Tuesday, 25 March 2014

I did it!

You know that great sense of satisfaction you get when you manage to do something you have been putting of and it is a success, well that happened to me a couple of days ago.

Last year I bought a Dremel. I needed something to clean the holes in my beads of bead release. I toyed with the idea of a battery powered one but the thought of the battery dying just when I needed it put me off. So I thought I'd get an electric one, but I would need one with a Flexi Shaft fitting as I would be using it near water - didn't want to get any nasty electric shocks. To use the Flexi Shaft you need to have a stand do that you can keep the wire straight.

I also had it in my head that I might like to be able to drill holes in metal for my jewellery making and saw that you could buy an attachment to turn your Dremel into a drill press so this is what I bought.

I use a diamond tipped drill bit to clean out the bead release from my glass beads and it works great and that's all it's been used for up until now. Here it is set up with the Flexi Shaft.

I had bought some tiny metal drill bits for it but when I went to use them discovered that my chuck was too big for them and I never got any further.

Then when I received this gorgeous focal from Sam Waghorn in my Bead Soup it didn't have any holes in it. What to do! Well, I thought I would just use my OH's drill with the metal drill bits I had but then he informed me that it didn't drill straight so that wasn't an option. Anyway I did some research online and found out that I needed to purchase a chuck, which I did from Ebay.

Please excuse the poor quality of my photos, they were taken as an afterthought so I could share my adventures in this post.

Well, the chuck arrived and all I could remember about attaching the Flexi Shaft to the Dremel in the first place was a pain, no decent instructions, so the thought of changing it back again was not appealing. Anyway, with a little bit of help from my OH (think it would have been quicker on my own!) I managed to change the dremel so that it would sit in the drill press ready to drill my holes.

Then I discovered another problem. How was I going to hold the piece steady whilst I drilled it. I wanted to drill some holes in the edge so that I could attach some chain and some dangly bits.

OH to to rescue, he had this vice in the garage which sat on the plate of the Dremel nicely.

The next problem was how to support the piece so that it would get marked so I cut up some pieces of wood to sandwich it. The first piece had to fit exactly inside the piece so that I could mark the holes with a braddle which I would be tapping with a hammer.

I marked where I wanted the holes to go with a sharpie and then went into the garage and put the piece in a vice. Lined up the braddle with the mark and then tapped away. Even though the wood was directly behind the metal still bent a little. No problem, I just turned it over when it was finished and tapped it back again.

Next I was ready to drill the holes. Here is the piece sandwiched between the wood and lined up under the drill ready to go.

It worked! Here is the piece with the holes drill in it. They were a little bit sharp on the back so I just filed with with one of my jewellery files.

It's such a pretty piece that Sam made, I can't wait to use it to make a necklace.

Thanks for looking.



  1. So glad you managed to drill it Linda, i am such a numpty forgetting to pop holes in!
    I hang my dremel with flexi on a large cup hook located in the ceiling, and the universal chuck is the best (no more changing the fiddly bits).
    Looking forward to seeing what you create.

    1. Thanks Sam, yes, the universal chuck, that's what I got x

  2. You know, that Dremel is great for filing too. Will do in a minute what used to take me 30 by hand ;)

    1. That's good to know, still a lot to learn. What accessory do you use to do your filing? I have a little box of bits but no idea what they are for x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...