January 3, 2011

Armed with a Dremel tool!

Speaking as we have been, Blog, of Christmas gifts, this year I received from Davie my own Dremel tool and accompanying workstation. Specifically, I got the Dremel 300 Series Variable Rotary Tool Kit, but that's rather lengthy. (And clearly the little guy has become such a friend already, he merits a name. Will have to think on that.)  Here's a photo of all the neat junk that came with this kit.
And the workstation, specifically, is the Dremel 220-01, which you see here. Also super nifty but it seems weird to name a workstation so I don't think I will. Anyway, in spite of it's not coming with any documentation, I succeeded in finding same online (yay once again, Interwebs!) and assembling the thing.

Where the Interwebs did let me down was in providing some handy all-you-need-to-know article for polymer clay artists who have purchased a Dremel. (And suddenly I find myself singing "Dremel, Dremel, Dremel / I bought to use with clay...") I found other people looking for said info, but no answers, not even on the Dremel website. What bit should I get for drilling beads? What should I use to polish them? Etc.? I did, however, discover that there are no less than 27358903 accessories for Dremel rotary tools. Yikes.

The one useful thing I found, since the initial inspiration for my getting this tool was to be able to drill through lentil beads, was a tutorial for making a jig to use for drilling through lentil beads. So yay! I had my first construction project. This meant--oh how exciting--I would get to go to Lowe's to buy some quarter round (my first experience in the lumber area, awesome!) and some clamps. I had some scrap wood, a big needle, and Gorilla Glue already on hand.  

Well, Blog, I got waylaid a little by cooking, but that was good, because I discovered our two nice kitchen knives were really dull. Instead of using the sharpener in the drawer, I took them down to my new Dremel studio in the basement and sharpened them with the D-dawg! (Probably not his official name.) They are now literally killer sharp, Blog!

Well, I was successful in whipping out that jig ("Use Dremel to cut and sand quarter round, check."). And I was ALSO successful in drilling lentil beads using it!  "Check again.") Thanks to advice from my friend Paul, I used one of the small drill bits I had for our electric drill, with a collet I ordered online (different size than what came with the set). This worked WAY better than my first trial attempt at drilling, when I used the cutting tool that came with the Dremel and looked deceptively like a drill bit. That ended up just carving the bead all up. I must say, it's weird that the set doesn't seem to have your basic drill bit...that whole topic was my biggest point of confusion. Anyway, here's a photo of my setup, with the new jig in the foreground, and you'll see the drilled bead hanging out with the equipment too.

Okay, so yeah, that was awesome. But I wanted to do something really fantastic next. While at Lowe's I found some glass tiles that were pretty enough for jewelry (the check out girl raved about them too). I also had some colorless glass pebbles that I'd bought to use for jewelry somehow but never figured out how. TILL NOW! I was able to drill holes in both using the diamond bit I bought online, underwater in a little plastic tray. Well, aren't the possibilities endless NOW, Blog? So here's what I made with these items, in the photo. And yes, I'm thrilled.

What next for me and my Dremel tool who I suspect is going to end up just being called "Dremel"? Not sure, but I have a hankering to find a piece of steel and force-rustify it, and make it into something that needs to be drilled....  

Stay tuned. And if anyone out there wants to share any good Dremel resources, please comment!


  1. I just came from June's blog and i wanted to tell you how much i like your pieces for the creativity prompt. Making Christmas presents is definately the direction i want to move towards. I LOVE the robot especially. I'll bet your dad did too!

  2. He did, thank you so much, Jinxxxy! I hope you do go the homemade route next Christmas. You and your loved ones will be glad you did!

  3. Cool piece you made. Wound't never have thought about drilling glass underwater in a tray. You go girlfriend. Yes you and "Dremel" will go far!

  4. Thanks, Dawna! I hope you love your Dremel workstation as much as I love mine.