|Review by Jim Jakosh||posted 11-18-2013 03:06 AM||3218 views||2 times favorited||25 comments|
I am not a carver but sometimes a project requires some carving or shaping and I have been doing it with a Dremel 4000. Well last week that thing got real hot when using a 3/4” shaping tool that I decided I needed one of those flex shaft carvers with a small stylus in my hand instead of the big Dremel. I think this job killed the Dremel because it does not wind up to top speed any more.
So I looked at Wecheer carvers at $204 and 1/6 hp and Foredom’s at around $400 and I decided I don’t use it enough to warrant that kind of money and I looked at Harbor Freight and I bought one for $39 with my 25% off coupon and got a free VOM meter to boot. It is 1/4 hp and runs up to 15,000 rpm.
It seems to work pretty good and I have turned down a couple of my carving/grinding tools to 5/32” to fit in the chuck. That is a drawback that it does not go to 1/4”.
I do not have a wall close enough to mount the hanging bracket so I drilled out one of the holes and mounted the hook on my drill press so it is always close to my work bench. As a matter of fact, the bench is too low for carving, so I have used the drill press table as a work station.
The variable speed foot switch works good but it is way too high at 2 1/4”. When I’m carving, I feel like a flamingo having to stand on one leg so I modified that foot switch right away. I screwed a thin piece of plywood to the bottom and made an off set piece of Lexan to bring the working part of that switch less than 1” from the ground.It is comfortable to use that way and I work it with my toe.
I have heard that stylus heats up when using it. If I have that happen, I’ll try to lube the flex cable and the hand piece with silicone spray. I was thinking of turning a wooden handle to go over that aluminum piece and it would act as an insulator because aluminum transfers heat real well.
Here is a shot of the carver with that 3/4” shaping bit:
Here is a close up of the plastic offset addition to the foot switch
I think I’ll keep it set up there all the time. For big carving jobs I would use a pneumatic die grinder in the barn with the high volume air compressor, but now I may be able to do that right in the basement shop with the HF unit.
-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!