Dremel "WorkStation" ?

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MrAl
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Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by MrAl » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:00 pm

Hello,

Has anyone here ever worked with this tool? It is a sort of drill press attachment for the
Dremel tool. It can rotate to allow the stand to be used as a tool holder, which is nice,
but i also heard that it is not that stable when used as a drill press.

A friend of mine got one recently and i adjusted all the screws as good as possible
and it does seem somewhat stable, but the only way to tell for sure is to drill
something with say a #75 bit and see if it breaks during the drilling process.
I dont really want to sac a bit just to test this thing so i was wondering if
anyone had any more information about these things.

Thanks much...
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afarawayland
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by afarawayland » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:53 pm

I got the dremel press a while back to help with my first PCB fabrication. Still have it in fact.

I don't remember what size bit I used for the pad holes..

Here's my take:

1. It is small, easily moved, and easily assembled. It is relatively sturdy, and depending on dremel tool used, and the desired results, it can function as a press. A higher speed tool with quality bits may be required for high quality work.

2. The main problem, or the problem I've experienced, is that the stations downward pressing motion is not linear. Mine makes more of an arc path on the downward thrust than it does linear path. Because of this arc-like motion, it can be difficult to determine exactly where the bit comes in contact with the subject to be drilled. Thus, repeatability is difficult.

The arc motion also suggests that the bit does not contact the subject at a 90 degree angle. Or at least the manufactured setting that is supposedly a linear 90 degrees doesn't end up a true perpendicular 90 degrees. If the bit is spinning slow enough, the copper can be lifted on the bit extraction. Using an oversized bit can help remove burrs.

3. So, it is what it is, a cheap drill press. At 50 bucks it functions like any consumer grade equipment, and is only capable of delivering consumer oriented results. Think "toy," when comparing it to more serious presses.

4. Concerning its uses, if you intent to drill a lot of holes, on a lot of boards, and you intend to do it often, splurge and get a dedicated "real" drill press. I've seen some in micro-hobbyist tool catalogs. From 100 to ? price range.

If you are like me, and just plan to use it on occasion, and you already have a compatible dremel tool, you might see more benefit in saving the money spent on a real press.

As far as the #75 bit is concerned, if its sharp and the tool spins fast, you can vary the force as you go. The strength/material of the bit as it pertains to its size, the pressure on the bit pertaining to the surface contact point, the angle of incidence of the contact point, the ability of the drill to function under that pressure and maintain its stated speed of revolution, and the sharpness or ease in which the bit drills, are all variables that determine whether or not the bit will withstand the drilling procedure. Or so I guess.

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MrAl
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by MrAl » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:25 am

Hi,


Thanks for the detailed explanation.
It sounds like it is not as good as i was hoping it to be, and might not work with the tiny
carbide bits. That would be my main purpose...to drill with the carbide bits that
break so easy.
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Bob Scott
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by Bob Scott » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:46 am

I made a couple of etched PCBs back in 1883. Then I bought a Dremel and the drill press accessory for it in case I made any more. But I have never ever actually used it so I can't comment on durability or anything. Besides, the older model I have is probably not the same as the model they sell these days.

Since then I've always found it easy just to pick up some prototype PCB for making one-off projects, the kind with plated through grid of holes and a ground plane on the component side. No putzing around with Eagle PCB, no chemicals, no ironing, no fixing bad etching, no drilling.

C'est la vie.
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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by Janitor Tzap » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:33 am

Hi MrAl,

I haven't used the drill press attachment for a dremel tool.
But I have used other press attachments for standard electric drills.

The drill shifts in the mounts, and this makes drilling problematic.
No matter how well I tighten the drill down.
It would loosen up from the vibration of the motor, and drilling.

So, I would go with a Drill Press instead.
Here's one.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=38119
The price isn't too bad, but shop around.
I was at Menards and they had one for about $69.


Signed: Janitor Tzap

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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by psycho » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:14 am

I made a couple of etched PCBs back in 1883.
Damn, you must be old! :shock:

Psycho

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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by philba » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:27 am

I've used all manner of devices for drilling PCBs. The aforementioned dremel "thing", several drill presses and a sherline minimill. Everything but the minimill broke carbide bits. I recall the dremel was pretty unfriendly to my bits. It doesn't have linear action and the whole thing flexed a little. I think I've lost like 2 bits in the sherline but that was operator error (board wasn't clamped firmly). I got the Sherline at an auction where no one knew what it was. (250 for the mill, lathe and 2 rotary vises).

It would be hard to go back to using something other than a mill.

