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03-31-2015, 08:22 PM   #1
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A Quick Question About Power Tools?

For the life of me I cannot get a straight answer to this using Google. I have a Gyros Dremel type rotary tool and a cordless Skill screwdriver that I have used a lot for various projects around the house and for crafting. The screwdriver more so, but I'm slowly learning to use the rotary tool with all it's various accoutrements too. I also have my Dad's Sears Craftsman drill and soldering iron both of which are pretty ancient and pretty big. I'm eying a new smaller soldering iron for the jewelry work I'm going to be doing but I'm wondering can I use my Skill as a small hand drill just for putting bale holes into metal blanks for pendants, charms and the like? I'd be working mostly with copper, bronze, maybe some silver, polymer, glass and resin.

I'm not talking about drilling holes around the house. Using Dad's drill is incredibly hard for me with the level of arthritis I have. I think the thing is nearly as old as I am and it weighs a ton. The screwdriver is great, much more my size and I was wondering can I use drill bits with it to screw small holes in lightweight things like jewelry blanks? I'm getting a jewelry saw, some files, a block and some hammers soon so I can start incorporating some handmade metal pendants into my work. I'm tired of buying stock things. I want to make some things that are more unique. I'm on the list to take a couple of metal working classes come Fall but in the meantime I'm teaching myself from books and using videos. Most of the tools I will need I've figured out but I'm just wondering if maybe I can get one of the two tools I have to act as a mini drill?

I still haven't figured out the use of all the accessories in the kit I bought to go with the Gyro and that came with the Gyro. Some of them I've figured out at this point but admittedly some of them remain a mystery to me still. They never seem to include any directions as to what is for what with power tools? I guess they just assume that if you know enough to buy a power tool you know how to use it, but actually these are my first ones and while I've been pretty pleased with them thus far I got them knowing very little about rotary tools or power screwdrivers. I got the Gyro because it has nearly all the features of a far more expensive Dremel including a flex shaft. Dad me the cordless screwdriver after watching me assemble a bookcase without it.

At that point it was an incredibly painful task for me using his old manual tools. I got it done but nearly killed myself in the process. He went out and got me one and told me not to go there again without a power tool. :P After that he pretty much gave me all his old power tools, the drill, soldering gun and all that. He's too old to be using them now and he doesn't trust his vision well enough now to do things like drilling, assembling furniture and that. They're good old tools. They're not junk, I will give him that, but most of them are so old that they're very big and very heavy for me to use. I'm trying to upgrade a little, but I need portable, lightweight tools and preferably tools that can do more than one thing...

This is my rotary tool:

and this is my screwdriver:

Can either of these be adapted to what I want to do?

03-31-2015, 08:44 PM   #2
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Absolutely. Your skil screwdriver takes 1/4 hex bits, just buy hex shank drill bits

Since you're drilling soft things, the low speed screwdriver will probably be fine for this.

Also look into a pencil tip soldering station. You'll want precision tip and heat control for jewelry soldering

For jewelry or fine work a little hobby vise will be a good tool as well
03-31-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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Hi Mags. I have that screwdriver, it should be fine if you are ok with slow drill speeds. It's easy enough to operate with just a slight wrist-twist. Holds a charge nicely too.

04-01-2015, 09:46 AM   #4
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Depending on how you are drilling the holes, there is another option, since it is likely you are working at a fixed place. You can purchase stands for most drills that convert them into a drill press, with a lever action vertical stroke.

See attached

This will allow you to hold only the object being drilled in place, and pull down on the lever

04-01-2015, 10:12 AM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by RoxnDox Quote
Hi Mags. I have that screwdriver, it should be fine if you are ok with slow drill speeds. It's easy enough to operate with just a slight wrist-twist. Holds a charge nicely too.

Thanks, all. Lots of nice advice here. The Skil screwdriver I love. It's the most useful thing that tool, and if I can adapt that it would be my first choice, but I kind of like the last idea too as that would free my hands. Problem solved I think. Now if I can just find a decently sized steel/rubber combo block that doesn't cost the moon I'll be happy. A 4" jewelers block set is over $20 and that's one of the cheaper items on my list. It is ABSURD how much the stuff for this is going to cost me. I'm adding the "basics" up and it's as much as my classes just for the supplies I'll need. I still want to do it, but it's not going to be cheap this new endeavor...
04-02-2015, 03:26 PM   #6
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The problem you may encounter is the size holes you want to drill. You might not be able to get 1/4" shank drills that small. I've never used them so I don't know what size they are available in. If you can't find small enough drill bits, maybe they make a chuck for the end of your Dremel tool that will let you standard small drill bits.

Be careful when drilling. ALWAYS wear eye protection. When drilling metal parts, take care as they will get hot, especially copper which transfers heat very quickly.

You also mentioned using a soldering iron. If you can afford one, get a soldering station. The nicer ones have replaceable tips in a variety of sizes, are adjustable for heat, and hold the things needed to keep the tip clean.
04-03-2015, 09:32 AM   #7
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It sounds like a small drill press is what you need.
04-03-2015, 07:43 PM   #8
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Some rotary tools can be mounted in a press device as well. I'd just get the drill bits for the rotary.


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