Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year...New Tool

In the past 6 - 7 years that I have been making jewelry, I have burned-out not one, but two Dremel's...such talent!  I have no idea how I kill these machines, but I do!  So, after I murdered the last one in December (only 1 speed of 3 was working), I decided to bite the bullet and buy a Flex Shaft.  I did LOTS of research to decipher which one would work best, and I decided on this model.

I buy most of my tools, wire, sheet, etc. from Rio Grande.  I was lucky enough to  purchase this when they were offering a 3-day special on shipping.  Cause I gotta tell you, the shipping from Rio can be expensive!  So I bought a few accessories as well. The motor HAS to hang from the bench (or desk, or whatever one is using).  Since my bench is made of solid wood, I decided to buy the swing arm that is drilled into the bench - so much more secure than using a C-clamp.  (This is the swing arm model that I purchased - link here).  

I am so glad there were no camera's on me when I drilled the holes into my bench to bolt this baby down...I measured not twice, but 6 times!  Success!  I also had to move my bench around so that I could plug the foot control directly into a grounded outlet - no extension cords or surge protectors here!  Let's face it...I am in the basement and no one would hear me if I electrocuted myself!  This new bench location setup is much more efficient, too.

I have shelves everywhere in this space, and I was able to move my most-used tools directly to the left and right of my bench.

I went ahead and purchased the magnetic tool arm and the peg arm for the swing arm, and I am so glad I did! One side of the magnetic arm holds about 90% of my files.  Instead of digging through a drawer, they are so easily accessible now. 

Swing that arm 180 degrees, and I was able to hang many of the drill and sanding mandrel attachments to the other side.  The best part is that the Dremel mandrels work with the Flex Shaft - thank goodness! 

I have not yet hung anything from the peg arm - but I will!

Since contracting the flu on Christmas, and caring for my Mom who is also healing from this nasty, nasty bug, I have only done a bit of wire wrapping - I need to be at 100% before I can wield a flame around!  But I am almost there and I cannot wait to utilize this new tool and see what it can do!

So, have you purchased any new tools lately???  Do share!!!

Thanks for stopping by today - have a wonderful rest of the week!



  1. Patti, you make me laugh! Your description of installing your new toy (my husband's word for his new tools) made me burst out laughing! And, your talent at killing Dremels must be great!
    My new toy was a tumbler! I had wanted one for a long time and my husband got me one for Christmas. I love having one because now I can make lots of findings and put them in the tumbler.

    Hope you're feeling better every day. And, your mom too!

  2. Oh this looks like a fun (and maybe not so safe for me) kinda of tool! Given how I bead .... I could really hurt myself - LOL. I got 2 new toys .... a tumbler (same as Maryanne!) and I got a BigKick with lots of hand stamps so I could make charms and findings and run them through the tumbler. I've been using your tumbler guide Patti - thank you a thousand times for that amazing write up!!!!

  3. I got a torch and a wire coiling tool both of which I know almost nothing about. They were hand me downs, but I look forward to learning about them this year. I'll certainly be happy to see what you make with your new set up! Looks like you'll have lots of fun!

  4. no new tools here, but I laughed at this whole post! best of luck and keep this one alive, my friend :-D

  5. I am so happy for you Patti. I know that you are someone who will put the flex shaft to good use with your amazing wire talent. Your new setup is great. No new tools here but hopefully soon.

  6. Patti - this new set up looks awesome. Congrats on your Foredom (the hubs uses mine way more than I do) and that magnetic swing arm - oh wow - that thing looks awesome. I've got some tool envy going on here!! :-) Enjoy!

  7. Congratulations on getting this new tool! I bought a used one at a garage sale 10 years ago and it is still going strong! Your setup is perfection! Enjoy it, you will wonder how you ever got along without it!

  8. I'm sure you're already putting that baby to good use! Bought myself one this year too (economy version, however), and I'm sure glad I settled on a C-clamp--since I can't measure for beans. On a side note, hope your drill bits aren't giving you as much trouble as the ones I got from Rio....