Monday, October 13, 2008

Refurbishing Dremel bits

I wanted to do this for a couple of weeks, but lately The used bits have been piling up. It's a simple process. Basically, The bits get dull after a while and either burn the wood or fuzz up the cuts. Not to mention fresh sharp bits are such a dream to work with. Anyway, it gets expensive having to buy new bits all the time ($5-6.00 for some dremel bits, but there are cheaper. more on that later) So what do ya do? Well, I was shown a tip from a carving book on how to recapture some of the edge and thus extend the life of your used bits. It's fairly simple. Basically, give the dull bits an acid bath. Here's what I do. First, I gather up some of the dull bits I have been saving up over the last year and I clean them up. I have found the easiest way to clean the tar and burnt wood off the bits without damaging them is to place them on a burner. After a minute or two you will see the tar and resins turn white and flake off. Then drop them in water to cool off and go to the next step. (If there is still some resin that is still being stubborn, Just put it back on for a second go around. Next, I place the bits in a small container with the collet side up, to keep it out of the acid. I use clips to help hold them in place. Then I fill the small cup just up to the shank of the bit. The acid sharpens up the small cutting edge of the bit removing any burr that might be there. After a couple hours, you're done! Couple of tips. use the acid outside! Not really for safety, but the smell is horrible! and the vapors will rust and dull up any sharp shop tool you have lying around. After a couple of baths your bits will pretty much become useless as all the cutting surface is eaten away. I have not really gone over three baths with any one bit yet. the good news is, I feel better throwing them away after they are in this condition, Having used every last bit of life out of it. Oh! Be sure to wash them off and oil them up or the bits will rust.

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