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Old 02-20-2010   #1
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Default Dremel router to cut MDF?

I've had the plunge router attachment for my Dremel for some time now, but I have yet to use it. It's starting to get warmer in AZ now, and I'd like to try it to cut some straight lines through 3/4" MDF, rather than get out the table saw, which is kind of a pain to set up, and isn't perfectly true.

I'm not terribly concerned about that, as I bought it gently used from a friend at work who was moving. It's one of those bench-top table saws - Lowe's house brand: Task Force.

Anyway, is the router edging attachment good for cutting lines in from an edge, say, 3"? Will it stay true over several passes?

Thanks,
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Old 02-20-2010   #2
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

i tried cutting a circle using a jig and it was painfully slow. the cutting bit clogs up and over heats,then snaps.

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Old 02-20-2010   #3
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

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Originally Posted by amitaF View Post
i tried cutting a circle using a jig and it was painfully slow. the cutting bit clogs up and over heats,then snaps.
Yep. If you do use it, go slow and blow out the cut frequently.

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Old 02-20-2010   #4
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

I doubt it will stay true over multiple passes, given that there isn't much mass to the Dremel, as well as you are cutting from such a small bit. If you were using a decent table saw or circular saw, you have the benefit of the length of the blade keeping the saw from twisting too badly in the work.

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Old 02-20-2010   #5
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

Man if you got several passes, hoe hard is it to get to your tablesaw? Then take a square and adjust your fence, that is a decent little saw.
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Old 02-20-2010   #6
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitaF View Post
i tried cutting a circle using a jig and it was painfully slow. the cutting bit clogs up and over heats,then snaps.
I had the same problem. However, I discovered later that I was using the wrong bit
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Old 02-20-2010   #7
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

Circular saw with a Guide Clamp is probably the easiest to set up and get a good straight line with. If it's a large hard to handle sheet of MDF you'll even do better than with a small table saw since you'll be moving the saw instead of the MDF.

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Old 02-21-2010   #8
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

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Originally Posted by don_chuwish View Post
Circular saw with a Guide Clamp is probably the easiest to set up and get a good straight line with. If it's a large hard to handle sheet of MDF you'll even do better than with a small table saw since you'll be moving the saw instead of the MDF.

- D
I could also use a jig saw if I clamped my 4-foot ruler to the piece. I'm using that to draw it out, anyway
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Old 02-21-2010   #9
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

Yep! I've done that when I couldn't use a circular saw. If you don't have one then the jigsaw will do (better than a router/dremel).

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Old 02-21-2010   #10
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

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Originally Posted by don_chuwish View Post
Yep! I've done that when I couldn't use a circular saw. If you don't have one then the jigsaw will do (better than a router/dremel).

- D
I still want to use the router though, but I guess I'll be using it to rabbet some edges

Also: mental note: I will need to get some stronger clamps to hold that ruler in place. All I have are the plastic spring clamps. I'll need some metal screw clamps.
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Old 05-09-2010   #11
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

Get a plunge router...dremel probably won't suffice
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Old 05-17-2010   #12
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

I use my Dremel to cut circles on thin MDF up to 5mm. For anything more you will need a real saw. A jig saw with a guide should work if you doesn't need a perfect cut.
My jig saw cut 3/4 mdf like butter.

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Old 05-17-2010   #13
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

use a saw.

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Old 05-18-2010   #14
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

I bought a new toy this weekend. See this permalink:

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...ml#post1037462
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Old 05-22-2010   #15
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

The point that this is a straight cut and not a circle cut makes the notion of a dremel ridiculous. If you used the dremel, you would be hard pressed not to overheat the bits and break them. Even if you moved to a rotozip, same story. But the only point would be to make circle cuts with the template.

Use a skil saw with a straight piece of MDF as the guide, or a 2-4' level, or a T-square, or a straight board, etc, as a fence... Clamp it down and voila. Careful with the tsquare though not to jump over it by keeping constant pressure downwards. How straight does this cut have to be?

