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Old March 25, 2017, 12:06 PM   #1
keithdog
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Using a dremel tool.

I was curious if anyone uses a Dremel tool to smooth out parts of there gun such as the barrel Feeder ramp using the buffing attachment?
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Old March 25, 2017, 01:19 PM   #2
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I'd be lost without one. They get a lot of use in my shop for all kinds of things. I've polished a lot of ramps with one...you just have to polish the metal with one though, not removing bunches of metal. A guy can get into problems easily doing that kind of stuff.
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Old March 25, 2017, 03:12 PM   #3
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Feed ramps don't need more than 400 grit abrasive paper. Use a dowel about the same diameter as the feed ramp curve and work in the direction of the ramp .
Though I've used a Dremel hand work is usually all you need ,
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Old March 25, 2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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Your post begs the question: Are you having a problem with your gun's feed ramp? If no, they why are you trying to fix something that is not broken? The same for the other parts of your gun...don't "fix" something that has not shown to be some kind of problem. If you find yourself uncontrollably predisposed to fixing things that are not broken, just take all the one dollar bills out of your pocket and "fix" them by burning them...it will be cheaper in the long run.

If the factory thought that your feed ramp and other parts needed polishing, it is likely that they would have done it there. Most guns do not come in a "do it yourself" state of finish.

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A guy can get into problems easily doing that kind of stuff.
The is probably why it is not a good idea to practice on his gun's ramp, wouldn't you say?
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Old March 25, 2017, 05:02 PM   #5
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I have three dremel type tools.
They do come in handy, at times.
One is mostly a screw driver, another is for use as a cutting tool, and the third is for polishing and such.
All can be used for drilling, too.
Dremels are a great invention.
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Old March 25, 2017, 05:07 PM   #6
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IMO, if you need a Dremel to make things work correctly you have an inferior gun that the maker needs to make right...........
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Old March 25, 2017, 05:19 PM   #7
dahermit
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IMO, if you need a Dremel to make things work correctly you have an inferior gun that the maker needs to make right...
I agree. I can go a bit further...I am sure that 99% of the feed ramps that were polished via Dremel tools, did not malfunction before the owner did the polishing job. In other words, there is hardly ever a real need, only a lack of control of their desire to screw around with a motorized tool.
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Old March 25, 2017, 05:29 PM   #8
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Although some of the other posters here seem to have an aversion to motor powered devices I rather like the motor powered devices including the Hemi types. Seriously I like having polished feed ramps, tec. Many of the custom builders do this and also polish out machining marks on other parts. I tend to do the same on some of my lower end pistols. Its my time I can waste it if I want to.
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Old March 25, 2017, 05:43 PM   #9
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Although some of the other posters here seem to have an aversion to motor powered devices...
I don't have an "aversion" to them, I have an aversion to someone who has not mastered the basics of gunsmithing and metalworking using them without the requisite knowledge and skill.

Quote:
I rather like the motor powered devices including the Hemi types. Seriously I like having polished feed ramps, tec.
That is why most of it is done as per my previous posts...you just like to do it, not that it is necessary. In other words, "playing" or "fun".

Quote:
Many of the custom builders do this and also polish out machining marks on other parts.
As experienced gunsmiths, do you think that they started with power tools, or hand tools? Do you think that they have extensive experience or do you think that they just got a Dremel Tool for Xmas and are dieing to try it out?

Quote:
I tend to do the same on some of my lower end pistols. Its my time I can waste it if I want to.
It is your gun and you can waste that too if you want to but there are already enough Bubba guns on the market that would not be Bubba'd if it were not for some novice and his Dremel.

Do you think the original poster is an experienced gunsmith or machinist or someone who has little knowledge of what he is about to attempt? That is what I have a problem with.
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Old March 25, 2017, 06:33 PM   #10
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Use one if you feel the need but try to use it little as possible because you can not reverse the process. If its not broke dont fix it is my motto like others but I cannot afford a $3000 custom pistol like some people can so from time to time I may need to use a dremel on my $500 mass produced pistol as there not always perfect out of the box.
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Old March 25, 2017, 06:35 PM   #11
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Although some of the other posters here seem to have an aversion to motor powered devices
BS

Quote:
I don't have an "aversion" to them, I have an aversion to someone who has not mastered the basics of gunsmithing and metalworking using them without the requisite knowledge and skill.
+1
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Old March 25, 2017, 07:13 PM   #12
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I should explain a little better here. What I was wondering was during a normal tear down and cleaning of a pistol, would it be beneficial to use a soft buffing wheel to polish the feed ramp or any other part of the gun? Would it aid in the guns performance or is it not something to do? I just thought a polished feed ramp would help ensure proper bullet feed. Or any other part to ensure smooth firing.
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Old March 25, 2017, 07:39 PM   #13
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I could say many things about this subject, some of which have already been mentioned in this thread, so I will try to just mention a few key points.

