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Flexshafts in general


#1

I have 2 foredoms at my main bench- one (a R model that I bought
in 1979) has a Faro handpiece on it, the other an S model with a
#30 handpiece that has a 3/8" diameter split mandrel (5/32" shank
made by “Crazy” Albert who worked wizardry with his father in
Astor Jewelry Co’s tool room) that I wrap with a strip of 320 wet
or dry paper for inside ring sanding. Sometimes I put something
else in it’s chuck.

What I will advise to all of you who contemplate new tool
purchases- look at them as lifelong professional investments. The
$150 or so I spent in 1979 for my R flexshaft (replaced a 10 year
old CC model that I sold to a wood carver) was a chunk of money
at the time- but though the shaft and sheath have been replaced
several times the flex shaft runs flawlessly and is used
constantly. Good tools are worth buying- and often pay for
themselves many times over, saving both time and frustration. My
original flex shaft replaced a Dremel- I’d never buy another. I
am looking at micromotors, however. Rick

Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#2

I agree . Spend the extra money on a good piece of equipment.
It will be with you for life if you take care of it. I am
still using my foredom CC that I purchased in 1976 while a
student at Tyler, with the original shaft and spring, and a #30
handpiece. There is nothing like a good piece of equipment.

Barry


#3

Rick: Hear,hear. That goes for all kinds of tools–from
tweezers to files. The really good ones make the work easier and
the cheap ones take much longer so you lose money in the end
anyway. Sandra/ElegantBee


#4

Rick:

I would agree that the Foredom beats the Dremel and is worth the
investment. I had something like a variable speed Dremel until I
got my Foredom. I was getting ready to plunk down the money for
the Foredom or a Rioflex when I found an old dental drill with a
Foredom model C motor. I got a belt for the dental drill, which
had collets, and used it a while and then got a shaft and sheath
and that long cone shaped thing and associated parts that
attaches your motor to the sheath and a #30 handpiece. I think
all the parts were $80 and the model CC would have been a good
deal more. I got a carbon fiber foot control at the local sewing
machine place for about $20 and wired the whole thing up. So I
have a cobbled together Foredom system. If any of you find a
dental drill for sale cheap, look close, it may be a Foredom or
similar moter. One jeweler wanted to buy my motor because it’s
chrome plated, look s real nice.

The only problem I’ve had is with the #30 handpiece, which was
reduced about $10 because it was surplus stock or something. The
thing never has been right, sometimes it gets too hot to hold if
I polish a lot with it. Any ideas on what’s wrong?


#5
 The only problem I've had is with the #30 handpiece, which
was reduced about $10 because it was surplus stock or
something.  The thing never has been right, sometimes it gets
too hot to hold if I polish a lot with it.  Any ideas on what's
wrong? 

Got to be your bearings. Does it spin smoothly? I’ll use a #30
for a half hour straight and not feel any heat. I believe the
bearings are replaceable, but you would probaly have to send it
off somewhere.

Dick Caverly


#6

Rick: Hear,hear. That goes for all kinds of tools–from
tweezers to files. The really good ones make the work easier and
the cheap ones take much longer so you lose money in the end
anyway.

Poor tools in my shop have but one fate- out of my life- given
away, boxed in the basement, tossed in the trash in response to
the frustration they are causing.

One of my studio mates was teasing me last Saterday- she ran an
errand to a local lumberyard- and tried to aquire the
saleperson’s “He who dies with the most tools wins” T Shirt for
me.

Rick
Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#7

The only problem I’ve had is with the #30 handpiece, which was
reduced about $10 because it was surplus stock or something. The
thing never has been right, sometimes it gets too hot to hold if
I polish a lot with it. Any ideas on what’s wrong?

Years ago I had one #30 handpiece that got hot- too much
lubrication from the shaft had gotten into it. I cleaned it out
and it ran cooler. I’ve also seen this happen with one of the
other brands that someone had- bad bearings?