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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by Robert Reed » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:51 pm

As a woodworker and getting into quite detailed and exacting work, I can tell you that there isn't an Asiain press out there that will make anyone happy. I am talking from experience with four different brands and in the normal price range of $200 to $400. Most of the US ( still Asian?) made presses under $$400 dollars that I have used also will be unsatisfactory in the same regard. The reason is that the Spindle bearing and machinining tolerances do not have the tight tolerances needed for a near "0" runout required for extremely small bits (#45 and higher). I have never used high end modelmaking machines ($100 to $200) but suspect they may be satisfactory - giving up power for precision.

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MrAl
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by MrAl » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:39 pm

Hello again,


Bob:
I used perf boards too, but for some things i really want to make a custom PCB.
Sometimes it just makes sense to do so. I've used perf boards much more
recent than 1883 however :smile:

Janitor:
Oh yeah, that looks like a decent drill press. Price isnt too bad i guess.
I have to wonder though how well it would handle carbide bits?

Philba:
That's interesting...i was considering a mini mill too, but wasnt sure if it
would be worth the money.

Robert:
Yes that near zero tolerance is what i am finding out too, and it's hard
to get something mechanical to work that good unless it uses precision
parts, and the Dremel drill press/workstation just doesnt get there.
However, we tried it just a couple hours ago and i was able to get it to
work to some degree as i drilled several holes with the high speed steel
#66 bit and then with the carbide #66, but i am not sure if i like using it
that much because it just seems like it might be too easy to break the
bit (carbide bits are what i really wanted it for).
I had to be EXTREMELY careful and went very slow into the work, which
was a copper clad fiberglass board.
It's also a little hard to tell how much pressure i was putting on
the bit because it's not like hand drilling where you have constant
feedback to your hand about how much pressure is being applied, and
pressing down the handle too hard might break the bit. We had to adjust
the screws on the thing fairly snug to take up all the slop and so
it doesnt move as freely as i would like it to.
I saw that it would work with the high speed steel bits decently, but i dont
really want to use those kind, i want to be able to use the carbide bits.

Maybe the thing could be sured up somehow, reengineered a little, or
maybe something could be built to do the job too with a few shafts and
precison bearings? Would be interesting.
I reengineer almost everything i buy anyway.

They have a little drill press at Jameco too, wonder how well that works?
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by FOB » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:59 am

Back in "88" I put together an article for 73 magazine and provided a pc board for the project. I learned two things, 1.) I wasn't gonna get rich as an author, 2.) Making several hundred PC boards takes longer than I thought it would. But the Dremel tool and drill press device was a big help. It was loose though, and I learned that if you run the dremel at slow speed and let the drill bit center in the indent the scratch awl made before you applied pressure it would break less bits. I still broke about 25 bits drilling nearly 5000 holes. The key thing to remember, is you got a hobby grade drill press not an industrial strength Punch press. If I had to make 400 boards again, I would probably send the print to one of the PC board makers and let them deal with it. One other fact of making boards: If you set your beer down next to the bubble etcher, you end up with brown lips.

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MrAl
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by MrAl » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:38 am

Hi there,

Sounds interesting. Wow, several hundred boards? What was that for, to back the article?
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philba
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by philba » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:18 am

That's interesting...i was considering a mini mill too, but wasnt sure if it
would be worth the money.
I use the mill for all sorts of things. If it was just for drilling PCBs, I don't know if I could justify the cost new. But I find myself using it a fair amount. Even for mundane things like making templates for my wife's art project. I'd probably get a bigger one if I was selecting something new. I like the looks of this one: http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini-Mi ... hine/G8689
Image
I'd also want to convert it to CNC.

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Bob Scott
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by Bob Scott » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:56 pm

FOB wrote:One other fact of making boards: If you set your beer down next to the bubble etcher, you end up with brown lips.
Hehe. That's why I use ammonium persulphate in my GC bubble etcher. Why would anyone buy FeCl? It can and will stain all the clothes you are wearing.
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Bob Scott
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by Bob Scott » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:00 pm

Philba! I looked up your bargain milling/lathing tools:

http://www.sherline.com/

Can you mill the copper off a PCB with that thing? No etching?
I see there are CNC upgrade kits for it including software and computer if you need it.
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Re: Dremel "WorkStation" ?

Post by gerty » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:44 pm

I made the mistake of buying this one:
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores ... llDownView
I've only used it twice, about 30 holes, and wasn't happy at all. When the bit first contacts the board it'll 'walk' nearly 1/8" if you're not careful. The 'press' function is a lever laid across part of the mount and has to adjusted frequently, the lever itself is flimsy and it's hard to judge how much pressure you are actually putting on it. I didn't do my homework before I bought it, I will next time..

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