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Rotary tool for scribing?

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  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Rotary tool for scribing?
Posted by smhardesty on Thursday, May 04, 2017 12:58 PM

Here is a second question I have about body work. Before anybody blasts me for this idea, please keep in mind I’m still a real newbie, and I also haven’t used a rotary tool all that much. I’m not sure, but I can’t recall ever using any of the engraving or diamond tip cutters before. I’ve mostl used cutting, grinding, and polishing accessories.

Now, with that in mind, here is my question. Is it possible to use a really small tipped engraving type accessory on a rotary tool to scribe panel lines? I haven’t attempted it, but I happened to use my rotary tool for another project on my work bench and had a kit body lying there on the bench. I’ve been experimenting with different types of tools to scribe with and different ways of holding the tools. So the thought of using the rotary crossed my mind.

Anybody tried this? Any definite pros or cons?

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Sunday, May 07, 2017 2:03 PM

Looks like maybe nobody has tried doing this. I happened to end up with an older NASCAR kit and I don't do NASCAR at all. Maybe I'll break that kit out and try the rotary tool thing on it. Might be an easier way for me to scribe without getting the pain in my hands.

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Sunday, May 07, 2017 6:01 PM

If by a rotary tool you mean something like a Dremel tool, I would say no.

At least I would never try it on something that I couldn't stand to toss in the trash.

Scribing is a very delicate & precise operation that I don't feel could be accomplished with a Dremel.

It seems to me that it would be way too difficult to maintain enough control.

A dremel tool will remove a lot of material very quickly.

One slip & you've ruined a body.

There is absolutely no way that I would even contemplate trying it unless you have a variable speed tool.

Even at a lower speed, a Dremel runs at a very high RPM & will actually melt styrene rather than cut it.

Your first order of business for trying it on a junk body would be to devise a way to keep your cuts straight.

That may be your most difficult task.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Sunday, May 07, 2017 7:07 PM
Yes, a Dremel is what I was referring to. I do happen to have a pretty nice, variable speed tool and was planning on using it at the lowest speed. I never thought about the melting. And you're right, even at low speed I bet it would melt the plastic as opposed to just removing it. Well, that might not be a good idea after all. Next step for me will be to find a way to attach or wrap something to a regular scribing tool to "fatten it up". I found that gripping the slender tool I bought causes my hand to cramp and hurt quite a bit. With the loss of feeling and grip, and the pain from the arthritis, holding anything as slender as a scribing tool cause me a bit of a problem.

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Sunday, May 07, 2017 9:12 PM

There are some types of dental tools that have the same profile as a panel scriber, and some will cut a thinner groove than a panel scriber. Some of the professional dental tools (not the cheap knock off stuff) have a handle that is quite a bit larger in diameter than most panel scribers, which might help. You can further increase its size and grip by adding a couple layers of heat shring tubing.

The dental tools might not be quite as strong as the panel scribers, but used with care they work pretty well. Ask your dentist for his cast offs. They replace them fairly often, so he may have some around. Look for one with the end ground just like a panel scriber.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by Plowboy on Monday, May 08, 2017 6:51 AM

Try using a razor saw to scribe your panel lines. I used one for a long time before I started using a modified dental pick. I still use it to start new lines. For the best control, hold the blade, not the handle.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, May 08, 2017 8:33 AM

Plowboy

Try using a razor saw to scribe your panel lines. I used one for a long time before I started using a modified dental pick. I still use it to start new lines. For the best control, hold the blade, not the handle.

 

Do you use the heel of the blade or the toe? I have not tried this method, but I hear those who use a saw blade for scribing often use the heel of the blade. Just curious.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Monday, May 08, 2017 10:29 AM
Those are a couple of great suggestions. I might see about getting a saw and some dental picks, then trying them out to see which works best for me. Thanks!

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:08 AM

If you have a Harbor Freight near you or something similar, you can pick up a set of dental picks there for around 7 bucks. There's 5 or 6 picks in a pack. Some are double ended for r/l. You'll wind up with a few different tips. I use the hooked tips for all my scribing.

If you are dead set on a motorised tool, look at craft stores for a cheap engraving kit.

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by Moparlover64 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:31 AM

Or you could wrap your scribe with friction tape to the size. That's comfortable for you . that may also decrease the tool drop factor which is the problem I have with my Parkinson's along with cramping from the constant muscle spasms and right side twitching from a stroke

Moparlover64

  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by Plowboy on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:28 AM

Bainford

 

Do you use the heel of the blade or the toe? I have not tried this method, but I hear those who use a saw blade for scribing often use the heel of the blade. Just curious.

 

 

I use the toe/tip of the blade. I lay the blade in the web of my hand and hold it between my thumb/fore/middle finger. That gives me the best control of the blade.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:32 PM

Plowboy

I use the toe/tip of the blade. I lay the blade in the web of my hand and hold it between my thumb/fore/middle finger. That gives me the best control of the blade.

Interesting. I've been experimenting with a grip like that. I have issues similar to Moparlover64. My right hand/arm suffered a slight loss of feeling and control when the VA waited 6 years to perform a fusion on discs in my neck. My hand cramps and I get occasional spasms, or jerks, where the hand either opens up or closes rapidly, resulting in dropping whatever I’m holding.

I think the best route for me right now is to wrap the scribing tools with some sort of material like heat shrink tubing or friction tape and then using a grip like you describe. So far I’ve found that particular grip results in the fewest misplaced scribing lines when my hand twitches. Maybe all I need to do is increase the size of the handle for a slighter relaxed grip size.

Thanks to all you guys for the input.

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by mini man on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:10 PM

A very ineresting thread having had two strokes - rightv side  of body,left of brain and arthritis.So my dexterity s pretty poor and my grip -what grip! all at the ripe old age of 51.Crying

 

Nigel.

 

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