Using a Dremel/Rotary Tool

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by thd9791, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey everyone

    I was wondering, for those less educated in working with tools -

    How does one measure and cut straight lines across a tube? Aka, shortening a tube and not having a crooked or slanted cut?

    Are there any other how-to's I should be aware of? These little things i never learned how to do, so any help would be appreciaed!
     
  2. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    you could cut a little bit away from where you want your cut and then use a file to make the cut smooth and straight.

    Wear Eye protection when using the Cutting disks (and every other time you use the dremel)... they WILL break apart and fly up into your face.
     
  3. miknugget

    miknugget New Member

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    If you're cutting average size tube/pipe I would go with a clamping mitre box and hacksaw instead of the dremel.
     
  4. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Use a piece of making tape, as a guide. Wrap the tape around the tube, and if the edges of the overlapping tape are even, the tape is straight. As long as you don't cut into the tape, your cut will be straight, as well.

    -Fred
     
  5. Force Commander

    Force Commander Well-Known Member

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    I endorse the tape method as well. It seems to work remarkably well.
     
  6. Crank729

    Crank729 Sr Member

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    Wait, what? Are you serious? I didn't know. Never had one break apart on me.
     
  7. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    happened to me loads of time, thankfully they missed my eyes.

    i tend to wear eye protection more now as you only get lucky so many times.
     
  8. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Use diamond tipped metal cutting discs instead of the flimsy ceramic ones. They should be available everywhere where Dremel supplies are being sold.

    I think that a hacksaw is more efficient for this than a rotary tool.
    Instead of just tape, I wrap the end of the tube with graph paper so that I can get the lines aligned completely in parallel. Tape has too much flex in it on its own.

    However, there is an even more efficient and clean way of cutting thin-walled metal tubes: a tube cutter. It is a clamp with rollers and a circular knife (like on a pizza cutter, but not serrated). You clamp it to the tube and rotate it around the tube a few times, increasing the tension each turn around the tube.
    But ... the supply may be limited in your hardware store to handle only small diameters.
     
  9. Purple Dagger

    Purple Dagger Active Member

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    I have had a few disks explode on me. Eye or even face protection is a must.
    As for tube cutting, as stated a tube cutter is the best method I know.
     
  10. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Ditto on shattering discs, be careful.

    And +1 on the tube cutter Tubing Cutter
     
  11. Xenuprime

    Xenuprime Member

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    What about cutting a "scallop" out of the end of an aluminum pipe (.875 thickness)?
     
  12. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Something like this maybe? Tubing & Pipe Notcher
     
  13. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    are ceramic cutting wheels those dark gritty things? I had some with a "mini-generic dremel" and they couldn't even cut through a piece of molding without shattering. Of course that thing had very little power too.

    I see a lot of diamond cutting wheels on ebay, do all of those fit into good rotary tools in general? or are there specific heads that fit different models... Also, i know they are diamond coated or edged, but does that mean they never wear down, or get dull?

    (planning on purchasing my first so im trying to learn as much as possible)
     
  14. DARTH SABER

    DARTH SABER Master Member

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    As already stated, make sure you wear eye protection...The last thing you need is a piece of melted plastic or a hot shard of brass flying into your eye.
     
  15. Crowbot

    Crowbot New Member

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    I used to wear a pair of Dollar Store goggles while using my Dremel to cut utility knife blades (I made miniature sword jewelry), and had the dremel disc snag on a blade and shatter both. A piece of the steel blade STUCK into the lens of the goggles, and cracked the lens vertically. If I hadn't been wearing them, the blade would have gotten me directly in the left eye- It hit so fast I didn't even flinch until after I saw the lens crack. (I wear GOOD safety glasses now!)
     
  16. Jerome

    Jerome Active Member

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  17. greylocke

    greylocke Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For cutting tubing I have tubing cutters. They are a standard plumbing tool and they have replaceable cutting wheels for cutting metal or PVC/CPVC pipe. Some electricians also use them for cutting conduit. You can get them at most hardware stores. You just mark where you want to cut your tubing, then put the cutter on and tighten it down and start twisting it around the tubing, give the tightening screw a turn every few turns. You get a really nice cut that needs minimal cleanup with some emory cloth.

    Ridgid® Midget Tubing Cutter Ridgid No. 104 (32985) - Pipe & Tubing Cutters - Ace Hardware

    Stanley® Tube Cutter (75247) - Pipe & Tubing Cutters - Ace Hardware
     
  18. DrewSmith007

    DrewSmith007 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You can also lay the pipe in a corner, with one end held in place by the floor, or a wall etc. Then, hold a sharpie up to the pipe and rotate the pipe, making the mark all the way around. I used the backsplash in my bathroom as the corner, and ran the other end of the pipe to the wall. Now, if you want an absolutely perfect end, find someone with a lathe.
     
  19. Xenuprime

    Xenuprime Member

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    Any recommendations for a dremel tip to cut a circular hole in thick (2-3") resin?
     
  20. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Try a drill with a Hole Saw
     
  21. exoray

    exoray Master Member

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    I hate rotary tools for most jobs, for this job I would just use a chop saw, carbide blade will take care of plastics and aluminum and a fiber blade will chop steel...
     

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