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Dremel instead of grinding wheels?


#1

All,

I’m a beginning silversmith just starting to get equipment together
again.

I use Navajo-style drop casting of silver into Tufa (fine pumice)
molds rather than lost wax method.

I’ve noticed that the twin-wheel grinding sets are EXPENSIVE!

For small items, couldn’t I simply use a Dremel instead for the the
grinders, changing bits or wheels as I go further into the grinding
to polishing sequence?

If so, what sequence of bits or wheels would you recommend? And how
much time for each?

Andrew


#2

That’s a long question to answer as a lot of factors are involved in
choosing wheels, etc for different operations on different pieces
but as a sweeping generalization:

Yes a dremel works just fine, particularly wih the flex shaft
attachment on a hanger, and you can buy assortments of wheels
silicone or rubberized or composites that go from a pumice grade to
a very fine grit (1200) to polishing at 6 microns for finishing…but
my best recommendation is to invest in a 3M brand set of radial
bristle discs- the included 3/32" shank fits in the dremel’s chuck
and has a great beginning assortment that does everything from
shaping with the pumice (pink) ones to a high polish with the
included yellow or blue discs.

They make all the tasks you are inquiring about easy, and once you
start using the 3M discs you’ll get hooked… FDJ tools on time,
Indian Jewelrs Supply, Thunderbird Supply, Otto Frei, Contenti and
Rio Grande all sell em… as well as the mizzy heatless wheels for
shaping if you wnat a standard wheel, and the cratex style pink,
blue, white and grey silicone type finishing/polishing wheels for
comparisson can be found at all those sellers as well…the grit
dictates the result- much like sandpapers or polishing papers (which
can be used with a tapered mandrel on dremels also- polishing (3M
tri-m-ite brand wet or dry papers are my favourite polishing papers
and they also have films and other products like mounted pins for
getting into detailed areas, polishing, forming, carving etc…)…no
I don’t work for 3M but I do use many of their products, and think
quite highly of Rich Boer and his Creative Arts Division at
3M-perhaps if you drop him a line he may send you some samples…

RER


#3

Safety, the on off switch on the machine needs to be taken into
account, I for one have been caught out using the flexi shaft on the
Dremel and now like the knowledge that my machine will switch off
when I take my foot of the peddle . But that said Dremel make a
versatile tool