I am a woodworker who ‘jewels’. Anyway, I’ve been doing both kinds
of work for over 40 years and I am willing to try anything. At least
that’s my stated approach to problem solving and creative work - but
I have to put my real-world experience up against my imaginative
willingness. Merely wishing won’t make it so. (Walt Disney and Geo
W Bush to the contrary.) My experience tells me that even if you
could figure out a way to hook up a Foredom handpiece to a 2 HP
router it’s not something you’d be able to control or use safely.
Yes - The back end of a flex shaft machine like Foredom has some
sort of rod - which is the end of the shaft itself - and which
protrudes from an outer tube within which the shaft rotates. The
shaft end could conceivably be adapted to be fixed in your router
collet but the outer tube would have to be fixed to the router motor
housing or baseplate so it cannot rotate along with the shaft. This
is because the other end, the ‘business end’ of the tube is what you
have to hold in your hand when guiding the tool - so, obviously, it
must not rotate.
Your motivation seems to be at least partly due to budget
constraints - trying to get one machine to do double duty instead of
buying a second machine. But to make parts that are machined
accurately and fastened strongly enough to adapt the Foredom to the
router is itself likely to be an expensive custom job - likely more
than the cost of a new Foredom.
As well, I suspect that if you break down the cost of a whole
Foredom kit into its component parts you will find that the motor,
the one part which you want to eliminate, is not a major part of the
total. The shaft, handpiece and motor controls are the major
portion. So you will still need to buy those and you won’t save much
money. In addition, all the routers I know about have a simple
on-off switch so you cannot control the speed of the cutting tool
with the sensitivity required to do handwork. I doubt that router
motors are set up to tolerate a variable speed control even if you
could figure out how to insert that kind of control into the system.
BUT EVEN IF YOU COULD SOLVE THOSE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS - Here’s the
main problem . . .
The router has a certain weight and inertia which enables it to
encounter and pass through various irregularities in the workpiece
without reacting violently to the concommitant changes in resistance.
The large power and weight of the machine is directed against a
relatively small cutting area. It is therefore more likely that the
material will yield to the machine than vice-versa. The router is
typically held firmly with both hands or even mounted in a router
table. A flex shaft handpiece, however, is designed to be a
relatively lightweight item, held typically in one hand, like a
pencil. All the weight of the machine is elsewhere. It is operated
without the ball-bearing guides, fences, or fixed-depth settings of a
router. It is used more-or-less freehand and so a minor change in
material density, or a miniscule change in your angle of attack or
cutting depth, something that a tiny tremor of your hand could
produce, will result in a violent kickback or other uncontrollable
response in the handpiece, damaging your work or your fingers or
So - PLEASE - don’t go off half-cocked with this idea because it is
I’m sure there will be someone out there who will be captivated
enough by the challenge to disagree with me and present you with a
technical solution - just because it can somehow be done - Whether it
solves your budget problem or not. Well,nothing is impossible, I
suppose, except maybe doing fine work without all your fingers.
Enjoy all your hobbies.
Marty in Victoria BC where I can still count to ten without taking
off my shoes