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Power carving tool ?


hardtwist

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I have an old Foredom that has been running for decades. It needs some parts now and then, but they are work horses and hard to go wrong with them.

 

I have been looking at getting a new air grinder and have my eye on NSK. Any feedback on them 60k rpm.?

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Thanks for the replys.

Foredom is definitely in the running.

Foredom= 1/8 , 18,000 rpm, 1/4 hp ? rpm, 1/3 hp , 15,000 rpm.

Mastercarver= 1/3 HP, 0-26,000 rpm

Wecheer= 1/4 HP ? rpm

 

JIM

 

 

 

Another consideration is Torque. In general Higher horsepower and lower Rpm= higher torque. Low horsepower Higher Rpm= lower torque. What you want to carve and what types of bur/bits/sanders you want to use will affect how much ultimate speed and torque you may need. If your hogging out material or working metals with burs you will need higher torque. Light pressure jobs can benefit from higher speeds. If you need to run diamond or Carbide burs very high speeds are a must and some units run up to a few hundred thousand Rpms to safely run small diameter carbide burrs (think dental burs) Brand recommendations are helpful, but the best unit for you will depend on what you plan on doing with it.

I can vouch for Foredoms. I have had the same EE series unit for 17 years now. This unit has seen hard daily use for most of that time. I use it everyday. I have had to replace the flex sheath twice and I have worn out three #50 hand pieces. I just recently replaced the foot controller. Never have touched the motor or brushes, which I find amazing. I keep waiting for it to blow up so I can upgrade to the ¼ horse, but year after year the thing just keeps going hehe. I have a variety of pneumatic rotary tools ranging in rpm from 20K to 375K. Each one serves some unique needs I have but none of them has replaced my Foredom yet.

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I have an NSK microgrinder and have truly enjoyed using it! The handset is connected to the base with a power cord that is like a gentle spring, very flexible. The unit is quiet and the torque is plenty for me when I am roughing out the hard woods and mammoth tusk. This unit was recommended by Norm Sartorius, a wonderful spoon carver. Its high speed is 35,000 RPM and is strong in its smoothly variable speeds. I think that a second handset is able to be plugged in, and looks like a foot pedal might be available as well. It also has a reversible spin option.

 

The contact person information is out at the studio, and if you want it, I will get it for you tomorrow. He is very helpful and will review the options for your needs.

 

Janel

 

NKS.jpgNSKhandset.jpg

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I've been using the Foredom for about 27 years(yikes! :) ). I've had the last one(S series, 18k)

for about ten since I burned my first one up in a shop fire(yikes again). I keep looking at the brushes, but they don't seem to wear out. I keep the shaft lubed once in a while. They are sort of bomb proof. Some people don't like the shaft intrusion, but I find if I position the machine so the handpiece is comfortable where I'm working, it doesn't seem distracting. I guess you can get used to anything.

 

I also just got a NSK Presto as recommended by Steve Lindsay, but can't report as I haven't used it yet! I think it will be a great little machine based on a few test cuts. It cruises at

320k and is only for light, delicate work, obviously.

 

With the Foredom, I use two handpieces: the 44HT(uses collets), and the #10 quick release for

3/32 shanks. The 44 is for hogout type work and I use it mostly with large 1/4 inch shank, carbide burrs.

 

So those three handpiece give me quite a range. I would love a unit like Janel has and have lusted after one for years, but there always seems to be something else more pressing.

 

Here's a shot of one of my rotary workstations(I have one other) showing the three handpieces,

my bench pin that I use for stability sometimes, an Ebony leaf carving in progress and my dust collector hose coming from the right.(Handler Manufacturing, RediVac #66D,seeUrl below)

Handler Mfg.

post-4-1109629290_thumb.jpg

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I've been using the Foredom for about 27 years(yikes!  :) ). I've had the last one(S series, 18k)

for about ten since I burned my first one up in a shop fire(yikes again). I keep looking at the brushes, but they don't seem to wear out. I keep the shaft lubed once in a while. They are sort of bomb proof. Some people don't like the shaft intrusion, but I find if I position the machine so the handpiece is comfortable where I'm working, it doesn't seem distracting. I guess you can get used to anything.

 

I also just got a NSK Presto as recommended by Steve Lindsay, but can't report as I haven't used it yet! I think it will be a great little machine based on a few test cuts. It cruises at

320k and is only for light, delicate work, obviously.

 

With the Foredom, I use two handpieces: the 44HT(uses collets), and the #10 quick release for

3/32 shanks. The 44 is for hogout type work and I use it mostly with large 1/4 inch shank, carbide burrs.

 

So those three handpiece give me quite a range. I would love a unit like Janel has and have lusted after one for years, but there always seems to be something else more pressing.

 

Here's a shot of one of my rotary workstations(I have one other) showing the three handpieces,

my bench pin that I use for stability sometimes, an Ebony leaf carving in progress and my dust collector hose coming from the right.(Handler Manufacturing, RediVac #66D,seeUrl below)

Handler Mfg.

 

Hmm That NSK Presto looks just like my GRS ultra850. Not a bad little unit. It is more powerful than I thought. So smooth and quiet too!

GRS rotary

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I have had a Foredom for 3 years now and I like it, I just bought a "micro hand piece" for it the other night at Lowe's. It's much smaller than the normal hand piece and Foredom makes it I think it was $44 and it uses collets (I don't like changing collets so I bought the hand piece with the chuck too). I did have to replace the whole drive cable once, I hadn't noticed that I had a small curve in it and it melted! I also bought a die filer hand piece that attaches the same way as normal hand pieces.

