Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Carving Part V: Time To Pay The Piper

So I have been carving a bunch lately...

After hours and hours of generating sawdust, a small percentage finds its way into my Dremel Tool.  When I slide the power lever and nothing happens for a second or two (or I have to slide it back and forth to make some kind of contact) I know it is time to open it up and brush/blow out all of the sawdust.

I highly doubt that the manufacture recommends that I do this.  But rarely do we get where we are in life by asking someone's permission.....

First thing I do is unscrew the snout/cap piece.  This holds the two halves of the body together.

I should also point out that I cannibalized the smaller black snout off of my Dremel tool which died this past  summer in order to replace the big ole honkin' gray snout that came with this new model.  I'm sure some crack design team somewhere had a reason for putting that gray monstrosity on there, but I find it awkward to hold and impossible to get in and cut at the angle I prefer (the gray snout is too long and gets in the way).

Time to get out the 'star bit' (a 'T 15', if you're curious) and go after the four screws in the back.

I set the screws and the snout off to the side and out of my way (It's for their own protection really).

I probably should clean this thing out more often than I do.  It's unlikely that it is a good thing that it rains sawdust like an excited beaver sneeze.

The new model has four main pieces that form its shell.

Back in the olden days the shell has just two pieces.....

But for aerodynamics, or more cutting power, or safety reasons, the new model has needs these little vent panels.  Even though the my older model had vent slots, apparently removable (and wobbly) panels were what was needed.  There is no possible way that they were just added so some engineering and marketing bozos could justify their positions.  (for the readers who are visiting this blog from other countries, that last sentence is what we, in America, call sarcasm.....)

I should also mention that the two main halves of the shell were also held together with stickers describing the model number and some other sumthin' sumthin' that I obviously didn't pay attention to.  Scoreboard: Stickers 0. Me 1.

This little post and crescent-shape piece of flat metal tend to pop out when the case/shell is opened.  They are what locks the 'drive shaft' in place while you are changing out cutting blades/Dremel bits.  They get set off to the side along with the four screws and the snout.

Definitely way too much sawdust inside this sucker.

I use three things to remove the sawdust. A clean dry soft bristle brush......

A toothpick for those nooks and crannies......and compressed air out of my head.

HIGHLY IMPORTANT!  When dealing with the actual machine part versus the case part of the tool, be sure to gently, but firmly, hold onto the top wheel and the bottom wheel the entire time.  If it slides out of place, your ten minute cleaning exercise will instantly become a 30 minute production full of frustration as you try to simultaneously spread open the two spring loaded flanges and possibly have to reconnect some wires.

The post that locks the 'drive shaft' goes fat-end first into the hole marked with the arrow.  *Please note: Not all models come with a giant floating arrow that points to what you need....

Then you set that crescent-shaped flat piece of metal (metal band) so the circle in the center of the band rests on the 'nubbin' protruding from the metal post.

Everything has a nice little nook that it's supposed to fit in.  If you have to force it in, something probably isn't where it needs to be.  Making sure that the wires go on the inside of the screw holes will make you life easier when you try to rejoin the main parts of the shell.

As soon as I get it back together and it clicks into place, I screw the snout down so it can't pop back open again.  Then I re-install the four screws in the back to hold it together properly.  Before I put my brush, toothpick, and screw driver away, I start the Dremel to make sure that it still works (this is less of a concern if you held onto the top and bottom wheels and didn't have to reassemble a bunch of wires).

It is no exaggeration when I say that my Dremel Tool ranks right up there with Duct Tape, hot glue, staple gun, microwave, refrigerator, and stereo as far as studio essentials go.  Please note that Duct Tape was capitalized to emphasize its importance......

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