

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Can I borrow yours? LOL!

If you use it as much as it seems, you'll recover the tool cost in time savings!
 

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My Dremel rotary tool has been a faithful helper with a number of tasks around the shop, I am sure that I use this tool every day. With a sanding drum installed, I was able to carve the wooden "fingertip" that I used to improve the Lyman trigger pull gauge, and with various polishing points I've been able to do quite a bit of polishing on Glock parts, such as connectors, trigger bars, firing pin safeties, and the like. The Dremel has also been called into service to polish barrel ramps and even chambers on other pistols. Once I discovered the Cratex® rubber-bonded abrasive tools I started to take on more challenging projects, such as making minor (!) contour changes on parts.

My Dremel, although trustworthy and useful, does have a few minor shortcomings that have always bothered me.

· First, collets of different sizes are needed to fit the shaft of varying diameter bits to the tool. I would prefer to have an adjustable chuck, like you would find on a garden-variety electric drill. Changing bits or tools with an adjustable chuck is a lot faster, and there's only one tool you need to make the adjustment, a chuck wrench. With collets, you need the various-sized collets themselves along with a wrench to change them.

· The other shortcoming is that the speed control is on the tool itself. If you want to change speeds while using the tool, you need to stop, make the adjustment, and then resume work. Not a huge deal, admittedly, but a little attribute that could be improved.

· Finally, the power of the Dremel is limited; it's not really suited for heavy polishing or cutting.

Dremel has expanded the original "Moto Tool" product that I bought thirty years ago with a broad array of tools, power sources (battery versus plug-in) and accessories. While the quality is very good, the prices are getting a little ahead of where they ought to be, in my opinion. So, I started looking around for an improvement.

With my recent interest in the 1911, I bought a copy of a book (The Colt 45 Automatic, A Shop Manual by Jerry Kuhnhausen) specifically for that gun, and came across a section on tools in the manual. And there before me lay the answer, the Mother of All Handheld Polishing Tools: the Foredom® tool.

The Foredom Electric Company of Bethel, Connecticut, has been in business since 1955, and is the leading manufacturer of flexible shaft rotary power tools in the world. Here's a link to their site: Foredom Electric Co. - About Us

At this point, I should add that although my posts are normally liberally festooned with photos, in this case I'm going to ask you to look at the Foredom and Otto Frei websites for illustrations. I can't do nearly as good a job as they have done with the photos.

The more I read about the Foredom® tool, the more enthused I became. Here are the notable advantages that this tool has over other types of electric hand-held and air-driven power tools (taken pretty much verbatim from the Foredom site, and validated by me in my shop):

· Variable-speed foot-operated control allows the user to find just the right speed for the accessory, material, and application, up to 18,000 rpm. Think of a dental drill and you are getting the idea.

· Hand pieces are slim and light compared to a Dremel-type tool. Since this tool uses a flexible shaft to connect the hand tool to the motor, heat and vibration are isolated from the user. The model I chose has an adjustable chuck.

· This tool has a permanently lubricated, ball bearing, fan-cooled motor that is maintainable.

· Almost any cutter, bur, bit, drill, buff, brush, wheel, or saw designed for a hand rotary tool will work with this tool.

· This tool is made in the U.S.A.​

There are a number of different models, but I quickly focused in on one that was going to be suitable for my purposes. The prices quoted on the Foredom Electric Company site are what I would call "optimistic", but it was easy to find a company that sells these tools at a discount: the Oakland (CA) -based Otto Frei Company, a jeweler's supply house: Foredom Power Tools, Flex Shafts, and Micromotors | OttoFrei.com

The model I chose was the SR-2230 kit, at $254 including a motor hanger: Foredom SR-2230 Flex Shaft Kit in 115 Volt or 230 Volt - Foredom...

I admit I did have to swallow twice at the price, until I thought about it for a few minutes. This is a professional-level tool, it will last for years and years, and it does solve the few problems I found with the Dremel and its lookalikes.

If you are interested in this tool, there is one thing about the Foredom® tool that you should consider before taking the plunge: it occupies space. If you use a Dremel, you probably take it out of the box, use it, and put it away. The Foredom® tool is big enough that you won't be taking it out and putting it away, it will need to be "installed".

If you choose the motor hanger option (I did) then the motor hanger pretty well needs to be semi-permanently mounted on your bench. It does stick up in the air a bit, but the hanger kit is of very high quality and allows a good range of height.

If you can justify the initial cost and dedicate some space to this tool, I think you will be pleased with the purchase. I know that I am.

