Top Things to Avoid When Grinding and Sharpening
Whether you’re sharpening garden shears, smoothing mosaic tiles or deburring copper pipes, we’ll help you to sidestep the most common setbacks. Follow our complete guide below and you’ll be ready to tackle that grinding or sharpening project. ...
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Protect Yourself With a Guard Attachment
When sharpening metal objects, sparks and dust inevitably come flying. But other objects can release tiny particles of dust or dirt too. By attaching the Dremel Shield Rotary Attachment (A550), you can best protect yourself, your clothes, and your surroundings from these flying particles. Its curated design ensures any sparks or other bits are bounced back and down, away from you.
Securely Clamp Your Object or Tool
You don’t want your object – or Multi-Tool – to be slipping and sliding during a grinding or sharpening project. Secure your object with a clamp or lock in your tool with a vice, such as the Dremel Multi-Vise (2500-01). Just clamp the vice to your workbench or tabletop, feed the object or tool into its jaws and tighten. A Dremel Multi-Vise allows you to rotate the clamped object 360°, allowing you to find the perfect angle for grinding or sharpening. You may find it easier to clamp your Dremel Multi-Tool to the vice and move the object against the grinding accessory. Just have a go and find out which you prefer.
Choose the Right Accessory for the Job
For precision projects, you’ll want to use the right tool for the job. If you deburr a pipe with the wrong grinding stone, you risk creating more burrs and create even more work then before. Each of Dremel’s grinding stones has its own shape, size and purpose. The pointed Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stones (953) works wonders on round or curved surfaces, such as pipes and tubes, both inside and out. Alternatively, the Aluminum Oxide Grinding Stone (932), with its cylindrical shape, is perfect for flat and slotted surfaces, such as axes.
Use Slow, Controlled Movements
Another reason your grinding or sharpening project may not turn out quite the way you had planned is impatience. When you’re raring to go, it’s easy to work too quickly or to push down on your object too heavily. And what happens? You may remove too much material in places, causing surfaces to be uneven or edges to become bumpy. The solution is simple: all you have to do is take it slow. By using controlled movements you’re most likely to get uniform, level, and smooth results. There’s no need to put a lot of pressure on your Dremel either. It’s all about letting the tool do the work for you.
Keep a Steady Head
Freehanding your grinding or sharpening movements requires a steady hand and a burst of concentration, or you’ll end up with uneven or lopsided results. For creating exact angles of 45° or 90°, extra help is at hand. Dremel’s Sanding/Grinding Guide Attachment (A576) connects to your Dremel tool to help guide you towards perfectly even edges, for instance when cutting tiles to size. Make sure you use a vice (see tip 2) to secure your object in place for really precise grinding and sharpening results.
Clean Your Grinding and Sharpening Accessories Regularly
If you were to stick a Dremel grinding stone under a microscope, you’d see lots of little openings. It’s in these openings that dust, rust, dirt and other scraped off bits collect. But don’t worry, there’s no need to throw away clogged up grinding accessories. Just run the grinding stone against a dressing stone clamped in your vice. This solid block of hard abrasive will both clean and redefine your accessory, whipping it back into shape and preparing it for the next round of grinding or sharpening.
Test Safely For Sharpness
After all that sharpening action, you’ll want to know if your sharpened object is up to the job. There are several safe ways to test this. Trying it out on your finger and cutting yourself isn’t one of them! The ‘paper cutting test’ is very easy to do at home. Just clamp the sharpened edge horizontally into a vice. Hold a sheet of paper taut above the object and lightly pass it over the sharpened edge, moving the paper down and towards you. A sharp blade should slide cleanly through without snagging the paper. If it catches or tears the paper, the blade needs some more sharpening.