Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by darth_manu, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. darth_manu

    darth_manu Well-Known Member

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    after seeing everyone using a dremel/rotary tool to modify their rubies vader helmet to cut out the linings near the eyes. I bought myself one.
    I want to cut out the 2 parts in red, they are pretty thin. around 2-3mm thick
    pic borrowed from Darth Domain's
    But when I use the tool with the cutting disc(i circled it on the manual and picture below) the whole disc breaks. :angry
    The manual doesn't say how to use this, it just illustrate how to turn it on and change accessories

    am i doing something wrong here? am i using the wrong accessory?
    please someone help
  2. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    uhm... well, kinda obvious but you are using those cutting discs.

    they suck.

    they have fiberglass ones that cut a bajillion times better, and less shrapnel to pick out of your forehead (how i gave up those discs).

  3. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    what material are you trying to cut. about the only thing I use those for is cutting metal pins and nails and whatnot. if you apply any kind of pressure across the disc, it will break. I have a metal cutting tool like that for cutting plastic/resin/etc...
  4. darth_manu

    darth_manu Well-Known Member

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    I'm just trying to cut abs plastic, pretty thin too
    and the * disc broke .lol
    do i need to buy a metal disc for this rotary tool?
    or is the tool useless now. :(
  5. DarthCalibar

    DarthCalibar Well-Known Member

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    id just cut it with tin snips if possible, and then smooth the edges. or just get better cutting discs. if its a wireless rotary tool it might just be the tool isnt strong enough, ive seen wireless rotary tools that you can stop with your fingers, arent very strong. good luck.
  6. RedTwoX

    RedTwoX Sr Member

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    Use the Heavy cut-off disk. The "regular" ones are garbage (as you've already noticed).

    I usually use the fiberglass cut off wheel.
  7. TK9120

    TK9120 Sr Member

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    I would use one of the grinding stones. Just grind the main stuff away then thake light passes to clean it up.
  8. kapow

    kapow Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the grinding stones. Those cutting discs have minds of their own and have almost impaled myself with them on several occasions when they decided to "cut loose".

    Safety goggles, friend...
  9. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Yes, I used the grinding tool to do mine. I suggest that.

    I also agree that you need to use a fiberglass cutting wheel if you are going use a cutting wheel. And remember to wear those safety glasses. :D
  10. Darth Detroit

    Darth Detroit Sr Member

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    I usually yse the tungsten cutting bit myself. Use the heavy duty fiber-reinforced wheels if you need to cut a stright line. Those sheepy ones are a hazard. and PLEASE make sure to use eye protection. Especially with the cheap ones.
  11. juno

    juno Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I usually just double up the thin ones and that stops the breakage.

    It's already been said, but I'll say it again -- eye protection is your friend. I got a good gash on my nose from a flying cutting wheel.
  12. Firespray

    Firespray Well-Known Member

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    I've used the tube with the sandpaper that you show in your picture with much success. I feel I have better control with them and it's better to remove unwanted pieces slowly than to risk messing up your helmet.
  13. darth_manu

    darth_manu Well-Known Member

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    thx everyone for the suggestions, i would not dare use any tools without eye googles. lol i'll probably try to grinding stones.
  14. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    the grinding stones are useless, use the drum sanders they are far better

    the disks are breaking cause you are bending them, i've used hundreds of them,trust me.
  15. stormtrooperguy

    stormtrooperguy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i use a variety of things... sanding drums, cut off discs, carbide cutting bits. eventually you just get a feel for how they all handle.

    i always recommend that people NOT learn to use the tool on the thing they want to tweak... practice on some junk first.

    for example, i have a bunch of hard hats scattered around the basement (leftovers from needing the liners for helmets). take something like that and practice cutting with different tools.

    the thin discs have their uses, but any time you go in for a less than perfectly straight cut they snap. for a bit area, i'll usually use plung cuts with the disc for the rough shape (rather than trying to follow the curve, just push the disk through, then take it out, move it, and push through again), then use the sanding drum to clean up.

