Hi everyone … for custom sized axle bars, i normally use a hacksaw and file down the ends … i have been told by a friend that using a dremel/rotary tool would be alot easier … this got me wondering … how does the vex community deal with axle bars
A Dremel cuts through like butter–be really careful. I tend to use a hacksaw/file set to do so, as I like the slowness of it (more time for me to respond). If I’m doing a lot of them, or am pressed for time, I’ll use a Dremel.
A Dremel is great for cutting through basically anything in VEX: c-channel, plates, bars, shafts, etc. They’re really easy to use, and make it fairly hard to hurt yourself. :rolleyes:
That said, some long cuts on plates (e.g. to make a 2x25 plate) are somewhat awkward to make.
There is one major caveat to using a Dremel/rotary tool in VEX: Cutting the plastic allowance. Dremels spin so fast that they tend to melt and/or burn the polycarbonate. So, I will use a hacksaw for most polycarb cuts. If it’s a long cut or large sheet, I’ll sometimes use a slow jigsaw.
Overall, I recommend a Dremel/rotary tool for VEX use.
We cut everything except polycarbonate with a dremel, we found that hacksaw blades tend to dull on one side faster and cut crooked. We also found that the larger reinforced wheels that are 5 for $7.75 work out to be much cheaper than the wheels that are 20 for the same price since they last much longer. We found it much easier to have nice square cuts with the dremel.
We actually use a pair of tin snips for a lot of cuts. They work surprisingly well on c channel, bar, and polycarbonate. For long cuts they tend to curve your metal but you can easily hammer it back into place. They don’t work on the axles though.
When using Dremels and cutoff wheels Safety Glasses are a must!!!
Whenever you use a Dremel with a cutoff wheel, you and everyone around you needs to have safety glasses on!
Cutting wheels can shatter if you apply pressure incorrectly.
I’ve had wheels shatter before and my safety glasses save my eyes! On the other hand, the shards of the cutoff wheel left a nasty bite in my unprotected forehead…:rolleyes:
We use a dremel when we have to. We purchased the cheapest bandsaw from like home depot 150$ ish and it cuts really nice. Its cuts are straighter more controlled and takes about same amount of time as a dremel. It also doesnt move like a dremel so is a lot safer to use. Weighs like 20 pounds and we bring it to competitions.
I personally have had a piece of metal lodge into the side of my eye from using a Dremel. It is not fun. The eye doctor has to get the piece of metal out of your eye and then he used of all things a Dremel on my eyeball to deal with the scar tissue. That’s not fun watching that Dremel come in on you let me tell you!
Now I encourage full face shields when using the Dremel like this one:
I am also going to get on my soapbox about safety at events in the pits. A crowded cafeteria or gym is not a shop. This is why I hate Dremels being used in close quarters at events when 500 kids are packed in a close area. If you have to use some power tool, please find a safe spot at the event to do so (a hallway, shop class, other room, etc). You may be wearing safety glasses, but can you ensure all the people in a three foot radius will be?