I believe in the idea that anyone who owns a firearm should have a 10 day waiting period if they want to buy a dremel. In expert hands, a high speed rotary tool can save a lot of time. But a beginner can destroy parts plenty fast with hand tools.

I also want to discuss polishing feed ramps. Under most circumstances, polishing the feed ramp is not done for function. If everything is in spec, the feed ramp only needs to be pretty good for a gun to work reliably.

Most gunsmiths polish the feed ramp because doing so has become a mark of quality. People expect to see a mirror polished ramp on a hand fit gun, and custom makers oblige them. So the mirror polish is like the paint job on a Lamborgini. A great paint job is important for selling the car, but it does not make the car faster.
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Old March 25, 2017, 07:44 PM   #14
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You do whatever makes you happy.
I own and know how to use hand held power tools. I do not own a Dremel.
I have handpieces from 1/4 in collet 10,000 RPM 1/2 hp version of a "Foredom type" tool to a true dentist 90 deg 175,000 rpm tool.That includes conventional Foredoms and a delightful 65,000 rpm air pencil grinder.
For good measure,I also own and know how to use a 0-14,000 stroke per minute reciprocating DME Jiffy Profiler.
I have spent a lot of professional time with those tools in my hands.

One difference from a Dremel is quality of spindle bearings and rigidity.

The higher end tools run the wheel true. Once you dress your stone,you do not get the vibration,bounce,skitter,and the MOST fun with the dremel,when the cutter gets "Traction",bites in,and runs across your work.
I'm not condemning the Dremel,its just that once you have used better tools...

The other thing is the difference between surface finish and form and dimension. Usually what the desired result is? better surface finish with minimal alteration of form and dimension. That end is not necessarily best pursued with a 27,000 rpm semi-controllable tool.

The goal is to knockoff and flatten the high friction peaks of the surface finish without deepening the valleys. Many hobbyist techniques ,like a soft buff,cut the valleys and the peaks at the same time.Eventually,all definition is washed out.There is a better way.

Hand held mold polishing stones,such as Gesswein,come in a variety of grits and hardnesses. They can be dressed on a belt sander or bench grinder to the rough shape of the feed ramp or contoured part,ot left flat for flat surfaces.
They break down to conform to the steel and remain sharp.
They have the definition to only cut the peaks,and span over the valleys.

As you "Drawstone"perhaps in the direction of travel,as in up a feed ramp,your microscopic grit lines are direction of travel.Lower friction.

Your eyes see the progress as the toolmarks diminish.You stop working the spots that are good.

I don't worry about the low spots. They hold lube and trap dirt.So I take approximately 1/2 the depth of tool finish off to leave "plateau" to slide on.

Usually.The real key is just floating off the high spots.

I seldom pursue mirror shine. Why?

If you want to keep part dimension and geometry true,(function) remove minimal material . The "peaks"

You will find the definition and control in a stone that your hands power.

Any power tool buffing is to knock the peaks of your fine stone finish.

That is done in seconds with a brush or felt and diamond compound or aluminum oxide lapping compound about 900 grit or finer.
Flat parts? Cheaper than a Dremel you can get a 9 by 12 in granite surface plate. You can use wet/dry paper. I prefer Mylar lapping sheets.

Flat will stay flat.

Sear notches,etc? Just plain "NO!" to soft buffs and unguided hand work in general. Surface grinder or sear jig! Only.

Don't get me wrong. A Dremel is a great,useful tool. The cutoff wheels alone are worth a lot. You CAN shape,blend,and polish with a Dremel.

But a lot of 1911 frames have been ruined by an ill guided Dremel on a feed ramp. Shiny,though.

