which dremel bit to enlarge a metal lensboard?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by eric, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. eric

    eric Member

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    Hi all,
    Gonna replace my Dremel with a Dremel 4000. Oh yeah!!! I'm also thinking of getting the Workstation that holds the Dremel and can be used like a drill press.

    Anyway, I have some Linhof boards #3 that I need enlarged a bit. Any suggestions which sanding bit to use??
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've always just used a curved hand file, they are only aluminium boards and so very easy to file out. If you use the Dremel just one of the grinding stones.

    Ian
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    DRE115 High Speed Cutter well with aluminum.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I would also do this by hand with a file.... but I'm not American!


    Steve.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Oh my! Maybe I should use a Dremel or hand tools instead of having a co-worker use his milling machines and drill presses in his garage on the weekends! :redface: Silly me! :redface:
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I've clogged up dremels pretty good with aluminum; using the can shaped stone/porous grinding bits. Seeking other's suggestions for bit choice is indeed wise.

    I'd either file it out by hand, or use a milling bit in a drill press. If you're going to use a drill press though, a normal hole-saw kit works well if you oil things while cutting.
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I find you can purchase stones for sharpening chain saw chains that work fine in a dremel tool and are cheaper.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    You could always take your inspiration from Homer Simpson and blast the hole bigger with fireworks.


    Steve.
     
  10. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    For a task like this, you will be much better off with a file.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Unfortunately many of us have neither a Brigeport mill in the garage or a friend who does. I once had both but, alas, no more.
     
  12. eric

    eric Member

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    A file?? But but but....I wanna get a new Dremel!!! Okay, I'll get a Dremel and make the big cuts, then I'll use a file. :smile:
     
  13. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I find that a Barrett 50cal at 2000 yards makes just about the size hole that I need any closer than that has a tendency to obliterate the lens board.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2011
  14. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    The small Dremel sanding drums, maybe 1/2 inch round? are good for final shapping and smoothing on a job like this.
     
  15. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    How much is a "bit" . Clamp and a hole saw if its more than a few mm. Otherwise a handfile for me too.
     
  16. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    There are rubbery sanding pieces that will slowly grind something down. I can't remember their part # and I'd have to feel one to know rather than see a photo. When I was restoring serial numbers at the crime lab, that's what we used to make the area a smooth surface before applying the acids. Anything else took it down too fast. We didn't get aluminum too often, but we did see it occasionally - same procedure.
     
  17. OldBikerPete

    OldBikerPete Member

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    I would recommend a nibbling tool for the gross cutting, following up with either a dremel or a file for the final cleanup.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Yea go forth with the file and do no evil.
    The hole saw, you're going to make an accurate center point and secure the board to it or it's really going to get messed up.

    You need the Dremel! The work station is pretty neat too, I put that off for a long time and now wonder why.
     
  19. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I like the idea of using the Barrett. :wink:
     
  20. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    Most "machine shops" that cater to working with auto-repair shops for cylinder boring, etc... are generally more than willing to help someone out, at least from MY experience. Before I had money in my pocket, I scraped together my pennies to buy a 6-pack of Bud and made a swap for my "small projects" like boring/enlarging a lensboard(s).

    Usually they were more than willing, I'm sure its an "industry-wide practice/standard" :wink:

    -Dan
     
  21. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    +1 for the sanding drum on the Dremel. It's much safer than any cutting tool would be since it's not as likely to grab and throw the board into your person or impale your hand, if done without the proper machinist's vise and boring tool on a Bridgeport milling machine. Whatever you do, just don't try to use a hole saw in aluminum plate with a handrill and no vise. Extremely dangerous. Likewise, I wouldn't attempt to use the Dremel like a router with the supplied circle cutting tool in anything other than wood or plastic (such a cut is not going to be even remotely precise enough for a lens bore without cutting it well undersize, then using a sanding drum to smooth the cut.)

    Results would depend on the lens board. With my Dremel and sanding drum, I found it straightforward, quick and simple to slightly enlarge one of those formed sheet metal Speed/Crown Graphic type lens boards to a Copal 0 without the burrs or bending a file might have caused. But here a perfectly round bore was already in the piece, the amount of material removed was just a few thousandths. If trying to take a plate aluminum lens board from just a pilot hole to a Copal #1 or #3, I'd definitely advise making friends with a machinist instead of the Dremel.
     
  22. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Whatever method you use, PLEASE, Please wear eye protection. Aluminum filings in the eye can ruin your day.