 

I'm interested in learning more about the NSK

 

Rik

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Hi, this is not the dealer I worked through, but there is some information about the NSK Electer E-Max and others plus the extra things one might want to go with it. I'll work at remembering the information for the dealer and post it sometime tomorrow.

 

http://www.progresstool.com/pd_nsk.cfm

 

Jim, thanks for the picture of your work station. It is interesting to note that you have multiple stations for various tasks. My bench multi-tasks and gets rather crowded. I've acquired so many old desks from people, that making something with a specific use in mind has not occured to me. I do have an old workbench that I made 30 years ago for sawing and staining jobs.

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[Hmm That NSK Presto looks just like my GRS ultra850. Not a bad little unit. It is more powerful than I thought. So smooth and quiet too!

]

 

Patrick, it is the same tool, made by NSK and it can be bought directly from the importer for a bit less(sorry).

See info on this and other rotary and engraving tools at:

 

Steve Lindsay NSK info

 

I'll try to post a pic of my other rotary station tomorrow. It's for smaller work and has it's own hose to the Handler dust collector.

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well, here's a different point of view on Fordom, and power carving. I've used Fordom flexshafts for years, with various handpeices. For power carving, I currently use a series L high torque, low speed (5000 rpm max) motor with a Magnagraver reciprocating handpeice. It works like a Gravermax, but is much cheaper. I've used it for close to 10 years, and it runs like a champ. It takes up to 1/8 inch square or round tool. I use carbide, but some people like high speed steel.

I wouldn't use a rotary tool for carving, but that's just me. I get much better control with a reciprocating tool. It's akin to a hammer and chisel which is what I learned to carve with. Any fine detail work I do is with a graver pushed by hand.

But I do use fordoms with burrs for certain operations, and I like a #30 handpeice, because I can put any size tool in it up to 1/8 inch (I think). It's good for drilling and sanding operation too.

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Thanks for all the great feedback and ideas.

I do relief carving and 3D carving in wood. I think the 1/4 HP Foredom will fit me very well.

Someday maybe the NSK will come into play. I may want to expand my material use horizons.

 

JIM

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NSK information, finally!

 

I was referred to:

 

Jim Hahn

Jaymes Company

Forest Hill, MD

 

I think that we do not give out phone or street address over the web? Another forum I use has that policy. PM or E-mail me and I will provide the information privately. Jim does not have a web site, and deals directly with the clients. He is very helpful.

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  • 3 years later...

Hello All,

 

I am adding this post that is four years post the last post (excuse the play on words) because there are some new changes in Foredom flex-shaft tools. I thought that some newbie surfing TCP might appreciate an update. By now Hardtwist is happily carving away with his flex-shaft tool.

 

I just bought a Foredom TXH. It has a 1/3 horse motor and a heavy duty shaft. There is also a TX series that is a little less expensive. Before buying it I read this thread and I thank all who wrote posts. The THX series has a "heavy duty motor" (Permanent Magnet Motor) and a heavy duty "square drive" shaft. The flex shaft is 60" long and requires a hand piece that will fit the square shaft (e.g. H.30H or H.44HT). The TXH also requires an SXR or EMX speed control. The point of this bowl of alphabet soup is that upgrade to the TXH series requires the purchase of a new hand piece and speed control. I upgraded from an old 1/5 horse Sears Industrial Grinder with a Foredom shaft and # 30 hand piece.

 

I like the chuck hand piece. It cost a little more but changing from 3/32" to 1/8" is faster.

 

Patrick is right; the higher horse power with lower speed (15,000 prm) provides better UMPH (i.e torque). My burs never cut so well.

 

Foredom no longer makes a 1/4 horse motor; however, they still have parts for them and will repair them. In the current Woodcraft catalog there is a 1/4 horse flex-shaft tool that is manufactured by Wecheer (spelling ?) that is about half the cost of a TXH. I don't know anything about the model or brand.

 

For additional info check out www.Foredom.com. I order mine from the website. I sent them an E-mail with several questions and they replied promptly.

 

Whatever tools you use, have fun carving.

 

E George

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Thanks for asking that question - it's one I've been wondering about recently.

 

I have and use a Foredom, and yes, I notice quite a bit of vibration in the handpiece. I use a Number 8 handpiece. I can't use it for long periods (> 1 hour) because my hand starts to tingle from the vibration.

 

I'm interested to know if I just have a bad handpiece, or if this is to be expected.

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Vibration and heats is to be expected, but as Don and others mentioned, Foredom is a reliable workhorse. Although somewhat cumbersome, it can't be beat for hogging out large sections of material and you can get pretty fine detail with it. Add a foot pedal to the set up, but be prepared to scare the crap out of yourself when you accidently step on it and it starts up. A friend of mine has used an air powered handpiece , but I don't know the brand. It is small, like a fat pen and he gets pretty fantastic results with almost no vibration.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Vibration and heats is to be expected, but as Don and others mentioned, Foredom is a reliable workhorse. Although somewhat cumbersome, it can't be beat for hogging out large sections of material and you can get pretty fine detail with it. Add a foot pedal to the set up, but be prepared to scare the crap out of yourself when you accidently step on it and it starts up. A friend of mine has used an air powered handpiece , but I don't know the brand. It is small, like a fat pen and he gets pretty fantastic results with almost no vibration.

 

 

Could you possibly find out what brand it is?

I am looking to carve Nephrite, and would like to try something that is not plugged into the wall.

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