Power carving with a Dremel

I was recently gifted a Dremel rotary tool, and so far I’ve been having a good amount of fun with it.  And yes, I still have all 9 1/2 of my fingers in the process. 😀

That being said, I’ve started watching some YouTube videos to see what kinds of things a person can do with a Dremel rotary tool.

This video caught my eye.

Wow, you mean I can use a Dremel rotary tool to make those intricate wood carvings and etchings?

Dude, I gotta try this.

And I’ve got enough leftover scrap wood from my wooden crate projects … so let’s get to it.

First, I tried to build a key ring holder.  I penciled the word “KEYS” on a block of wood.  Then, after donning protective goggles and a face mask – trust me, you have no idea what kind of chemicals and gunk are in 50-year-old crate wood – I used a small Dremel carbide burr to trim around the letters.  After they were sufficiently trimmed, I used a different carbide burr to sand away the wood and leave the word “KEYS” in a raised bas-relief.

Here’s what it looks like.

Not bad for a first try.

Okay, let’s take this up a notch.  Practice makes perfect, right?

Last year, I took a French Canadian Coca-Cola crate and turned it into a bird feeder.  I still had the leftover sides of the crate, as you see here.

So here we go.  I put on the respirator mask and the goggles – safety is paramount, mind you – I took the small carbide burr and trimmed around all the green letters as carefully as I possibly could.

This is a very time-consuming process, and it takes a steady hand to carve up to the edges of each letter without gouging inward.  But remember, this is practice. Besides, maybe I’ll turn this into a key ring holder or some other nicknack.

Here’s what the piece looks like after I’ve done the letter edging.

I should let you know that if you thought edging around the letters “Coke” was tough, try getting your Dremel rotary tool around the words “Prenez un.”  And don’t even get me started on “Marque Deposee.”  I just sanded over that one, I’m not yet qualified enough for tiny etching like that.  I should also note that it really helps when you carve this delicate stuff by using a Dremel “flex-shaft” attachment – with the flex-shaft attachment, you can hold the end of the Dremel tool and carve with the same precision as writing with a pen.  Big, big help.

I then took a series of larger carbide burrs, and carved away as much of the remaining wood around the letters as I could.  This does take some time, and patience is the key.

Finally… here’s what came out.

Progress is good.  And I’m making progress here.

Now I’m not saying that I’ll be making intricate axe handles like the guy from the Cornelius Creations power-carving video…

But at least this is a start.

And I’m sure that before long … I’ll find a use for this “power carving” that will benefit my personal art projects.

We shall see, shall we?