Chris
Chris can I come over to your shop and watch you polish my stuff? That way you would gain practice and I would not be out $250.
al
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Chris can I come over to your shop and watch you polish my stuff? That way you would gain practice and I would not be out $250.
al
Sure thing, Al. We're open week nights, any time is fine, just let me know when to expect you.

Chris
 

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My Dremel rotary tool has been a faithful helper with a number of tasks around the shop, I am sure that I use this tool every day. With a sanding drum installed, I was able to carve the wooden "fingertip" that I used to improve the Lyman trigger pull gauge, and with various polishing points I've been able to do quite a bit of polishing on Glock parts, such as connectors, trigger bars, firing pin safeties, and the like. The Dremel has also been called into service to polish barrel ramps and even chambers on other pistols. Once I discovered the Cratex® rubber-bonded abrasive tools I started to take on more challenging projects, such as making minor (!) contour changes on parts.

My Dremel, although trustworthy and useful, does have a few minor shortcomings that have always bothered me.

· First, collets of different sizes are needed to fit the shaft of varying diameter bits to the tool. I would prefer to have an adjustable chuck, like you would find on a garden-variety electric drill. Changing bits or tools with an adjustable chuck is a lot faster, and there's only one tool you need to make the adjustment, a chuck wrench. With collets, you need the various-sized collets themselves along with a wrench to change them.

· The other shortcoming is that the speed control is on the tool itself. If you want to change speeds while using the tool, you need to stop, make the adjustment, and then resume work. Not a huge deal, admittedly, but a little attribute that could be improved.

· Finally, the power of the Dremel is limited; it's not really suited for heavy polishing or cutting.

Dremel has expanded the original "Moto Tool" product that I bought thirty years ago with a broad array of tools, power sources (battery versus plug-in) and accessories. While the quality is very good, the prices are getting a little ahead of where they ought to be, in my opinion. So, I started looking around for an improvement.

With my recent interest in the 1911, I bought a copy of a book (The Colt 45 Automatic, A Shop Manual by Jerry Kuhnhausen) specifically for that gun, and came across a section on tools in the manual. And there before me lay the answer, the Mother of All Handheld Polishing Tools: the Foredom® tool.

The Foredom Electric Company of Bethel, Connecticut, has been in business since 1955, and is the leading manufacturer of flexible shaft rotary power tools in the world. Here's a link to their site: Foredom Electric Co. - About Us

At this point, I should add that although my posts are normally liberally festooned with photos, in this case I'm going to ask you to look at the Foredom and Otto Frei websites for illustrations. I can't do nearly as good a job as they have done with the photos.

The more I read about the Foredom® tool, the more enthused I became. Here are the notable advantages that this tool has over other types of electric hand-held and air-driven power tools (taken pretty much verbatim from the Foredom site, and validated by me in my shop):

· Variable-speed foot-operated control allows the user to find just the right speed for the accessory, material, and application, up to 18,000 rpm. Think of a dental drill and you are getting the idea.

· Hand pieces are slim and light compared to a Dremel-type tool. Since this tool uses a flexible shaft to connect the hand tool to the motor, heat and vibration are isolated from the user. The model I chose has an adjustable chuck.

· This tool has a permanently lubricated, ball bearing, fan-cooled motor that is maintainable.

· Almost any cutter, bur, bit, drill, buff, brush, wheel, or saw designed for a hand rotary tool will work with this tool.

· This tool is made in the U.S.A.​

There are a number of different models, but I quickly focused in on one that was going to be suitable for my purposes. The prices quoted on the Foredom Electric Company site are what I would call "optimistic", but it was easy to find a company that sells these tools at a discount: the Oakland (CA) -based Otto Frei Company, a jeweler's supply house: Foredom Power Tools, Flex Shafts, and Micromotors | OttoFrei.com

The model I chose was the SR-2230 kit, at $254 including a motor hanger: Foredom SR-2230 Flex Shaft Kit in 115 Volt or 230 Volt - Foredom...

I admit I did have to swallow twice at the price, until I thought about it for a few minutes. This is a professional-level tool, it will last for years and years, and it does solve the few problems I found with the Dremel and its lookalikes.

If you are interested in this tool, there is one thing about the Foredom® tool that you should consider before taking the plunge: it occupies space. If you use a Dremel, you probably take it out of the box, use it, and put it away. The Foredom® tool is big enough that you won't be taking it out and putting it away, it will need to be "installed".

If you choose the motor hanger option (I did) then the motor hanger pretty well needs to be semi-permanently mounted on your bench. It does stick up in the air a bit, but the hanger kit is of very high quality and allows a good range of height.

If you can justify the initial cost and dedicate some space to this tool, I think you will be pleased with the purchase. I know that I am.