I have 2 extra #30 handpieces (one is dedicated to Dave Aren’s
Koil Kutter) so if one was running annoyingly hot, it would get
exchanged with another. If cleaning your current handpiece
doesn’t work, and if you primarily use 3/32" shank burs, invest
in a Faro quick change handpiece- they are comfortable and
thinner, and run very true. I use mine with carbide setting burs.

Rick
Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#8

Rick,

I completely agree with what you said about Foredoms and
Dremels. But at the time I was a student and did not have the $
for the Foredom, and I have had no complaints so far (6 years)
using the Dremel. For someone really strapped for cash and not
too serious about jewelry, it is not too bad an option. But
since I have started doing jewelry full time, I have learned that
it is well worth paying good money for good tools and when my
Dremel dies I will definately get a Foredom. Just that even
after being spoiled and using Foredoms on the job for 3 years, I
have not felt the need to discard the Dremel flexshaft yet. For
someone not so serious, it may not be a bad option.

Jill
@jandr
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk


#9
The thing never has been right, sometimes it gets too hot to
hold if I polish a lot with it.  Any ideas on what's wrong? <<

Two possible problems come to mind; a bad bearing(s) or the
bearings are out of alignment with each other.

The #30 is basically 1 inch OD aluminum tube that has a ball
bearing pressed in each end. The bearings support a 1/4 inch
steel shaft that has a Jacobs chuck on 1 end & the flexshaft
connection on the other.

I’ve replaced the bearings in a couple of # 30’s that were used
for grinding rocks. The rock dust really did a number on the
bearings, front one especially. If you need to replace a bearing,
replace both. I got the

bearings at a local bearing supplier, look in the Yellow pages.
Replacements were about $4.00 each. Get the best quality you
can, they turn at 15,000+ rpm.

Dave


#10

Dick:

I’ll bet you’re right about the bearings. Don’t know how it got
that way — maybe it was old stock that was stored somewhere
wet or it corroded somehow. I had this problem from when I got
it. I’ll have to see about new bearings. Any one know anything
about that?


#11

hi jess, something is causing the bearings to overheat. this can
be caused by: side load on the bearings, slightly bent
shaft(inside the handpiece or inside the sheath) or bad
bearings. the sheath of the foredom can actually be moved back
and forth by adjusting the sheath at the motor. sometimes the
cable that actually does the spinning protrudes too far from the
sheath causing an excessive side load on the bearings inside the
handpiece.

best regards,

geo fox


#12

Rick:

Re: the hot #30, I did lube it up a good bit when I bought it,
and maybe when it got hot I “solved” the problem by dropping some
more oil in it, so I’m going to get it as far apart as I can and
get as much oil out as I can. Didn’t think (duhhh!) about the oil
coming down the shaft into the handpiece. Seems to get hot only
sometimes, but that could be when I have left it for long periods
hanging down where the oil could drain into it. And it takes a
while to heat up, so maybe I only notice it when I am polishing
a while.


#13
The only problem I've had is with the #30 handpiece, which was
reduced about $10 because it was surplus stock or something. 
The thing never has been right, sometimes it gets too hot to
hold if I polish a lot with it.  Any ideas on what's wrong? 

I had this same problem, so I decided to tear it down and
investigate. The bearings used in these are “cheap” and tend to
heat up. I asked a machinist buddy of mine if I could get some
better bearings for it. We finally located some, only problem was
that I had to buy quantities of six…Works much better now. If
anyone is interested, I’ll try to find the company that sells
them and how much they were. ( It seems to me that they were
about $6.00 each). Ken


#14

It is difficult for non-professionals in this field to devote
the money necessary to buy all the tools they need (and after 28
years I am still buying tools- some of which have been suggested
on this forum!). What I can do, and other members of the forum
can do, is try to suggest tools, that from our various
experiences, are a good value, last, and get the job done with
the least waste of time and money.

