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I am making a jewelry box and it will have a carving in the top.
Posted is the picture I am working from.
I blew it up to get more of the details in my carving.
It turned out to be too big for my paper so I drew the missing parts out.
I used a sheet of carbon paper (yes, they still make that stuff).
I traced it out on what will be come the lid of the box.
Using my Dremel, I began to carve around the outer perimeters of the sketch.
I had many problems with the bit wanting to drift off of the lines.
My main problem is that the bit works well enough until I hit a growth line, then it wants to follow the line.
I have used several different bits and have the same problem.
Could be the speed of my dremel is not adequate.
I need to trace all the inside lines before I remove the material between the wings and such .
I have the little stand attachment for my Dremel and it works pretty good but still wants to follow the growth lines.
After getting this far on it, I realized that due to the fact that I have removed material from the outside of the sketch, that my attachment tends to want to tip into the voids and dig too deep.
I have redrawn it on a new piece of pine, and intend to cut all the interior cuts first. Since they will not be as deep as the outer perimeter of the sketch.

I hope this all makes sense.

I watch a UTUBE video of a guy using a very expensive device like the dremel and his cut like butter.
His device screamed as it cut and he was able to follow lines with no guide. He just wrote like it was a pencil.
Which is why I suspect that it has something to do with the speed that my dremel will reach.

Beside buying a new machine, does anyone have any thoughts.
I will get it done but the way it is now, one small mistake and the whole thing could be ruined.
I already cut the claws off the first ones toes.

Thanks guys
David
 

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I think you could do better with another kind of wood instead of pine. The hard and soft grain of pine is the reason it's very hard to stain and make it look good. A wood like maple which is hard but the grain is more uniform. I am sure others will be along to give you better help.
 

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Agreed on using a harder wood with more even grain. Maple comes to mind. If you want to have the design stand out, you could use a trim router to work up to the edge of the dremel cut, then remove a known layer to the edge, or even create a circular depression to show off the dragon. Paint the Dragon, then paint the recessed area a solid dark color. Then finish the outside to the edge. (Cut the outside edge of the circle with a template and template bit.) Could look pretty spectacular.

BTW, don't forget to tighten the set screw on the template bit's retainer ring. I forgot and the darn thing came apart and made a very ugly mess I then had to work around.
 

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You have two problems that are working against you. The wood needs to be something that is more suitable to carving. Bass wood is ideal for carving, because it has no hard/soft grain lines. They carved carousel horses from bass wood before they began making them from fiberglass. Mahogany is great for carving, but you may not want the color. Pumpkin pine is better than plain white "knotty" pine, because the hard grain lines are almost non existent in it. Your second problem is the speed of your bit. It needs to spin much faster than a Dremel tool can spin it. A 1/8" air powered die grinder is my choice when using 1/8" bits because it spins at about 10-20,000 rpm while a Dremel only spins at about 4,000 rpm but I prefer to use my modified air powered dentist drill and 1/16" shank bits because it spins at about 400,000 rpm. There is no side pull at all at 400,000 rpm. It's like drawing with a marking pen and it uses about as much air as an air brush at only 40 psi.

You can find the 1/8" shank air powered die grinders at industrial supply houses for less than $100. They need an oil injector in the air line to keep them lubricated. The modified (straight end, not right angle like the ones used by a dentist) wood carving type dentist drills are available through Paragrave, Power Carver, and SCM, but they are considerably more expensive than die grinders at $2-800. You can find them with a Google search. Dentist sized 1/16" bits can also be found this way for about $1 per bit in small quantities. There are several online sources. These 1/16" sized carvers are expensive, but they last a long time if you keep them lubricated and clean. The bits are very inexpensive. Your dentist discards the bits that he uses after using them for just one patient. See if you can get him to steralize them and save them for you. They will still be plenty sharp enough for wood carving. My dentist has supplied me with many of the shapes of bits that I use for the last 10 years.



I cut the attached cross on my scroll saw from one piece of mahogany, then carved the leaves and vines with my modified dentist drill and 1/16" bits. The finish is tung oil and the leaves are coated with green Rub N Buff.

Charley
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You have two problems that are working against you. The wood needs to be something that is more suitable to carving. Bass wood is ideal for carving, because it has no hard/soft grain lines. They carved carousel horses from bass wood before they began making them from fiberglass. Mahogany is great for carving, but you may not want the color. Pumpkin pine is better than plain white "knotty" pine, because the hard grain lines are almost non existent in it. Your second problem is the speed of your bit. It needs to spin much faster than a Dremel tool can spin it. A 1/8" air powered die grinder is my choice when using 1/8" bits because it spins at about 10-20,000 rpm while a Dremel only spins at about 4,000 rpm but I prefer to use my modified air powered dentist drill and 1/16" shank bits because it spins at about 400,000 rpm. There is no side pull at all at 400,000 rpm. It's like drawing with a marking pen and it uses about as much air as an air brush at only 40 psi.

