Making a Better Dremel Buffing Wheel

Desiree's stitched polyester felt buffing wheel

Anita's stitchless cotton buffing wheel

Introduction

While I thought my main buffing tool was a Foredom bench model, I find, more and more that I'm favoring my variable speed Dremel for its convienence, extreme portability and increased suitability for doing small to modest sized items like beads and pendants. IMHO, the key drawback with my Dremel, however, had been it's tiny cloth buffing wheel, a thin little disc that's about 3/8th inch thick and 1 inch in diameter. The area that actually touches the item to be buffed was very small - too small for my needs. Dremel's cloth wheel was also a bit too course for polymer clay. Which is understandable since it was not designed with polymer clay in mind. On the page Make a Better Dremel Spindle , I describe how I made a spindle to accommodate holding more than one Dremel cloth buffing wheel. On this page, I want to share with you how I made a superior (IMHO) buffing system. I didn't think this one up, Becca Crauswell did (the 'angel'), who told a wonderful email friend who suggested I try making one. So I did! In fact, I made two. Then I tested my new buffing system on some unfinished polyclay eggs I had layi ng about. (heh heh) I must say I've buffed/buffed for quite a few years using various methods and machines, including a Foredom bench buffer with a cotton wheel, not to be confused with the slightly

you will need to d irect any questions about it to her via her Esty store. because I can make the wheels any size I want. Since I haven't tried it yet. But that blasted Dremel is so darn convenient. Make sure it's soft and at least 3/16 inch thick ). Below are instructions for two different types of buffing wheels: y y Desiree's stitched polyester felt Anita's stitchless cotton sheet o I considered Anita's technique so clever. It produces a wonderful shine in at least a 1/3 . I also find my Foredom bench buffer to be great. OR some possible alternatives to felt (any of these need to be tightly woven) o a nice soft piece tightly woven aged denim o sweat pants or shirts o you get the idea . Desiree's stitched polyester felt Here's what I used: y y y y y y a square foot of polyester felt (make sure it's not wool felt regular wool felt is too coarse). The trick is the polyester felt. keep in mind you need to do a good sanding job first or no amount of buffing will help. I use both appliances.1.) And for those who ha ve not buffed before.1/4 of the time.5" diameter circle template a way to stitch (preferably a sewing machine) 1" long spindle (click Make a Better Dremel Spindle . (OK. I was a little excited in the beginning. if you can. Plus. I highly recommend trying this. For sources. I asked her if I could include it in this tute. Don't get me wrong. I went from liking my Dremel to loving it and wanting to buff anything in site. try thefeltpeople .courser muslin wheel. I find I use it most of the time. for how to make your own) .thickfelts (Durafelt) or talk to the nice folks at Nancys Sewing Basket .-) scissors a 1" .

depending on how much I buff. I usually stitch 4 circles to make one wheel and join three wheels on that modified wood screw. I suspect you can cut out larger circles for making a buffing wheel that would fit on a bench buffer. This outline pattern stitching provides minimal reinforcement for the wheel. With the type of felt I use. Make a hexagonal outline and a 5pt star outline on the top felt circle. this buffing wheel lasts me at least a year. the stiff er and stronger you can make the wheel's core. Cut them out as precisely as possible. make a spot dead center in the top circle.5 inch diameter circles on the polyester felt.5" or you'll overwork the motor and shorten its life. the better. of course. 3) With a felt marker. 4) Trim as best as possible with scissors. I usually make 3 sets and stack them together. More stitching within the hexagonal outline can make it stronger. Since the felt material is so soft. mark 1. But don't make the wheels that you'll use on the Dremel any larger than 1. .y felt marker 1) Using your circle template. 2) Stack 4 circles on top of each other. Stitch along those outlines. so I'll cut out 12 circles. Note 1: These directions are for a wheel that can be mounted on a hand held rotary tool like a Dremel.

about 1. Trim the squares a bit to reduce the workload. Caution .. Stagger their positions so 3-4 squares stacked on top of each other looks like a 12 -16 point star.Note 2: Another method is to cut out squares instead of circles.. Why a star? It spins cooler. Make 2-3 of those sets. Anita's stitchless cotton sheet I cut several approx.5" square in size. You'll need to stitch the set in the center area to make sure they remain staggered.make sure the squares aren't too big.and tied a wire around When you turn on the . which is better for polymer clay. the wheel is too big and is overloading the motor. 2" . If you hear the motor pitch is lower when running.

