Is a Dremel Type Tool Worth Having for Piping

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hawke

Preferred Member
Feb 1, 2014
1,346
0
Augusta, Ga
I use a dremel almost exclusively. But I am very very careful. Note I am only working on estate pipes and not doing anything much more than cleaning and applying carnauba wax. The speed is not much of an issue in this wax as some heat is required to melt it in. I use three levels of buffing discs. One to apply, one to smooth out and a third to polish lightly. I will also use a heat gun carefully to melt the wax in sometimes on rusticated pipes.
I have used the dremel to do some rustication with a broken off drill bit that works nicely. It does take a steady hand and being cautious as to not let the metal shafts hit the wood. Practice on some spare wood or beater pipes first to get your rusticating methods fine tuned. I have not had good luck with straight lines, only abstract patterns.
A Dremel Project on an old estate KBB



 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
2,229
874
I have both the battery powered and a corded Dremel. When I first tried my hand at pipe carving a couple of years ago, I tried the hand file and sanding to try and carve a pipe. When that failed, I used my Dremel's and a 1/2-inch belt sander to do the rough shaping. Having a good vice that you can pad to prevent damage to the briar is essential. I also used my Dremel for most of the polishing work with the flannel buffing wheels.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
30,584
13,067
For pipe maintenance, I say, stick with elbow grease. Rehabbing pipes and making pipes, I'll leave to our resident experts. People can do a lot of damage with power equipment or even just manual reamers. Pipes can last for a century with a little consideration and hand cleaning, but can be ruined in fifteen minutes with a misused reamer, let alone a Dremel.

 

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gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,860
1
Massachusetts
The Dremel is good for things like rustication but of limited use for general maintenance. The Foredom tool is far more controllable and a better investment. It has a foot controlled speed pedal making it much more versatile. It's stand mounted with a flexible shaft hand piece and offers a wide variety of collets making bit selection less restrictive. For a little more money you get a tool with a lot more utilization. I have both and the Foredom is 10 to 1 over the Dremel.

 

mvmadore

Member
May 17, 2015
139
0
Northern NY
I've used my variable speed Dremel for polishing my stems and pipes.

I use the buffing wheel and green stropping/buffing compound on lower speeds.

I place the Dremel in my bench vise so my hands are free for buffing...it works great.
I've owned and used this Dremel for over forty...yep that's right 40 years...still works great.

I've used it for all sorts of tasks...one of the best tools I've owned.
I've been lusting over the flex head, hand held models...boy that would make carving, etc. a much more enjoyable task.
Just practice with speeds until you find the speed that works best for you.

 
In regards to the dremel being too fast even in the slowest setting....undoubtly I must have a very lazy dremel as in the slowest setting using a flexible shaft you can almost count revolutions . No surprise as I have several items that are on the lazy side especially firearms they just lay there they do not go out at night nor when I am not looking at commit mayhem! those lazy mechanical objects!

hoo

 

pauliepiper

New member
Feb 8, 2016
11
0
Ive used a cheap brand dremel. Practice on old broken stems or bowl first. Be careful as they need to be on lowest speed. I use one aswell as bench buffer and hand held car buffer placed upside fown on the bench. Sandpaper wet a dry. Also a goodway of getting scratches out of stems is wd40 ? Just stumbled on it and works..only on plastic not briar.

Paulie

 

torque

Senior Member
May 21, 2013
443
0
tarak wrote:
My biggest issue with the dremel is I'm always slipping with it- causing the rotating metal to hit the pipe, so I'm eseentially done with the dremel for polishing/buffing. Fortunately I have both a drill press and now a grinder- so I plan to use the grinder for polishing with tripoli, and the drill press set on a lower speed for buffing/wax.



 

pagan

Preferred Member
May 6, 2016
5,964
19
West Texas
I think the high RPM of the dremmel is a bit of a risk for the average use, if you are really good and carefull it might be productive, god forbid any mistakes that might irreversibly damage shaft

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
5,364
1,342
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
Paul, how on earth can WD40 remove scratches from stems? It is essentially a lubricant with no powers of abrasion whatsoever.
Am curious to hear how you do it.
Regards,
Jay.

 

ejames

Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2009
3,917
7
I'd be lost without my Dremel ! It is one of my most used tools,not only for restoration and repair work but also very handy when I make a pipe or tamper. Very versatile !





 

ejames

Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2009
3,917
7
Jay,I've never noticed the flex shaft affecting the speed of my Dremel.

 

zekest

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,137
2
I love Dremel tools!
Quickest way to convert a Peterson P-Lip to a big hole in a hard rubber bit? Dremel the P-Lip down with that rough round rock bit.
Want a lighter trigger action on your fathers Single Action Army Colt? Dremel that sear down a bit.
Need to remove that "black stuff" inside your bowl? Use a Dremel with #80 grit round sander bit. Yeah, the bowl might not be round anymore, but tobacco doesn't know the difference.
Long live the Dremel!

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
5,364
1,342
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
"But really, you don't get this problem with this...and it's a lot cheaper."
It may well be cheaper but is a single purpose device whereas the Dremel has more uses than you could imagine! What other use can a pipe reamer be put to?
Regards,
Jay.

 

jerwynn

Preferred Member
Dec 7, 2011
1,033
4
If I had a nickel for every project I've executed for the last several decades with my Dremel, I'd have bought out the entire stock of SToP before the looming Pipepocalypse! I've done at least a million zillion things with it... and totally botched several because of the speed and lack of control/experience early on... but my work bench would be inconceivable without it!

 
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