Foredom + DNC planing bit

Hey, you’ve all seen Ryan’s stream on the foredom. I wanted to add to the conversation by saying that:

  1. The foredom is awesome. Get one.
  2. The chisel handle/set is awesome. Get one.

and most importantly:

  1. You may all have seen around those bits that are very expensive bonsai nibblers from Europe (like the one in the image below). I got one in the past with a 1/8" shank. It is an indispensable bit when you need to chew a lot of wood. Like hollowing a branch for example.

Well I wanted something like this for the 1/4" shank so that I can work on bigger projects. This bit is very expensive (for example the one on the image above for a 1/4" shank costs about 80 USD at Harry Harrington’s online shop). I decided to take my chances and try a 1/4" shank CNC Router Bit for Spoilboard Surfacing from amazon for 14 USD. The verdict is that it works just fine. I don’t know how long it will last but I have no reason to imagine that it will last any less than the ‘for-bonsai’ labelled one. There a big variety of CNC spoilboard surfacing bits here is the link of the specific one I got.

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The nibbler bit uses carbide inserts that can be replaced by the user. It also looks like it is a triangular insert so it can be rotated to bring fresh cutting surfaces to bear.

The CNC router bit uses carbide that is brazed to the router body. It can be professionally sharpened by nearly any shop that sharpens saw blades. My local shop is on the order of $2 + $0.50 per tooth depending upon the type of grind. They will generally be concerned about how many times it is sharpened due to the change of diameter, but for our purpose the diameter does not matter so it can be sharpened more times.

I have not had the carbide burrs like the ones Ryan shows in the Foredom stream sharpened. However, those are a very complex shape that the sharpening cost may exceed the cost of a new bit.

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I wish you could rent these. I just don’t see myself using one enough to justify the $$$. I’ve tried looking for acceptable bits for a dremel, but most bits are for detail work. I need something for a couple of chunky projects.

A low cost alternative for occasional removal of lots of material is an angle grinder and chainsaw type bit. Not nearly as a controlled as the Foredom, but a bit easier to control and safer than the electric chain saw.

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Agreed. As an alternative, I’m thinking about getting together with a few club members or trying to get our local club itself to purchase it, and then rent or share it out between members.

I don’t think as awesome as it is, that the foredom is essential. I did without thus far with a Wen dremel-like 30$ knock-off. It may take longer to work but it does the job. Far more important is the proper bits. I have the nibbler for the 1/8" shaft as well as what Walter Pall calls the space saucer from a german company that is super awesome to create thin groove lines.

For a long time I’ve wanted to buy a 1/4" shaft and as everybody uses a Makita, I was planning to get one but since the foredom is even better and more versatile as it also has the 1/8" collet I got it. In 2020 I would have spent about 1000$ in workshops in addition to Mirai Live. Since all that got cancelled, I could fit it in my budget. I save on not having to get a Makita, not spending on a dremmel or another knock-off (one sees why it costs 30$, I don’t know how much longer the Wen will last) and I have a machine that will last me for a lifetime.

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Good points Rafi. The smaller tools will work, but the more powerful ones are very useful.