My Hand and My Dremel Got Married and Made Things
My Dremel Rotary Tool has been on standby since I began framing my own and others' artwork back in the 1980s. As a visual artist I use it daily or monthly, depending on the current project.
It's a workhorse that's light enough for a non-weightlifting arm like mine to spend the day with.
The ergonomic design makes it easy and comfortable to use in a variety of positions, and to pick up and set down between tasks, often I end up turning it off with one hand.
I seem to have a thing for pilot holes. Most commonly I use it to drill pilot holes for finishing nails or mounting screws, or if I have a really big framing job I'll dedicate it for starting the holes for the wire hangers, and then use my electric screwdriver to drive the screws.
Eons ago, before I bought the Dremel, I struggled with an old dying small power drill to open up the pilot holes in the corners of my wood picture frames. But that drill was heavy and the old grip just didn't hold very steady - or maybe it was my wimpy grasp that sometimes lost the mark and bumped the hole over to one side.
I thought I was all set up with fancy tools, back then, never owning any of my own before that, none except all my domestic power movers, like the sewing machines and blenders and mixers, and don't forget the vacuum. But this time I was in business for myself, doing custom framing from our house on the hillside, a driveway cut away from the mountain.
My Jyden Miter Knife made the corner cuts slick as grease on a pole. Then I lined up two molding pieces and anchored them in place with my frame vise, my first cast iron love-affair. Out with the drill (I'm thinking it was my dad's castoff), one of those old ones with a fabric cord cover, almost older than me. Wearing my own safety glasses and goatskin gloves I did the deed, swiped on the glue, and tightened the corner clamps. Presto - I was doing my own business.
Not too far into this process I sought a better means of drilling those bitsy holes. That's when I found a Dremel and it didn't take a second thought to buy one for my studio. I quickly fell in love with it too, and started filing, sanding, and drilling everything I could. It speeded up the frame making process too.
I took it with me when I returned to college to study art, and again when I moved on to the big city. In a studio I maintained in my apartment I rigged up an overhead surge protector so I could take advantage of the snake arm and create without having to move around the power cord. For one artpiece I drilled a zillion pilot holes in a wall sculpture before filling them with glue and tapping in special tacks. In fact, I did a variety of this for two in the series. See a little detail pic of one shelf, below.
I even used a cutoff wheel to trim a cast brass arm from a small lamp. Then I used a grinder wheel to polish the cut before I applied some rubbing paste to cover up the difference in color between the cut and the old finish.
Yes, I do love this little tool with its zillions of attachments, that has permanently affected my life. It just gets better all the time as I find more uses for it. So, I'd say we are wed for good.
Like Me, You May Find That The More Accessories You Get - The More Work You Do & The More Fun You Have!
Here are my 3 top picks:
Who doesn't want a drill press? This is the one I intend to get to satisfy my dream. Then I'll have to share the Dremel with its stand, but for all the help it will give me, I don't mind.
When I need to drill a line of holes in a line you can always tell I've done it by hand because I get impatient and eyeball it. That's fine but every so often I tilt the tool and end up with a tilted screw head.
Time for the Work Station, I'd say.
For less than six dollars, I can afford this keyless chuck today. Lets me dispense with the tiny irk of that extra step of unscrewing the bit and then screwing in the new one.
It's a single handed wonder.
I tell about the fun of using the Flex Shaft, above, but let me remind you of how free it feels to be able use this snaky little device, for less than $25 (today 10.4.13). I even screwed a hook into a board up near the ceiling so I could just reach up and hang up the Dremel between uses. It was swift.