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Another rookie question - Can I Clean Up the Keel With A Dremel

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Sorry for all the entry level stuff guys. You must get sick of it after awhile. Can I use a Dremel tool to clean up the keel rather then a chisel? I have never used chisels before and not too keen on using one... I plan to use a drum sander as well as one of these....




Of course I will do the planing of the lower keel first. Just trying to learn the ropes so to speak. UGGH the ropes. I have NO experience with knots. I am definitely in trouble there aren't I?

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Try the chisel and knife - on some scrap first - the chisel and knife are easily controlled and will be needed constantly through your modeling and while power tools are great and I use them a lot,  the Dremel can be a very aggressive cutter and can get away from you and can ruin a piece of work very fast.  Try both methods on scrap and then go with the one that works best for you.


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as the other have said the dremel can be too much unless you have a really really good "touch" with it.


I would say that two issues are that it can very quickly take off to much wood and that it can also skip or jump if you are not careful.

and as was said get some other scraps of the same wood and try out each method a few times and get a better feel for each tool.


there are a lot of places I do use the dremel to sand and cut wood and a lot of places I use a good sharp blade.

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We will never get tired of questions, even repeated ones...... :)

Dremel is good as stated before me, but hand tools is in many ways better, as you will have a feeling of how much you are reducing.

As you will reduce so much less.

I am using a combo of both, but not for keel.

However, the latest Dremel Micro can do real low rpm's which makes it more controllable.
If you are not used to such a power tool you can create more harm than greatness. :)

Good luck  

Edited by Nirvana
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I agree with the others and you might as well learn how to use a chisel.


But,if your dead set against it, you might try sandpaper wrapped tightly around a long block, maybe 1/2 inch square and three to five inches long.

Its tough to adjust your lines if you take off too much or gouge the wood which is easy to do with a Dremel (most of us have learned that the hard way.)  Manual sanding will give you more control of the depth and the long flat surface under the sandpaper will help yield a level, smooth keel. 


For me, part of the fun of this hobby is learning the skill and techniques including new tools.  I am new to the hobby and spend a lot of time learning how to use tools that are new to me from chisels to soldering, jig saw to lathe, and so on. 


In Frolich's book, The Art of Ship Modeling he says, the ship modeler needs to be "... a carpenter, carver, coppersmith, block-maker, rigger, sail maker and painter" ... "using a multitude of crafts ... working with wood, metal, fit, saw, turn, solder, glue, make rope, drill, grind, cut sails, sew, dye, paint, dozens of motions, techniques, turns of the hand."


I agree with him.


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A Dremel is nice but you will lack the control that you would have with chisels and knives.  Even bird carvers who use a Dremel go for a nice chisel on the delicate parts.  The Dremel is for large stock removal not for fine work.

David B

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I also use a block of wood with different grit sandpaper to help shape and smooth , 60 or 80 grit will take off a lot of wood fast and then 180 or 220 will smooth things out.

using a wood block makes sure you are "flat" and you can see the rough angle you are getting at.

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