You can find the 1/8" shank air powered die grinders at industrial supply houses for less than $100. They need an oil injector in the air line to keep them lubricated. The modified (straight end, not right angle like the ones used by a dentist) wood carving type dentist drills are available through Paragrave, Power Carver, and SCM, but they are considerably more expensive than die grinders at $2-800. You can find them with a Google search. Dentist sized 1/16" bits can also be found this way for about $1 per bit in small quantities. There are several online sources. These 1/16" sized carvers are expensive, but they last a long time if you keep them lubricated and clean. The bits are very inexpensive. Your dentist discards the bits that he uses after using them for just one patient. See if you can get him to steralize them and save them for you. They will still be plenty sharp enough for wood carving. My dentist has supplied me with many of the shapes of bits that I use for the last 10 years.



I cut the attached cross on my scroll saw from one piece of mahogany, then carved the leaves and vines with my modified dentist drill and 1/16" bits. The finish is tung oil and the leaves are coated with green Rub N Buff.

Charley
I was quite sure it was the speed and that coupled with the type of wood I am using. I had planned to use this pine board to do all my practice cutting on then find something better for the finished product.
I'm will look into your idea of the dentist drill. I would like to do more of this type of carving in the future so I don't mind the expense of something that will actually cut the wood without a fight. It has to be much more enjoyable.
Thanks a lot Charley
I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.
David
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Agreed on using a harder wood with more even grain. Maple comes to mind. If you want to have the design stand out, you could use a trim router to work up to the edge of the dremel cut, then remove a known layer to the edge, or even create a circular depression to show off the dragon. Paint the Dragon, then paint the recessed area a solid dark color. Then finish the outside to the edge. (Cut the outside edge of the circle with a template and template bit.) Could look pretty spectacular.

BTW, don't forget to tighten the set screw on the template bit's retainer ring. I forgot and the darn thing came apart and made a very ugly mess I then had to work around.
I knew someone out there knew a lot more about this then I did. I was beginning to think that maybe I was a bit too ambitious.
I had watched a UTUBE video of a guy as he carved a rose on the end of a 2x4. I knew something was not right with my set up.
What with the bit moving around along the edge of the carving I have finished so far, It is too rough to use as a finished product.
Thanks for the help Tom.
David
 

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I think you could do better with another kind of wood instead of pine. The hard and soft grain of pine is the reason it's very hard to stain and make it look good. A wood like maple which is hard but the grain is more uniform. I am sure others will be along to give you better help.
Thanks Don, I am sure I will not be using pine as my finished carving.
Still not sure what I will use.
David
 

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I had a friend who used a Foredem and it those require air. Foredoms have more torque than Dremels, plus you have good control when using a flex shaft with it. I knew the wife of Richard LeMaster, the man who carved duck decoys and even made the feathers look realistic using a Foredom, which was pretty intricate work. He died about 20 years ago, but his wife still makes royalties off the sales of his books. Just an extra tidbit.
 

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David,

I just replied to your PM with a lot more information about the carvers that I use. Better choices of wood are just about any that don't have significant hard/soft grain. I use mahogany a lot. Some poplar is OK. Hard and soft maple are good. I carved maple leaves around the edge of a small maple table one time. Even black walnut carves OK, but you need to apply a light stain to your carving to see it afterwards. Bass wood is like carving butter. No grain at all to wrestle with. I don't like carving in most pine, red oak, or white oak. It can be done, but with considerable additional difficulty because of the grain. The cross that I showed is the first one that I made. I have made 18 of them so far and one was from white oak. It took me twice as long to carve it as it does when carving the same cross in mahogany.

You are doing a great job on that image, especially when considering that you are using a Dremel and carving in pine.

The air powered die grinders that use the i/8" Dremel bits aren't very expensive and will do better than the Dremel at about the cost of a Dremel and it might be worth getting one to help finish your project. They are 4-5X faster than a Dremel, and much more powerful. Mine is about 1" diameter, about the diameter of a large dry marker. They have some side pull, but when you move slowly it isn't bad at all, and nowhere near as bad as the Dremel.

I use mine when carving larger things that my Paragrave carver is too small for. I sometimes do the larger areas with it and then go back and use the Paragrave for the small details. Both the die grinder and my Paragrave carver require an oil mist injector to keep them lubricated, only the tiniest amount of oil is needed for both. I can run the die grinder at up to 100 psi, but the Paragrave carver can only handle 40 psi. You have to keep the oil mist very small or it can get on your project. The die grinder vents through the back (top) end and away from your work. The Paragrave does too, but it's much smaller so it's closer to your work.

We have a Foredom at one of the museums that I do work for. They are electric powered, not air powered and use the 1/8" bits that the Dremel uses. It goes faster than the Dremel and has more power, but for detailed carving I don't consider it as good as the air powered die grinders or the dentist type drills. I've gotten frustrated with it and brought the work home to finish.

Trust me, once you go with the air powered 1/8" die grinder or go further to a 1/16 dentist drill type carver. you will leave Foredom and Dremel far behind you forever. There is just no comparison between them

Charley
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushwhacker
....I was beginning to think that maybe I was a bit too ambitious..

It's hard, but we learn a lot and for sure pays off. Congrats, Great job! Sid.
 
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