Your next option is the panel cutting machine at HD or Lowes too I think, if you buy material there they will cut it for you. This isn't the top top quality cut and is essentially equal to what I suggested with the skil/circular.

What is this cut for? There's always glue and caulk for any imperfections. Gorilla glue expands to fill cracks.
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Old 05-22-2010   #16
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

I already got a tool for it; see above.
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Old 05-22-2010   #17
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

Ok, I see now. Huh. How did it do? Expensive little bastard. My saws are all right around that price point. The bigger the blade, generally the easier to keep a straight line. I'd never seen that saw before, and I bet theres some application where it'd be necessary. Good to know.

Yeah I remember doing ply circles with a dremel long ago, and it took about 3 bits per ring if I was really being careful.
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Old 05-22-2010   #18
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

A DREMEL is not a Power tool, but is very usefull. No doubt a must have.

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Old 05-23-2010   #19
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

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Ok, I see now. Huh. How did it do? Expensive little bastard. My saws are all right around that price point. The bigger the blade, generally the easier to keep a straight line. I'd never seen that saw before, and I bet theres some application where it'd be necessary. Good to know.

Yeah I remember doing ply circles with a dremel long ago, and it took about 3 bits per ring if I was really being careful.
It's a neat little gadget, but I'm having to use a framing square and clamps to make everything straight... and it's arduous. I'm still trying to determine the offset from the edge of the shoe to the blade in order to set the square in place.

Pros of this saw:

Lightweight; fairly easy to control with one hand, even more so if your hands are bigger and you have more forearm strength.

Corded - no battery charge to worry about.

Very thin kerf - something like 1/32"

Not very loud - hearing protection is [almost] not needed. I wear it anyway.

Cons:

Almost *too light*. You really have to have a firm grip on it to make sure the shoe is flat to the cutting surface and against the edge guide.

Incredibly annoying plunge mechanism that snaps out to cover the blade. You have to hold the handle and activate the trigger with the right hand, then use the left hand to pull back a locking tab so you can plunge the saw. There's no real way to keep the blade extended without duct tape or something.

I might take out the table saw on Monday or Tuesday just so i can get some perfectly square edges for the walls of the "well".
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Old 05-23-2010   #20
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

The blade offset is tricky, I'd just use a combination square if you have one around, and make sure to touch the tooth but not move it any for max precision. Sometimes I use a shim to keep the guard free (on circ saws), which is less than ideal, but works. I normally make the shim right then with a scrap 2 by. Using the framing square is tough because like I said it has no real depth and the saw wants to jump it. If you have a level, you might be better with that. Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2010   #21
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?

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The blade offset is tricky, I'd just use a combination square if you have one around, and make sure to touch the tooth but not move it any for max precision. Sometimes I use a shim to keep the guard free (on circ saws), which is less than ideal, but works. I normally make the shim right then with a scrap 2 by. Using the framing square is tough because like I said it has no real depth and the saw wants to jump it. If you have a level, you might be better with that. Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2010   #22
 
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Default Re: Dremel router to cut MDF?



you know, (I do carpentry often), those aren't the ideal things for your task. Use a taller straightedge so the saw doesn't want to jump it, such as a factory edge of MDF or ply, or a level, and use the speed square to judge squareness of this temporary fence, which you can also tack or screw into place to keep it still. To measure the blade offset, just use a basic tape measure. Fully butt the end of the tape touching to the blade gently, and you can get a better measurement of offset. When setting the fence adding this offset, use the 1" mark as your start. Say the blade offset is 1 3/8" blade to shoe, measure from 1" to 2 3/8" to mark for the fence location. This is more precise than measuring from the end of the tape, which moves. The problem with that DW square, is that its not always square, and is prone to moving while cutting, what a nightmare. Find a better (taller, more clampable) straightedge. You got this Honda! Good luck.


BTW what is this friggin cut for??
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