drywall sandpaper . underneath the "drum".. Couple of points: if the damp is too damp. If it's too dry you'll end up generating more dust. I asked her if I could include it in this tute . When I make the beads I start with a hole in them. the cloth disks spread out like an umbrella and do a great job buffing. you'll end up generating a nice spray of fine clay bits all over anything in the ar ea. Clean magic eraser If you have a dremel tool one of the most useful accessories is the dremel collet set which allows you to use various drill bit sizes. For those that are concerned about clay dust. I can't take credit for the drywall sandpaper idea. Sometimes I use the upper half (where the cloth is pulled over the "drum") for removing small imperfections. you may want to wear a dust mask during this portion. I will post a bit on the beads later but here's how I go about my sanding (though there's a twist that I tried today that I didn't teach at Morrisburg). You can see a picture of the kit here here. I considered Anita's technique so clever. and it seems to work great.it's actually desirable to have the bit snug in the bead. just drill a bit through .. While people ooh -aahhed over the beads by far the most enthusiasm was for how I sanded them. Since I haven't tried it yet. The damp paper towel keeps a lot of the dust down. What you need: . Tutorial . but if you don't have a hole. you will need to direct any questions about it to her via her Esty store. Cathy M from Guild taught us the value . Dremel.How-to with a dremel tool and magic eraser Hi Everyone.180 grit wet/dry sandpaper .Mr. Today's post is long with a lot of detours as I point out various bits and pieces. The first step is to put the bead on the drill bit.diameter circles from a 600 thread count satin cotton sheet (it's very soft and dense at the same time). stacked them on top of each other. Put some damp paper towel or rag underneath some drywall sandpaper. particularly at this website since I paid more than 2x that at our local home depot. It'll loosen up and I'll get to that in a bit. The kits are cheap.dremel tool with assorted collets and drill bits .???). folded the stack over a Dremel sanding bit (the one that looks like a little drum. Lay the drywall sandpaper on top. At Morrisburg a while back I did a tutorial on how to make the Michael Buessler beads and how I sand them. But I do not like sewing and tried to rig the cloth this way.

This is OK. then clicked on the grouping and exported as jpeg. but there are a lot of sharp edges on it. The bead is fully baked at this point. If I get frustrated I'll move to a larger drill bit and that will last a while. Turn on the machine and press it against the drywall paper. You can see in the first section of the photo below (click on the photo to get a bigger image. Feel free to try to push down harder on the edges to give a more tapered bead (I'll show that in a different posting) and to flip the bead on the bit. grouped them. I'm tempted to try to bake the bit into the clay and see what happens with that (though that's how I bent the mandrel). I can't figure out how to make it larger in the blog) that I've roughly shaped the bead into a cylinder. it just makes the process a bit slower. back to the lesson. It should start to smooth out as you can see in the middle photo. OK. I didn't on one of the beads and I bent the mandrel that the bead was sitting on and the bead went flying off across the room. but go slow! . If you're curious as to how I got the first three images together as one image.. I'm not sure why it happens.. on some beads it does and some it doesn't. You can a lso start experimenting with speeds. Sometimes what will happen is that the drill bit will go all the way through the bead and the bead will start spinning on the bit rather than the bit spinning the bead. I brought them into Microsoft PowerPoint. enough detour.of this tool. There's some trial and error here. Which brings me to another MORE IMPORTANT point .wear protective eye covering since unusual things can and will happen. make sure that you've got your speed set to the lowest speed. For whatever reason the red beads that I made do this more than some of the other colours. IMPORTANT!!! Before touching the dremel tool to the sandpaper. and she got it from someone who got it from someone who got it from one of the clay greats.

I've been seeing things on the Internet alluding to the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers being good as clay tools(if you don't know what I'm talking about . Once you've got it as smooth as you think you can get it (you want the big scratches removed from the first sanding). But. At this point there's quite a bit of spinning of the bead and it doesn't take any pressure at all to make the bead stop spinning while the bit continues. This is a sanding sponge t hat's 180 grit that I bought in the paint department of our hardware store. you can go see it here) though I haven't seen anything concrete (I haven't been looking too . Now you're ready to move onto the sanding sponge.five minutes) you'll get the bead smooth as in the third part of the first photo. This next step is where I differed from what I taught at Morrisburg. Adding more water seems to help. You'll generate a bit of clay sludge on the sandpaper .Eventually (in my photos it was about three . if you're futzing with the bead because it's so slippery on the bit then it'll take longer. I dampen the sponge and hold the tool to the sponge. you're ready to move onto the next step. The sanding sponge if everything goes well takes maybe a couple of minutes tops.that's actually useful because it serves as a finer grinding surface and helps with the polishing.

All told. I played around on a variety of surfaces with the buffing. it's probably 10 minutes of polishing. as you can see after a couple of minutes buffing. No big deal unless you're making a matched pair. and no futzing for many minutes before baking the bead trying to get a perfect cylinder. A shop t owel paper towel seems to work just as well as anything. So I thought I'd try this today. So this piece looked like it might work on the bead. Tore a piece off one of the ones tha t I had. At this point my bead is way too loose on the bit to make it useful for buffing. the bead broke because one of the slices separated. And here's the finished buffed piece. My husband gave me one for Christmas and I've been experimenting with it on and off. Beauty!!! It took away all of the fine scratches with no problems and I was ready to move onto the buffing. But. I'm a complete newbie when it comes to the dremel tool. I switch ed to one of my other dremel tool attachments. but no scraped fingernails.hard). . just remove the slice and put the bead back on. dampened it and tried running the bead on it.