Last edited by HiBC; March 25, 2017 at 07:54 PM.
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Old March 25, 2017, 10:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
I should explain a little better here. What I was wondering was during a normal tear down and cleaning of a pistol, would it be beneficial to use a soft buffing wheel to polish the feed ramp or any other part of the gun? Would it aid in the guns performance or is it not something to do? I just thought a polished feed ramp would help ensure proper bullet feed. Or any other part to ensure smooth firing.
No! If it has had no issues feeding, there is no need to muck around with polishing the feed ramp. You likely can, if you go slow, without ruining the firearm... but if it isn't broken don't mess with it.

There are SOME things you can play around with polishing if you so desire. I polished the hammer and trigger of my Ruger Security Six, and they are absolutely breathtaking now. A true mirror finish. 600 grit sandpaper, followed by 1000, got me 99% of the way there by hand. Also, no sear engagement or any other functional portion was altered. This was merely cosmetic. Do these things until your heart is content if you wish. Polish a knife blade. If you REALLY must, polish the exposed portion of the barrel on the pistol (I've seen this look crappy, and I've seen it look good) with the understanding that it will need polishing again after every range trip.

Do not mess with any trigger engagement part. It is ill advised to mess with the feed ramp, but at least your pistol won't crank off full auto if you do. Also don't mess with the slide rails. I've seen some fool trying to lower friction at the slide rails by polishing them. What most folks don't realize is one mirror polished surface against another can actually increase friction if the fit is tight enough.



And yes, Dremel's are fine tools for some things. I've made a pair of pretty decent looking and very functional 1911 sights from bar stock, a dreme, welder, a bastard file, and a fine mill file. You would be surprised at how quick filing can remove metal.
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Old March 25, 2017, 11:46 PM   #16
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A dremel is a tool of last resort for me. If I want to polish up or smooth out any parts of a gun I am working on, it is usually done with sandpaper no rougher than 320 grit (preferably starting at 600), ceramic slip stones, or very fine lapping compound.

I have had to resort to a dremel tool a couple of times lately. Building my CETME/G3, for instance, I have had some weld burn through inside the receiver that inhibited bolt travel. Way up inside the nooks of the receiver is difficult for hand tools, but a long shake diamond bit spinning very fast was able to remove the offending material with no fuss.
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Old Yesterday, 01:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
I was curious if anyone uses a Dremel tool to smooth out parts of there gun
Please do, I need the work.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 AM   #18
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The OP said "Soft buffing wheel". You can sit there a loooong time with a felt bob and Clover or rubbing compound without changing anything. Sounds like the OP was just going to run it dry. What drama.
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Old Yesterday, 09:16 AM   #19
keithdog
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Yes gunplumber, I am talking about using a soft buffing wheel made of some kind of fabric. Looks like some kind of cotton material shaped like a wheel.
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Old Yesterday, 01:09 PM   #20
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"...Dremels are a great invention..." Yep. That cause more grief than any other tool. Far too easy to remove too much material and wreck the whole thing. 'Dremel' being an expensive brand name.
Polishing doesn't involve machines or sandpaper. Polishing is done with jewellers rouge and a cloth buffing wheel. No material is removed.
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Old Yesterday, 07:49 PM   #21
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Seems to be a lot of comments about dremel misuse. Bad experiences?
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Old Yesterday, 10:22 PM   #22
Bill DeShivs
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You can not polish without removing material.
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Old Yesterday, 11:04 PM   #23
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So a Dremel can screw things up; or more precisely, MISUSING a Dremel can screw things up. Because of this, we see disparagement of Dremel's throughout this thread....

Has anyone noticed the parallel this has to the gun control argument? "Guns can be misused, therefore guns are bad?"

A Dremel is a tool; learn to use it correctly, and study before you do anything critical with it. It's not the devil, and it won't eat your kids; it's a labor saving device which, used properly, allows you to do some things quicker and easier than you could without it.


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Old Yesterday, 11:30 PM   #24
Bill DeShivs
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I have seen few, if any, people who know how to properly use a Dremel.

All that speed might be good for routing wood, but it's terrible for working on metal.
I have 3 Dremels on my bench. 2 are cordless and are used at their lowest speed. The corded one is used with a rheostat foot pedal and very low speed.
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Old Today, 04:42 AM   #25
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I use the Dremel and a Foredom for stock work, inletting and prebedding work.
I dont care to polish up parts the dont require the speed to polish, but sometimes the buff wheel and Flitz will take some stoning and sanding marks from surfaces that need ed smoothed.
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