Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dremel Rotary Tool - A Great Addition to the Workbench

If my Dremel tool were to quit working for me tonight, I'd very likely go buy a new one tomorrow! It's just that handy a tool. It hangs from a hook in my workshop, and I frequently leave it plugged in, ready for me to change out the bit and use it for grinding or cutting.

The Dremel is a wonderful carving tool. I have many different bits for it. I use it to grind and rough out shapes on things I'm carving. Other bits work well for sanding and polishing. I also have various cutting bits I use to put tiny rounded edges on boards, or to cut delicate little indentations in a piece of wood.

When I made the clock for the Scrooge roombox, I put a bit into the Dremel that could etch glass. Then I locked the Dremel into a bench-top vice that held the tool at a 45 degree angle. Then I took the glass I wanted to etch and carefully brought the glass under the bit and gently touched it to the bit to do the etching. The tool is just too big and heavy for me to do extra fine hand movements with it, but locked down, I can do very exacting and delicate work.

The hole in the ceiling of the Scrooge room was another Dremel tool project. I attached a hand-held router attachment to it to adjust its depth of cut, then routed out the area where the plaster had "fallen" from the ceiling. I used a chisel to sharpen some of the edges of where I cut, and then pieced in tiny boards to make it look like the plaster had fallen from the lath.

I use my Dremel with its router table a lot. In fact, that's how I made the mop board in the maid's room, the bathroom, and the little girl's bedroom in Sara's dollhouse. (See photo at left.)  I had a round-over bit that gave the wood a nice curved top. Then I took a slitting saw blade and ran my boards past that blade a couple of times, allowing the blade to cut only slightly into the board. (I used purchased quarter-round to finish out the detail of the board.)

In addition to all of these uses, I have found the Dremel tool useful for doing a variety of projects around the house. It's not just for miniature work!


  1. I bought a Dremel several months ago and have never used it! Maybe I don't have the right bits?
    One of these days I will get it out again and see if I can figure it out...

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  3. I have a Dremel for mini making too (no bench though). I've used it for drilling holes, but I have trouble with finding or fitting the right bits for the sanding etc!

    I have a whole box of accessories, but you have to fit a new head on the drill thingy for sanding, etching, etc. The instructions are in my view poor and too basic! I want to get the most out of it as I have a few dolls houses, etc., to make!