IMHO. a thin little disc that's about 3/8th inch thick and 1 inch in diameter (A). the accessory that fits into the Dremel to hold the cloth wheel. I'd love to hear about them. I've always wanted to.Hope this helps. . Success! I figured out a solution that looks like it will accommodate at least 1 -2 more wheels.too small for my needs. Sandy Making a Better Dremel Buffing Mandrel This page describes how I made a customized buffing Dremel spindle to hold more than one cloth buffing wheel. has room for only one. While my main buffing tool is a Foredom bench model. Here's what you'll need if you want to do the same. at least. the key drawback with the Dremel. heh heh. Today I decided to see what I could do to change that limitation. however. I find I favor my variable speed Dremel (C) for its convienence. is it's tiny cloth buffing wheel. but the spindle (B). extreme portability and in creased suitability for doing small items like beads. The area that actually touches the item to be buffed ends up being very small . If anyone else discovers some modifications to what I've said here that make things even easier. Enjoy. add a second disk to double the buffing area.

What you need to do is find a screw where the non -threaded part is a thickness that will fit into the Dremel.metal file .pliers * Some folks have mentioned they have had trouble fi nding that size screw.variable speed Dremel rotary tool (C) . Sparks will likely fly but that's okay. 4) Twist the first cloth buffing wheel onto the pointy. you've got yourself a buffing wheel "spindle". 1) Put on your safety goggles. Make ABSOLUTELY SURE to wear safety goggles when doing this because tiny bits of metal could wind up in your eyes. The end of the screw that you've just filed is the end that goes into the Dremel.two nice new cloth buffing wheel s (A) . 2) Cut off the head of the 5 X 1 -1/2" screw using your Dremel and the metal cutting emery wheel attachment. With the screw head removed.* zinc wood screw.safety goggles . threaded end of your new spindle until about 3/8ths inch of the screw's end shows. . Use one of the spindles that comes with the the Dremel so you can do a good job of estimating sizes. Hold the threaded end with some pliers because it will get too hot to hold when you perform the next step. Take one wood screw. Twist on the second cloth wheel until it is right up against the first wheel and just the tip of the screw shows.metal cutting emery wheel {Dremel #409} and its spindle {Dremel #402} (D) .. 3) File any rough cut edges using a metal file disk or a metal file. 5 X 1-1/2" (E) .

Congrats. En bonne feignante. like a counter top or table edge. Note: If you want to make your own buffing wheel that is optimal for polymer clay.5) Mount the screw and wheel accessory into the Dremel and spin for a few minutes against some kind of hard edge. Si vous deviez n'avoir qu'une sorte de grain.. elle lustre. You've just doubled your Dremel buffing capacity! hee hee. j'utilise les outils qui facilitent le travail! Alors voici une astuce connue mais qu'il est bon de rappeler! Il suffit d'une bonne mini-perceuse type Dremel et d'un vieux jeans! Mais avant ça un peu d'huile de coude au dessus de l'évier de la cuisine pour un peu de ponçage au papier de verre de carrossier que l'on trouve dans beaucoup de magasins de bricolage.. Je commence au grain 600 en général pour aller jusqu'au 1000 tout dépend des pièces et du rendu que l'on souhaite. le 800 est très bien! Donc pour faire des disques à lustrer pour une mini-perceuse il faut découper une 10aine de disques dans un vieux jeans Ensuite appliquer de la super glue au centre . click here . On m'a souvent demandé comment certaines de mes pièces brillaient autant sans vernis. tu lustres. Je lustre. to remove the first few loose cloth threads.

Il sera plus facile d'ajouter une rondelle que d'en retirer une donc vérifier avant avec le mandrin (photo suivante)) Voici le support nécessaire pour fixer les disques: un mandrin et 2 rondelles. attendre que la colle soit sèche et percer au centre (perso j'ai mis 9 rondelles mais tout dépend de l'épaisseur du jeans. l'outil est quasi fini! Il faut l'"affûter" un peu car là c'est un peu raide.Coller les disques les uns sur les autres Lorsque 8 disques ont été collés. Et voilà. Avant de l'utiliser .

faites le tourner sur une surface dure (métal par exemple) qui ne craint pas pour "casser" un peu la rigidité et évacuer les 1ères fibres. ATTENTION!!!!!!! La vitesse de rotation détermine le succès ou l'échec du lustrage donc partez doucement au départ et faîtes des tests sur les pièces auxquelles vous ne tenez pas! On trouve aussi des disques à polir en tissus tout fait chez dremel par exemple comme celui là tout neuf tout vieux Celui-là est quand même un peu plus dense et donc un peu plus dur avec la fimo. mais plus il est vieux et mieux c'est.sur de la pâte. Voilà ! Lustrez bien! . Vous remarquerez aussi très vite lorsque vous lustrer qu'un coup de balais est obligatoire ensuite et que ça chatouille le nez car les fibres s'envolent au fur et à mesure.

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