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Grizzly flex shaft

So here’s the situation - I’m an amateur jeweler, still in high
school, hoping to go to art school next year, making some nice stuff
that I sell but primarily just doing it for fun. Right now I’m
working mostly off of tools in the classroom. About a year ago,
(silly naive girl), I bought a dremel with a flex shaft attachment
as a stopgap measure, thinking that it would be impossible to get
anything flexshaftlike for under 100 dollars… when in fact it
probably would have been far smarter to just go for a cheap
harborfreight or grizzy shaft instead. So up until this point I
haven’t seen the point in getting another low-end flex shaft type
tool, it seems like a waste of money.

HOWEVER, some lovely lovely person came across a box with two flex
shaft motors, a foot pedal and some accessories in a flea market
somewhere, thought it looked interesting and donated it to the
school. We’ve tested it somewhat, and one of the motors is
essentially useless, but one works fine when hooked up to the foot
pedal and a shaft. My jewelry teacher isn’t interested in the
(lovely) Foredom H series (sorry, can’t remember the exact model
right now) because its VERY powerful and most students in the program
would be unlikely to use it for anything more complicated that
drilling and occasional light polishing. In addition, it needs
handpiece. She has offered it to me, to take with me when I graduate.

Now the dilemma is… how to get a handpiece. I was looking at
different prices online, and it seems like the lowest i’m going to
get with shipping is about 40 dollars. Now, being the extremely poor
student that I am, I also found the cheapest full flex shaft system
out there - A grizzy flex shaft for 50 dollars, at .

My thought is to primarily use the grizzly handpiece on the rest of
the foredom system, with the other pieces in reserve in case
something fails (this is a fairly old, completely untested machine,
after all.)

My question, then, has several parts. First and most important, can
I use a grizzy handpiece with a foredom shaft and motor, or a grizzy
shaft and handpiece with a foredom motor? Secondly, does anyone have
any experience with the full unit? Thanks again for your wonderful
feedback and patience - I don’t know what I’d do without it.



If all you need to have a fully operational flex shaft is a
handpiece, I have a Foredom #30 handpiece that I am not using. If
this will work for you, you may have it. Free. Just give me your
address, and I’ll ship it to you.


Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107

Hi Rebecca,

I have not seen the Grizzly unit but most flex shaft machines utilize
a standard “key” tip shaft. These can usually use other manufacturers
handpices. The exceptions are Foredoms H Series and TXH Series shafts
which have a square cross section tip. Dremel also has a square drive
shaft but it has a much smaller cross section and can only use their
handpiece. You can go to the foredom website
and verify your motor model to determine which handpiece you require.
Or if you’d like you can call me at 800-441-0625 between 9 am to 4 pm
eastern standard time and I’d be more than happy to answer your
questions and provide maintenance tips.

Mike Zagielski,
Foredom Sales Manager

Hi B’Shalom, Bekka

I noticed in your posting you mentioned the Foredom motor model is H
series. This is very important. The H series (H = heavy duty)
Foredom motor is a really good motor, but it requires Foredom H
seies accessories. In other words, only Foredom H series handpieces
will fit it. I just wanted you to know this before buying a
handpiece that fits almost every flex shaft motor except the one you
have. Maybe someone in the Orchid community uses Foredom H series
equipment and would be interested in working a trade with you.

The Jewelry Equipment Dr.

Go to a few of the jewelers in your area and see if any have extra
hand pieces most will have several of the ones that came with the
fordome they would probably sell one to you real cheap or give it to
you I would give you one but I gave the two extra that I had to my
apprentice. I am sure that some of the other fulltime jewelers on
here have some extras I do have a quick release that is a little
noisy but still works if you cant find anything better let me know
and we can figure somthing out. Save your money dont buy the grizz
also get the broken one if you can foredome rebuilds them cheap or
you can have it done at a motor rewinder I have had to done and they
work great.


It appears to be the same machine as found on harborfreight, but a
different one then found at There is a 16 dollar
difference, which is manageable for me if the contenti machine is
significantly better. Any thoughts?


Ms. Russell,

It sounds like you are well on your way to becoming a real tool
hound. Congratulations! The jewelry industry provides many avenues
for your creative energy. As far as a the flex shaft I have worked
with and owned at least 15 of them over the last 33 years. I highly
recommend them. First, make sure what model you have. If it is the
H series if is a real work horse and should last for ever, maybe
longer. The H series will only work with H series foot petal, and
hand pieces though both will also be heavy duty. The disadvantage is
that you can not hook up other hand pieces to it like a hammer hand
piece or a quick change. The hammer hand piece is great for doing
bezel and channel setting of stones. I am sure that the Foredom will
last longer than any of the budget units out there. They are tried
and true and the industry standard.

The parts from the Grizzly will not work on your Foredom but it may
get you by till you can afford a good unit. The budget units will
not run as smoothly as a Foredom. They are often limited as to what
parts will work with it as well. It may not be any better than your
dremmel at this point. If the Foredom is working and runs smoothly,
I would stick with that. If your not sure of the unit, I would
consider a lighter duty Foredom over any of the budget brands. You
can get them serviced, find replacement parts and they will give you
many many years of great service.