So for all of you on the forum- Orchid is an incredible
resource- keep asking great questions and replying with
informative answers!

As for the Dremel/Foredom question- some forum members use even
more expensive rotary tools- air powered handpieces and
micromotors and belt driven dental handpieces. Someone out there
probably learned how to use a bow drill. We forget- in the end it
is the results that truely count, making wonderful art with the
tools that are at hand. (I once watched a show where Martin Mull
played a song on a plastic Mickey Mouse guitar, quite well).

Rick
Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#15

Re: the hot #30, I did lube it up a good bit when I bought it,
and maybe when it got hot I “solved” the problem by dropping some
more oil in it, so I’m going to get it as far apart as I can and
get as much oil out as I can. Didn’t think (duhhh!) about the oil
coming down the shaft into the handpiece. Seems to get hot only
sometimes, but that could be when I have left it for long periods
hanging down where the oil could drain into it. And it takes a
while to heat up, so maybe I only notice it when I am polishing
a while.

The bearings are supposed to be permanently lubricated. It is a
really good idea to remove the sheath from the shaft of your flex
shaft and wipe the dirty grease off it and relubricate it with
foredom’s flex shaft grease or vasoline.

Rick
Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#16

Ken:

Look at my post of today about my talk with the lady at Foredom.
She indicated the Foredom bearings are $12 each for the two in
the handpiece and that the bearings in the #30 have to be pressed
in by soeone who knows how to do it. The bearings in most of the
other handpieces just slip in. So-o-o-o, how did you get them
out and back in. If this is a farily simple procedure that a
local machinist can accomplish cheaply, I’d be interested in
finding out the price and type of the bearings you put in, altho’
the handpiece is working OK right now.


#17
 I'll have to see about new bearings.  Any one know anything
about that? 

The bearings shouldn’t be too expensive, around $5.00 ea. Check
the yellow pages under Bearings. Most cities over 25K have at
least 1 bearing supply

house. Give them a call; they’ll want to know the bearing
outside diamete r (OD) & inside diameter (ID) & probably what
grade of bearing you want, (they’ll help you with this one) just
give them the max speed it’ll operate at & the duty cycle. FWIW
space craft bearings cost more than roller skat e bearings (bg).

Dave


#18

George:

Thanks for replying on the #30 overheating. Since someone
suggested it was too much oil, I looked over at my bench and saw
the handpiece (which is sometimes set on the bench with the
sheath in a U) dangling with the oil from the sheath (possibly)
draining into the handpiece. Also I remembered the last time it
got too hot I had OILED it. I called Foredom Customer Service
(not toll free) and got a very nice lady who told me I had
probably burned up the bearings with too much oil. All should
note that there is a shaft grease made by Foredom (stock # 10006)
that should be used on the shaft very sparingly. DON’T USE MOTOR
OIL like dummy here. Anyway, the bearings are $12 each (two of
them) and they have to be press fitted into the handpiece by your
dealer or Foredom. Rep said the labor would be about $10. She
also said to (I am not making this up) take the sheath off the
cable and wash it out with Dawn or some other degreaser as there
would be black grunge in there (there was).

Sooo — I took the sheath off, Dawned it, alcoholed it,
acetoned it. Did the same to the handpiece (which I thought I
might save and couldn’t ruin any further). After alcohol in the
handpiece I cooked it in the toaster oven @ 160F to dry it out
and then used some acetone on it. Handpiece makes a little noise
which may indicate somewhat bad bearings (I don’t know, never
having had any other), but my speed is much better and so far it
doesn’t get hot.

Also discussed other handpieces with the nice lady on the phone
and she said some people were using the lever on the Faro type
handpiece for a brake (a definite no-no). I asked about
overheating with the #8 and she said if you didn’t get too much
oil in them, they didn’t do so. Does anyone have a #8? A collet,
quick change style which is much cheaper than the Faro and
Techno.

Well, that’s the saga of the #30 so far. Don’t oil yours!