Do you Dremel?

A long time ago, I put a shopping link on Puchimadam for a multi-speed dremel, prompting many to ask “what exactly do you use your dremel for on Blythe?”

I have found several uses for mine – in fact, it’s something I reach for every day – whether customizing a takara, or building blythe furniture.

  1. de-rooting one quick pluckPrepping scalps for rooting: I think it was my very first Blythe, a Disco Boogie, that introduced me to the factory glue ball from hell. If you’ve ever opened up an older Takara or an ADG scalp, you know exactly what I’m talking about – literally a squirt of superglue right at the crown of the head that soaks into the roots of the hair.if you’re rerooting – this is a huge obstacle to remove! Enter the Dremel. using a medium speed (I set mine from 6-8 ) and a medium grinding wheel, turn the scalp inside out and gently flick off all the roots. The high speed will immediately melt the roots and shear them off cleanly.do not apply pressure – let the weight of the tool provide the downward force. When you get to the gluey parts, go slowly and take a little bit off at a time.It helps to fold the scalp like a taco when you get to the partline – be extra careful as the rubber is weak from the perforation.
  2. nasty glue Removing glue from the hard head: Same as removing glue from the scalp – a dremel is prefect for taking down hard glue blobs from her skull that can get in the way of a tightly-fitting scalp. I like to use a medium grit paper sanding wheel for this.
  3. roomblythe furniture and dollhouses: When working on modifying or building furniture, nothing is handier for removing material quickly. take my wall-mounted cubbies in the living room – they were originally ikea bookshelves with thick legs running across the bottom. Cutting them off by hand would have taken much longer and made more plastic dust than the cutting wheel on my Dremel. Dremels are made for micro wood and metal applications, so dollhouse work is a perfect task. I used my dremel to smooth out all the edges on my bedroom furniture that i made from craft wood. A big power drill or saw inside a dollhouse room would be like a bull in a china shop!

Shopping for your first Dremel:

Dremel 3962 Multipro kit is the model we own and use on countless projects around the shop.

if you don’t want all the little extra accessories, you can just buy the Dremel 395D tool alone.

dremel stylus We both use a corded model, although the cordless models have great reviews, like the very cool-looking pistol-grip Dremel Stylus

Whatever model you choose, it’s important that is is variable speed (the description will say 15,000-35,000 RPM) rather than 1- or 2-speed. variable speed is what allows it to work on a myriad of materials.

***Words of caution:***

Even though the dremel is a very versatile tool, and many have variable speeds with low settings, the Dremel is NOT for polishing plastic and should not be used to buff or shape blythe’s face. Even on the lowest setting, the polishing wheel will create too much friction and melt the hard plastic, so don’t go anywhere near her face. You can, however, use it with a tiny drill bit to do permanent piercings, if that’s your cup of tea.

Dremels are a high-speed, low torque tool, so they don’t work by applying pressure. When you’re first learning how to handle the tool, never push the tool with too much force. This will cause the tool to bind up. Use a light touch and let the weight of the tool do most of the work. Experiment on scraps of wood, plastic or rubber before tackling your real project.

Always wear eyewear and grubby clothes – hot pieces of plastic from scalp work tends to still be a little molten as it flies through the air and can stick to your clothes

remember that even though a Dremel is compact, it is a power tool. use common sense and wear eyewear, grubby clothes, and a mask if your project will make a lot if dust.

For more ideas of practical non-dolly projects, the Dremel official website has some good tips, crafts, and home improvement projects.

8 responses to “Do you Dremel?”

  1. yatabazah

    yummAy tips Melissa!

  2. linda

    I don’t do much customizing but this article made me want to get a Dremel kit now! Cus you never know when it’ll come in handy! 😀

  3. Carmen/Hobbit

    Excellent! Thanks for this! I had been wondering how useful the Dremel would be in Blythe furniture making.

  4. J*me

    Yay for Dremel lovers!! I’ve had mine since college days when I had to work on architectural models, but good to know it’s handy for Blythe projects too!! I don’t even use the drill press and router Dremel attachments much, but I’m now coveting that Dremel Stylus….*lusts*

  5. Helena

    I want a dremel. 🙂
    (I’ve wanted one since a few years..)

  6. blair

    I’m about to Dremel away the pesky glue on an EBL scalp! Yay! I swear I wouldn’t know what to do without your tutorials.

  7. Helena (again)

    And now I’ve gotten one! I got it as xmas present by my dad. Yay!

  8. jacqui

    am thinking of buying a doll with some scratches on her face…. does anyone know if scratches can be removed with some kind of sandpaper and then scratches smoothed down with finer grade or magic sponge after.. ??? Help appreciated… Ive never done this before. Just bought some bits and pieces and am nearly…. although hesitantly ready to plunge in…… Aaarrrgh its a little a bit scarry for first timers lol!!

    Thanks Jacqui.

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