You can also send the other unit in to Rio’s repair department and
see if it can be fixed. We can give you and estimate. Very often
they can. We have a great service dept.

I hope this helps.

Phillip Scott
Technical Support & Sales
Rio Grande

I am so thrilled that Bekka has found us while still in high school.
I wish more aspiring jewelers could get their start younger.

Did I say this already? Sorry if I did, I’m a bit forgetful this

In addition to art school, I encourage you to spend your summers at

Go to jewelry trade schools, get a diploma if you want. Then when
you graduate from art school you’ll have a BA, which will be nice
for putting on your wall and having a degree or whatever, and you’ll
have lots of useful jewelry making skills from trade school that
will help you get a job or help you work for yourself.

Take some gemology classes.

Heck, if you have time, take some appraisal courses too.

Apply to do work study at Arrowmont, free tuition, free room and
board. Totally worth it. Spend 8 weeks at Penland.

Join up all your local guilds NOW. Women’s Jewelry Association,
your closest metals guild, etc. They’ll adore you for knowing what
you want to do so young and will help you. People can’t help but
help people that they see themselves in. It’s like they’re helping
themselves as a young thing.

Consider a women’s business group as well, such as Business and
Professional Women or Women in Management or National Association of
Women Business Owners.

Print up cards. If you don’t have a business, just print up
personal cards with your contact info. You’ll need them as you
become a networking queen.

Go ahead and make plans to start your own business. Read every book
by Barbara Brabec. Go see SCORE at SBA. I started my business at

Send me your address off list, I have an extra flex shaft hand piece
I’ll give you. Happy graduation.

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

So the conclusion about the Grizzy flex shaft is that it won’t work
with my H series Foredom motor. In which case, is there anyone out
there willing to sell me a used 30H, 25H or 44HT handpiece? I can’t
afford a new one, and the machine is useless without it. I can’t even
begin to thank you all enough for everything you’ve taught me
already, I REALLY appreciate it. Thanks again for your time.


Also, does anyone have a source for a cheap or used foot pedal that
I can plug a dental flex shaft with a normal 2 prong outlet
connection into? Similar (I think) to the white dremel foot pedal. I
spent hours online today trying to find something affordable with no
success. Thanks again.


Hi Bekka,

Also, does anyone have a source for a cheap or used foot pedal that
I can plug a dental flex shaft with a normal 2 prong outlet
connection into?

Not having seen your flexshaft I can’t be sure, but many of the
flexshaft motors can be connected to the foot pedal used by sewing
machines. I’ve successfully connected a Pfingst & a Foredom 'C’
motor to sewing machine pedals. The pedal is available from most
sewing machine shops that do repairs. The pedal comes without wires
attached to it so you’ll either have to use the old wires or supply
a new set of wires.


Look into sewing machine footpedals…


   If all you need to have a fully operational flex shaft is a
handpiece, I have a Foredom #30 handpiece that I am not using. If
this will work for you, you may have it. Free. Just give me your
address, and I'll ship it to you. 

Doug, What a wonderful gesture! You are to be commended for your

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

Hey Don,

Do you remember when you first got hooked on making jewelry? I do. I
couldn’t get enough of it. I worked late into the night, I read
everything I could find, I talked to everyone who would listen. I
made what I could with the few tools I had. I was very fortunate to
find a German master goldsmith who was impressed my dedication and
took me on as an apprentice. I had full use of a fully equipped shop.
I also realized that he really didn’t have a LOT of tools, just the
best tools. When I finished my training with him, he gave me a tool
that was given to him by his master. He made me promise to teach
others, and to pass that tool on, if I ever trained a master

I meet a LOT of students. Some are making jewelry because it’s a fun
hobby, some because it may lead to a satisfying career, and a few
because it is their passion. If I can help those passionate few by
offering some old tools, or advise, it makes us both happy. I know
that many of us have a lot of tools that we no longer use or need.
What better way to give an old tool a new life?


Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107

Hi, Bekka, If you aren’t able to find a used H series handpiece, you
could sell the motor (maybe on eBay) and put the money toward
another motor, since you’ve been offered a handpiece for a more
standard unit. Be sure to watch eBay for whatever yoy need–
sometimes you can really get lucky.


 The pedal comes without wires attached to it so you'll either have
to use the old wires or supply a new set of wires. 

This is surprisingly easy. I don’t do electrical work, but even I
can replace a plug. They sell these plug repair kits at the
hardware store and you just cut the wires, strip them a little, open
the new plug, place the wires in and close.

Otherwise, the sewing machine repair guy would probably do it, or
find a local junior college or trade school for electrical work and
ask if they could do it for you.

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


I have a Grizzly flex shaft that now has a sewing machine foot pedal.
I took it to a large sewing machine/vacuum sales and repair store. It
new foot was $10 and all the searching was done by the guys at the
counter. All I had to do was take in my flex shaft and they did the

Bye-the-way, Grizzly dealers replace the foot pedals at nominal cost.

Best regards,