    also note that the speed of the tool can melt the plastic, so you may have some extra cleanup to do there.
  16. Darth Domain

    Darth Domain Well-Known Member

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    I go with this. I scratched around a line around to give me a definitive point where the plastic had to be grinded down to (similar to where you have drawn the red lines). I did use the metal wheel to remove some stuff, but i did it very lightl;y and let the tool do the work and did not force it. Then i moved to a grinding stone and very gently got as close to the edges as i can (it cuts through it like butter so be careful). Then when all round the socket was near to the edge i had scratched in, i filed then.
    Just some advice when using the cutting wheel, wear googles, if it should shatter there would be alot of shrapnel flying. :thumbsup
    I've also got a tip for ya. I don't know how others have filled in the eye slots so the new lenses fit but i used this method:
    I covered the lenses that i am using in one layer of masking tape nice and tight so you can see the full shape of the lenses. i then put the lenses in from behind the mask, taped them in so they would not move then you can see all of the gaps where the socket needs to be filled. With the lenses still in place i then filled all of the gaps, let the filler dry hard, then gently removed the lenses from behind. The masking tape stops filler getting on the lenses and you are left with sockets that are filled and will be perfectly flush agaisnt the new lenses. Its just a case of gently filing then. I'll post a couple of pics tonight if you like. It just saved lots of fillin, sandind, filling again etc
  17. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member

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    For myself, if I am cutting/trimming the eyes in a vader helmet.........the best tool to use is the small diameter sanding drum on the dremel. It gets in pretty tight corners and still works well across the curved areas. The bigger drum works better in the less curved areas if you don't mind changing it out. The sanding drums will always leave a less gouged surface when trimming plastic, or so I've found. Then I go back with a skinny metal side cutting drill tip to get the really tight corners. Then finish it off with a mini needle file by hand.

    Dave :)
  18. voice in the crowd

    voice in the crowd Sr Member

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    For really fine detailing I find diamond points very useful they cut most things well and if used properly dont break often. They tend to break if you bend them too much.

    Here is a good example of them from the company I buy from on Ebay

    Just a note an individual one of these made by dremel can cost £6 (in Homebase, B&Q etc) on its own these fit a dremel and you get 20 pieces for about a tenner (depending on if you want to bid or buy it now).

    Cheers Chris.
  19. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    Good point Mark. It is important that you let the tool do the work, dont force it. Just guide the tool where you need it to go.
  20. DarthCalibar

    DarthCalibar Well-Known Member

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    Its not an exact science, what works for one person might not work for you. Just try different discs, grinding stones, sanding bits, etc. until you find what you like best. i personally just use the discs, tho they are a pain when your cutting and all the sudden a peice of the disc flys off and you have to duck for cover :)
  21. dirtydave

    dirtydave Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i used the sanding drum to do the final trimming on my sandtrooper gives you great control,just be careful of the molten plastic.
  22. Star Wars Man

    Star Wars Man Well-Known Member

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    i got to disagree, i dont like the fiberglass reinforced, it is so thick. i use my really thin suckish cut off wheels cuz they are thin. and what type or dremel do you have? 400 xpr? i do. i use those wheels on speed 6 when i cut my i think... 2 mm styrene. if that doesnt work, use the heavy duty but not the fiberglass ones. and as a general rule of thumb, dont press to hard. now some pressure must be applied, but dont just like RAM it into the mask.

    another thing. ya, dont cut right on the line. cuz the wheel will cut off a little too much. cut "before" the line and then grind it down nice.
  23. darth_manu

    darth_manu Well-Known Member

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    WOW. awesome stuff
    thank you everyone for all the responses, I've finally cut the eyes out without any problems with the grinding stones.

    this is a great place isn't it? :D
  24. Darth Kahnt

    Darth Kahnt Sr Member

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    It sure is. I have learned more here in the past 7 months than I learned through all university (the fact that I was constantly drunk in university may have something to do with that). :D

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