TOOLS Making a Better Dremel Buffing Mandrel
This page describes how I made a customized buffing Dremel spindle to hold more than one cloth buffing wheel.

While my main buffing tool is a Foredom bench model, I find I favor my variable speed Dremel (C) for its convienence, extreme portability and increased suitability for doing small items like beads. IMHO, the key drawback with the Dremel, however, is it's tiny cloth buffing wheel, a thin little disc that's about 3/8th inch thick and 1 inch in diameter (A). The area that actually touches the item to be buffed ends up being very small - too small for my needs.

I've always wanted to, at least, add a second disk to double the buffing area, but the spindle (B), the accessory that fits into the Dremel to hold the cloth wheel, has room for only one.

Today I decided to see what I could do to change that limitation. heh heh.

Success! I figured out a solution that looks like it will accommodate at least 1-2 more wheels.

Here's what you'll need if you want to do the same.

    - two nice new cloth buffing wheels (A)
    - variable speed Dremel rotary tool (C)
    - metal cutting emery wheel {Dremel #409} and its spindle {Dremel #402} (D)
    - * zinc wood screw, 5 X 1-1/2" (E)
    - safety goggles
    - metal file
    - pliers

* Some folks have mentioned they have had trouble finding that size screw. What you need to do is find a screw where the non-threaded part is a thickness that will fit into the Dremel. Use one of the spindles that comes with the the Dremel so you can do a good job of estimating sizes.

1) Put on your safety goggles. Take one wood screw. Hold the threaded end with some pliers because it will get too hot to hold when you perform the next step.
2)  Cut off the head of the 5 X 1-1/2" screw using your Dremel and the metal cutting emery wheel attachment. Make ABSOLUTELY SURE to wear safety goggles when doing this because tiny bits of metal could wind up in your eyes. Sparks will likely fly but that's okay.
3)  File any rough cut edges using a metal file disk or a metal file. With the screw head removed, you've got yourself a buffing wheel "spindle". The end of the screw that you've just filed is the end that goes into the Dremel.
4)  Twist the first cloth buffing wheel onto the pointy, threaded end of your new spindle until about 3/8ths inch of the screw's end shows.  

Twist on the second cloth wheel until it is right up against the first wheel and just the tip of the screw shows.


5)  Mount the screw and wheel accessory into the Dremel and spin for a few minutes against some kind of hard edge, like a counter top or table edge, to remove the first few loose cloth threads.

Congrats. You've just doubled your Dremel buffing capacity! hee hee.

Note: If you want to make your own buffing wheel that is optimal for polymer clay, click here.

There's nothing better than having a great tool when you need it.


Last update to this page: 22 Sep 02. Send comments, questions or suggestions to Desiree McCrorey.