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AndrewB

Dremmel Wood Carving Bits

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  I recently bought some wood carving bits for my dremmel.  I'm wondering if those will work a lot better for shaping the handle scales and handle pieces for knife handles better than using a plain sander to do it.  Of course using the belt sander as a finishing product to smooth out the wood after carving.  I'm wondering if any of you guys use these and how successful you've been with them.  I have not yet tried them out I'm itching too.  I still have to get some more coal I'll probably get that tomorrow.  But  I'm also wondering if these are going to work well for helping me carve out the indentation for the tang to slip into the scales (when I use scales) to carve out that little groove.  I'm sure it will go a lot faster by hand than using a hand wood chisel Id hope at least lol.  Anyways thanks in advance.

 

I should also note before I forget... yes I do have a full safety face mask for this.  I bought it because I was going to make an attempt at making a blade and then breaking it to see how tough it was and how well I did.  But fortunately the face mask will be a multi use item.

Edited by AndrewB

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I use the belt sander to rough in the general shape of the handle, and then switch to my Dremel to get it closer to finished.  I typically use 1/4" and 1/2" sanding drums.  In the lower grits they take off a fair amount of material, but still give you a good bit of control and fit into the tighter curves. 

I don't do much decorative carving because I suck at it.  When I do bite the bullet and try it, I typically end up using a combination of the Dremel and hand chisels.

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12 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

I use the belt sander to rough in the general shape of the handle, and then switch to my Dremel to get it closer to finished.  I typically use 1/4" and 1/2" sanding drums.  In the lower grits they take off a fair amount of material, but still give you a good bit of control and fit into the tighter curves. 

I don't do much decorative carving because I suck at it.  When I do bite the bullet and try it, I typically end up using a combination of the Dremel and hand chisels.

Well I what I was mainly going for was to help me with carving out the curved edges that I eventually want to do with the wood for the handles to have a better grip.  I'm not sure how well it would work  I don't have much decorative carving skills either so don't feel bad lol, I was just going for the more rounded edge and I was thinking that I could get it done a lot faster with a dremmel and then move it over to the grinder and use that with the belts to refine it better and smooth it out.  But what I mainly bought them for was to help me carve out the grooves for the tang to sit in with the scales when I do use them so the scales fit flush against each other.  That was the origional intent on me buying them.  But I figured Id also try and see if they'd help with the curved edges of the handle itself.

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I got a dremel tool (well actually it was a craftsman rotary tool) as a birthday present when I was very young (like 10-12ish) I still use it all the time, very useful for many things.

That being said I think they are good for (moderately) detailed carving work, and good for carving out a recess for the tang, but I wouldn't use them for the handle as much. Unless, as Alex said above, you are using a sanding drum and cleaning out inside corners... if your using wood carving bits you aren't going to get the nice aesthetic curves that look good on a handle. For that I think a slack belt is by far the best if your not hand sanding or using a rasp/file. Also, wood carving bits don't like hitting pins and/or the tang while you are shaping. 

Just my 2 cents. 

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I figured I'd ask I mainly bought them like I said to help carve out the slot for the tang in the scales.  That was the main reason behind getting them in the first place because I didnd't want to break the scales using a wood chisel and hammer to do it.  Either way I'll probably wind up just using my belt sander to do most of the curves gotta learn to do it as well and get better at it.  But as long as they work great for carving out the indentations for the tang to fit in I'm golden lol.  I was having a heck of a time to try it by hammer and chisel.

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In one of the Arctic Fire videos, Petr Floriniak did a bunch of carving on Boxwood (he called it "Antler for vegetarians") with Dremel tools. I think he used an inverted cone for most of it.

Possibly in this one.

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Yea I was actually looking at the inverted cone bit I have seems like it would work well for doing what I want I just have to be careful not to carve out too deep for the tang lol.

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Do you have the mini router head attachment for your Dremel?  I didn't think of it earlier, but I've used mine several times for putting blade shaped pockets into my folding cutting boards.  It gives a nice consistent depth across the entire pocket with sharp corners at the bottom.  With the right amount of planning you could do the same thing for pocketing out a scale.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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8 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

Do you have the mini router head attachment for your Dremel?  I didn't think of it earlier, but I've used mine several times for putting blade shaped pockets into my folding cutting boards.  It gives a nice consistent depth across the entire pocket with sharp corners at the bottom.  With the right amount of planning you could do the same thing for pocketing out a scale.

No I don't think I do I just have the basic Harbor Freight Electric Dremel tool.  So I'm not too fully sure exactly what comes with it, I actually had to order the wood carving bits separately off of amazon.  With powered tools I usually try not to go too heavy and take out small bits at a time because I know I could easily screw up an entire piece if I cut too deeply or in a place that I don't want to have a cut in.

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9 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

With the right amount of planning you could do the same thing for pocketing out a scale.

I thought so too, and I tried that and failed miserably. That does not in any way mean I do not recommend trying, it's just that with the amount of planning and prep work, it is much faster for me to do it with a skew chisel and a flat chisel.

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11 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

I thought so too, and I tried that and failed miserably. That does not in any way mean I do not recommend trying, it's just that with the amount of planning and prep work, it is much faster for me to do it with a skew chisel and a flat chisel.

Last time I tried it with a hand chisel I dug out too deep and snapped the scale in half and waisted 8 dollars lol my goal is to avoid that from happening again.

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That means you were doing it wrong.;).  With properly sharpened chisels used correctly you should be taking off paper-thin shavings, not chunks.  On really chippy woods I have been known to saw the edges of the channel with a hacksaw, then gently root out the middle.  

My attempts to use a dremel on wood have always been spectacular failures.

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Using a Dremel is usually too slow & costly.  Learn to use a slack belt on your 2x72 with a J-flex belt.  (I use mine with the platen removed so often that I keep the right size wrench for removal along side of the grinder at all times.) 

Also a small wheel attachment can be very handy.

Edited by Gary Mulkey

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

That means you were doing it wrong.;).  With properly sharpened chisels used correctly you should be taking off paper-thin shavings, not chunks.  On really chippy woods I have been known to saw the edges of the channel with a hacksaw, then gently root out the middle.  

My attempts to use a dremel on wood have always been spectacular failures.

 

43 minutes ago, Gary Mulkey said:

Using a Dremel is usually too slow & costly.  Learn to use a slack belt on your 2x72 with a J-flex belt.  (I use mine with the platen removed so often that I keep the right size wrench for removal along side of the grinder at all times.) 

Also a small wheel attachment can be very handy.

I may have been doing it wrong but then again I dont have the best work benches or flat surfaces at the moment to work with here at my house.  I was doing what I could with what I had until I get my small shed shop built with proper work benches and proper vices.  I'm going to have to try the dremmel.  I don't mind being slow about it.  I'd rather honestly remove a little bit at a time and make sure that the tang seats in there nicely with out taking too much material away.  I'm not the best with a hammer and chisel lol.  I tried it though at least.

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It's the hammer part that did it.  Hands only.  Push the chisel.  If it won't move you're taking too big a bite.

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26 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

It's the hammer part that did it.  Hands only.  Push the chisel.  If it won't move you're taking too big a bite.

Yea and I think I was also digging a bit too deep lol opps.  I'll try it again but I also do want to try the dremel out.  The only reason I didn't like the chisel way was because it took too much material from where the handle stopped when I was trying to get it the wood to sit flush to the metal of the tang area.  That was my main struggle right there lol.

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