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tomhumf

Should I buy a Dremel?

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Ocassionally I unload the kiln and find some little chunks of glaze/ clay / god knows what on my pots. This is despite looking over/ sanding the bisque carefully, sieving glazes etc. 

I'm thinking of getting a Dremel to tidy up these sharp lumps. I don't currently have anything like a sander or grinder. I only grind bases with sandpaper or rubbing two pots together. 

If you think dremels are a good idea, what kind bits would I need? I'm looking at the Dremel 3000 which has a few included. I guess you need a hard rough one to remove material then a polishing bit? 

Thanks! 

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My husband and I are both big Dremel tool users,  I bought a flexible rotary shaft for mine last Christmas,  I have it hanging in my shop and it easy to use.  I have been wanting one but the Dremel brand is pricey.   My husband found a WEN rotary tool on clearance at Menards and it had a flex shaft in the kit.   I like my smaller Dremel tool better so we attached the flex shaft to it.   It has been almost a year and i haven't had any problems with it.   My husband took the  bulkier WEN rotary tool to his garage.   Denice

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I like the barrel shaped diamond bits when I can find them.  They fit over a base like a sandpaper cylinder would.  Alternately, whatever diamond grinding bits you can find.  Stay away from the cheap chinese stuff.  If you play with runny glazes like I do, there's always a pot or 2 that needs a touch up from a run.    I like the diamond wheel head attachment if it will reach the glaze run.  Meaning it's on the bottom or outside of the foot.  Using the dremel, you can't use water on the grinding surface, so I stick a shop vac up tight.

Bottom line, I use the dremel a lot.

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I have to chime in re the diamond bits--they make all the difference in the world.  I use the Dremel on most areas needing to be smoothed/removed and also a set of assorted diamond files that fit single handle, for small areas like tiny burrs on pendants. I do pretty thorough finishing work pre-fire, but even so I fusually ind that prepping for display requires some final work with these tools.  

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I use dremels a lot, sometimes on a rough spot on a glaze piece. . . use a rounded point grinder, then finish with a rubber polishing bit. Not often, but when needed really works well. I also use the them in the studio to carve wooden stamps, and smooth some bisqueware, and also to remove the smallest areas of glaze spots on shelves. I used to carry a battery rechargeable one to shows to smooth edges of pieces if I felt a roughness I did not like on the base.

 

bst,

Pres

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I've been considering a Dremel tool myself - been at the pottery wheel less than a year but I can see where it would be helpful. I've had glaze overruns, lids that don't quite fit, etc. Dremels are expensive - I found an alternate model, Tacklife Rotary Tool RTD34AC, that has a variety of attachments including a flex shaft and seems to match the Dremel capabilities. But haven't pulled the trigger yet. Cheap prices can be an attraction - this model is under $30.00 - but buying a known quantity seems safer. Trying to get more background info

- Jeff

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My Dremel is useful in so many ways! I use it to smoothe any sizeable burrs off the bottoms of my fired pots (most tiny imperfections can be taken off with sandpaper). It can take irregularities off bisqueware, and in the event any small bits of kiln wash should mar the surface of a glazed pot, you can remove them with the dremel, dab on a bit of glaze, and re-fire the pot. If any holes in a colander fill with fired glaze, you can drill through the hole and re-fire that, too. A diamond or carbide point is necessary for most of these things -- available anywhere they sell Dremels.  I occasionally use my Dremel for any small drilling job in the studio, too, such as pre-drilling holes for screws to attach shelves. It's a great tool that gets a LOT of use. I'd join in advising you to go for the brand name Dremel rather than any cheaper version -- you'll save money in the long run.

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I have two dremals and a flex shaft.  I use them all the time to enlarge the holes on my flutes in the final tuning process.  Diamond bits are a must.

jed

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Lots of Dremel love here, I will get one I think. Not sure about them being expensive, the low range ones are £60 / ~ $70? On Amazon...I suppose compared to knock offs they are expensive? 

Edited by tomhumf

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13 hours ago, tomhumf said:

Lots of Dremel love here, I will get one I think. Not sure about them being expensive, the low range ones are £60 / ~ $70? On Amazon...I suppose compared to knock offs they are expensive? 

There are budget friendly and popular options out there including Tacklife and Wen. They don't claim to be Dremel but they're up to the same tasks that the Dremel is good at. I don't consider an item purely on its price but on what it can do for me in the context of what I need. And the reviews. Agreed there is some safety in buying the most familiar brand. But no reason to buy more or spend more than you need to. BTW - expensive is a relative concept. You can buy a whole lot of clay for $70.00 or add some additional tools to your kit. And my old Honda still gets me to the same supermarket as the Audis and BMWs I park next to. :)

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I love my Dremel.  I bought a really cheap, really really cheap knockoff to begin with and it did not do the trick.  I bought a Dremel brand when the local hardware store had some coupons.  I like that cone shaped bit to grind off whatever it is that pops up on my porcelain plates.  Then I put more glaze on that spot and refire.  I like Pres's idea of using them to carve wooden stamps.  Great ideas here!

 

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