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Dremel Work – Quick engraved sign

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 33 total)
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  • #367569
    Paulc
    Pro

    My neighbours have a lot of pets – one of which is a box turtle named Morla. Being in Canada, Morla lives inside during the winter, of course, but in the summer she has an outdoor garden enclosure.

    While sitting around a backyard fire they mentioned that Morla should have a sign for her garden.

    I’ve had a Dremel since some point in high school – rather, I always had something that was Dremel-like. I went through a couple of the Canadian Tire Mastercraft ‘Rotary Tool’ knockoffs – they always went on sale for obscenely cheap. I went through a couple because the switches kept failing – it was just cheaper to buy a new one on sale, with a full kit of attachments, then try to play around with replacing the rheostat switch.

    The last time I this happened maybe a year or so ago I decided it was finally time to step up to a real Dremel, being told that these were the real deal. There just happened to be a Dremel 3000 kit on sale when my knockoff bit the dust, so I picked it up.

    The difference from a knockoff to a real Dremel was great – it was more solid, ran quieter and was just smoother all around. Unfortunately, a few months after purchasing, I had the same problem with the switch. Not feeling like this was a toss-away and replace tool (never goes on sale for as cheap as the house brand versions), I sent it in as it had a two year warranty. It came back OK and has been running good so far. Hopefully it sticks.

    Anyway, I digress. My neighbours had mentioned wanting a ‘Morla’s garden’ sign. I was working on replacing a retaining wall in front of my house and it was hard work. I felt like this would be a nice break. I have only maybe an hour invested, so it did work out as a nice short distraction.

    I used some of my small stock of ‘vintage-look’ wood (I believe this is one of the last pieces from the pallet that my garden shed was delivered on), printed off some text from my computer and taped it on.

    I started trying to outline the font with a x-acto blade, but this was a nightmare, so I only lasted for a few letters. Then I tried just having sharpie soak through the paper, marking the letters onto the wood. Not the greatest success here either. The last portion I just ended up free-handing it based on what I had printed.

    I used one of the bits that I assume are for engraving in wood or other soft materials (it looked sort of like a mini end mill, with sharp sides as well) to engrave the font (still using a flex shaft attachment from my mastercraft set). After this I stained it with some left-over stain I had hanging around. The letters got a bit more lost than I was planning, so I filled them in with Sharpie. I finished it off with a clear coat spray.

    All in all, the Dremel is a great tool – so many useful attachments. I find I’m often using the mini metal cutting discs. I was a bit disappointed in that it’s switch failed so soon after purchasing, expecting the quality to be there after moving from a house brand. Hopefully after it’s repair it remains solid for years.

    Enough text, a couple pictures! The first one includes Morla the box turtle in the background.

    Anyone else a big Dremel user?

    Take care all.

    #367584

    I have enjoyed goofing around with my dremel and figuring out how to use it for smaller detail work, but I cannot seem to get my wife to land on anything she wants me to make her, so it is still waiting to be used for a sign like the one you have made. Great work!

    John S

    #367596

    @Paulc
    Beautiful Work! I’m sure Morla is really happy with what you have done for her.

    #367602
    ChadM
    Moderator
    Rogers, Ohio

    The lettering came out great for doing it freehand. Did you just cot out the letters to make a stencil then go at it with the carving tip or was it completely freehand?

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #367616
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I’ve never been much of a fan of rotary tools. I guess I haven’t been able to control their movement the way I’d like to. I have a Dremel and a RotoZip…RotoZip is used for all drywall cutouts and I use sanding drums to fine tune coped trim work. The Dremel almost never comes out. I recently bought a wood burning kit and used it to get a similar look to what you’ve created here. Looks great, btw!

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #367627

    Great job @Paulc – just goes to show you what these little tools are capable of.

    The dust, especially from the cutoff wheels, is the biggest killer of many components on those things. Try to blow out your Dremel with your compressor or a can of compressed air after you use it. You’ll prolong the life of the tool that way.

    #367645

    Your engraved letters are eye catching – lots of character. Good job there @Paulc with your sign.

    #367651
    Sprokitz
    Pro
    Eastern shore of, Pa

    Nice job on Morla’s sign. Came out really good for freehand. I have 2 Craftsman branded Dremel tools. The first one I got is single speed and after using it a few times, I got the variable speed one. The last time I used it, it quit. It runs but doesn’t turn the chuck so I grabbed the single speed to finish up with and the same thing happened. I’ll have to pull them apart and have a look see.

    #367653
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    Great job on the sign. It looks really good for being freehand. I’ve used my Dremel for a bit of sign engraving in the past but it never turned out great. The thing I use my Dremel for the most now is coping mouldings. I use a small rotary rasp bit to fine tune the cope cut and it works great.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #367704
    Paulc
    Pro

    The lettering came out great for doing it freehand. Did you just cot out the letters to make a stencil then go at it with the carving tip or was it completely freehand?

    Hi Chad – I first taped a printout onto the wood and tried to get the letters onto the piece using various methos – they were all frustrating so in the end I just ended up free-handing most of the ‘garden’. Once I had the shapes on there in sharpie I then used the flex shaft freehand.

    #367706
    Paulc
    Pro

    Thanks all.



    @geordie99
    , I will have to start blowing our the air ports. I am in the habit of vacuuming the tool off after use, but that probably doesn’t loosen everything that went inside. Thanks for the tip.



    @woodman_412
    , using a rasp to fine tune copes – I wish I would have thought of this when I did all of my trim! I was cleaning up my copes with files – round, flat and half rounds!

    #367717
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    If I could have done that well with the sharpie I would have been happy. I barely get a soup spoon to my mouth with out a jig or guide of some kind.

    #367736
    monman1
    Pro

    Nice work!

    Member since April 4, 2014

    doer of all , master of none.

    #367802
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Nice work on the turtle sign. I bet he likes it.

    #367835
    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    You have steady hands!

    I leave a rotary tool plugged in all the time on my work table, it’s just really handy for quick cut, grind, polish or even rust removal.

    #367842
    Toolshead
    Pro
    In the Rice Fields, South TX

    Good job, @Paulc! Looks good.
    You can tranfer ink from a printout to wood by doing a mirror image, then taping it down and either using a lot of ink from an ink jet, or putting a little acetone on a laser printout.
    Rub gently, peel off carefully.

    #367847
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Very Nice work on the sign. I like the font you choose.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #367908
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Very nice work, I need a sign for the shop, after i make a few spoons i should give this a go with my new typhoon carving bits.

    #368392
    Paulc
    Pro

    @toolshead, thanks, I will have to try the acetone trick – only laser printers in my household, no inkjet. That certainly would have made things a bit easier.

    #368399
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Great job on the sign. It looks really good for being freehand. I’ve used my Dremel for a bit of sign engraving in the past but it never turned out great. The thing I use my Dremel for the most now is coping mouldings. I use a small rotary rasp bit to fine tune the cope cut and it works great.

    Thank you for that! Solves one of my ongoing problems.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

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