Monday, September 21, 2009

New Tools - New Challanges!

Santa came early to my workshop and delivered some new tools. I am now graced with a drill press and flex shaft rotary tool. THANK GOD FOR HARBOR FRIEGHT TOOLS! In my dream world I have top-of-the-line everything, including a Fordham flex shaft. But, reality (and my wallet) dictate that I start with something a bit more affordable, like a Dremel 300 with flex shaft attachment. Fordham systems start around $300.00 and are worth every penny. BUT, if you are a newbie like me and can't afford that I highly recommend the Dremel set, which costs about $100.00 for the Dremel and the flex shaft.

What's the big deal about flex shafts you ask? Well, if you want to work with metal sheet, this opens an entirely new door for cutting, drilling, polishing and grinding. The small size and flexibility of the shaft allows you to work much closer, and the feel in the hand is great. Separating the powersource (the Dremel) from the shaft keeps things cooler as well. I rigged a hanger for the Dremel from a coat hanger and a clamp. Dremel offers a hanger system, just haven't bought it yet. Another $20.00 or so.

The Fordham system is operated by a foot pedal to power the motor for ultimate control of speed and I really, really wanted that but didn't think Dremel offered it. WRONG. Found a foot pedal for a Dremel on Amazon for under $20.00. Just ordered that bad-boy today. So, for under $150.00 I have a system that I think will really boost my productivity and creativity. I still want the Fordham, and someday I'll get one (when I am a famous jewelry designer....really), but for now this is a HUGE step up for me. I have been using my husband's ancient Dremel (much to his dismay) that was battery operated. I've burned through three batteries to date. The 300 is corded and multi-speed, hooray!

Now, on to the drill press. I use copper and brass tubing for all sorts of things and always have trouble drilling it. I also sometimes want to drill large holes in sheet metal and have been struggling with that as well. NOT ANYMORE! I got a great drill press for $40.00 (yes, I said FOURTY DOLLARS) at
Harbor Frieght Tools. Drills pipe like BUTTER. What a time saver.

Who knew I'd get so excited about TOOLS. I am not a mechanical person--most power tools scare me to death--death being the operative word here. When faced with most power tools I can clearly imagine the grisly end I will no doubt meet as I attempt to use them. BUT, I'm proud to say that I have overcome most of my demons and now really enjoy using these tools.

Hey, if I can do it so can you. Google is your friend, and there are tons of great websites and YouTube videos to guide and advise you.