Chris
Chris, all the things you mentioned I have with my Dremeltool. I only use the flexshaft these days or sometimes I will install the 90 degree head. I have the foot piece control that allows my Dremeltool to have variable speed. The chuck is adjustable just like a drill bit chuck. . My main "misgivings" with the Dremel System is the bits and brushes. They are not as hard as I would like nor are the brushes a well made. As far as the polishing everything is great but getting replacements is a pain in the tookas. Have you another source for items you use daily that fit the Dremel? Take Care my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chris, all the things you mentioned I have with my Dremeltool. I only use the flexshaft these days or sometimes I will install the 90 degree head. I have the foot piece control that allows my Dremeltool to have variable speed. The chuck is adjustable just like a drill bit chuck. .
Wow. I have to admit that I did not even look for these other features in the Dremel, I just stopped short when I became awed by the wonderfulness of the Foredom product! Did you get there all at once, or step-by-step?

My main "misgivings" with the Dremel System is the bits and brushes. They are not as hard as I would like nor are the brushes a well made. As far as the polishing everything is great but getting replacements is a pain in the tookas. Have you another source for items you use daily that fit the Dremel? Take Care my friend.
With a little shopping, I have been able to find bits and bobs (literally, polishing bobs) that functionally replace Dremel at much lower cost. And then there's Cratex, which is expensive but seemingly unique in its capability. Brownells carries Cratex points in many different sizes and assortments (Cratex at Brownells). Just shopping at the local hardware stores and Home Depot, I have been able to find good selections of the polishing bobs at low cost. You might even find them online, here are a couple of "hits": 10pc Compressed Wool Felt Bob Polishing & Buffing Set - Fits Dremel - Amazon.com, Duro-Felt Products
190-777- at Sinclair Inc. You might also check Harbor Freight, if you have a local store.

I think that whole world has now realized that Dremel bobs and bits are way too expensive, so there are quite a few manufacturers of replacements out there.

Happy polishing!

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Chris I'll be over in about 15 minutes using my secret encoder ring for quick flight. Thanks,
al
Al,

Remember that I was talking about a software replacement for the Enigma coded transceiver system used by the Germans in WWII?

Enigma Simulator

Chris
 

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Wow. I have to admit that I did not even look for these other features in the Dremel, I just stopped short when I became awed by the wonderfulness of the Foredom product! Did you get there all at once, or step-by-step?

With a little shopping, I have been able to find bits and bobs (literally, polishing bobs) that functionally replace Dremel at much lower cost. And then there's Cratex, which is expensive but seemingly unique in its capability. Brownells carries Cratex points in many different sizes and assortments (Cratex at Brownells). Just shopping at the local hardware stores and Home Depot, I have been able to find good selections of the polishing bobs at low cost. You might even find them online, here are a couple of "hits": 10pc Compressed Wool Felt Bob Polishing & Buffing Set - Fits Dremel - Amazon.com, Duro-Felt Products
190-777- at Sinclair Inc. You might also check Harbor Freight, if you have a local store.

I think that whole world has now realized that Dremel bobs and bits are way too expensive, so there are quite a few manufacturers of replacements out there.

Happy polishing!

Chris
Mostly picked things up as the need arose but the hanger stand, flex drive, drill bit type mandrel and foot switch were all bought together. Total cost for the bunch was $58. Yep I do the same for the "bits and bobs" but have started looking for better quality now just because the cheap ones don't last as long so I am not really saving money. I will look at Brownell's again, I have to admit I used to use them much more years ago when they catered to gunsmith's more but these days it just seems they have gone the way of the likes of CTD. As a gunsmith I know you understand what I am talking about. I used to dislike YouTube because it seemed they wanted to make everyone a "smith" but not anymore......I get more work because of them than I ever imagined. I do wonder why they haven't put surgery on YouTube for those who want to save money. Take Care my Friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Mostly picked things up as the need arose but the hanger stand, flex drive, drill bit type mandrel and foot switch were all bought together. Total cost for the bunch was $58.
That is a lot less than I would have guessed the parts would cost. You did well.

.... As a gunsmith I know you understand what I am talking about.
I'm not a gunsmith, just an amateur parts swapper.

I used to dislike YouTube because it seemed they wanted to make everyone a "smith" but not anymore......I get more work because of them than I ever imagined. I do wonder why they haven't put surgery on YouTube for those who want to save money. Take Care my Friend.
There are a lot of yahoos on YouTube, no doubt, but once in a while I run across something really interesting and valuable, like this lesson from Ron Phillips of Wilson Combat: Wilson Combat - Complete Disassembly of a 1911 - YouTube

I'm starting to get pretty good at weeding out the fools, it's worth the effort to find things like the video noted above...at least to me.

Chris
 
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