Initiative – my first time with a dremel

TwoPlusCute Using a power tool, for the first time. A newbie's guide on cutting lattice with a dremel and what to watch for. Dremel tool and measuring tape.

Initiative is something I wish my dishes had. Seriously, once used, they just sit there in the sink, waiting for me (oh, the nerve) to give them a massage and a scrub and pat them dry and even put them snugly on their shelves. Every single time. It’s terrible I tell you.

To talk about something nicer, which proved both intimidating and empowering: I used my first “dangerous” power tool. And this post is – mostly – about cutting lattice. And using a dremel. And the power tool I am most afraid of.

TwoPlusCute: Using a power tool, for the first time. A newbie's guide on cutting lattice with a dremel and what to watch for. 1
The hardest part was possibly, getting the lattice out from its “hiding” place.

When I decided to quickly tidy our front porch for the holidays, I cut some lattice all by myself. It was a milestone. In my life, I didn’t get many chances to use power tools. For one, we didn’t really have any (excluding battery operated screw drivers – owning a mini-workshop is not a big thing in Greece) for another, it was a gender issue (way back in the days I was growing up). People men with power tools weren’t eager to let me play with their toys.

*Insert world’s smallest violin playing sad music.*

Fast forward, need is a great teacher and our basement is full with tools. I wanted to add lattice and lattice I’d get! How hard could it be to cut a few straight lines? It was indeed, pretty darn easy – once I grabbed something better than a handsaw.

Here is my first attempt, using a handsaw. In this epic photo, you can see a handsaw, stuck between lattice. It worked. I cut the piece. It took me a whole hour to cut a small 56″ by 21″ piece.

 

TwoPlusCute: Using a power tool, for the first time. A newbie's guide on cutting lattice with a dremel and what to watch for.

 

There must be a faster way I said to myself. After watching a couple videos by girls who rock the power tools and carpentry, I figured – all on my own – that handsaws might be good when used with a jig but, they ain’t the right saw for cutting lattice.

Carpentry 101 – using power tools for newbies

Still, using something that can cut through bones and tender fingers, like a circular or skill saw, wasn’t alluring to me. Too intimidating. Hubby came with a much friendlier option. A little – albeit powerful – dremel. Straight from wikipedia:

By inserting an appropriate bit (or burr) the tool can perform drilling, grinding, sharpening, cutting, cleaning, polishing, sanding,routing, carving, and engraving.

 

TwoPlusCute Using a power tool, for the first time. A newbie's guide on cutting lattice with a dremel and what to watch for. Photo of a dremel.
The dremel tool and a sneak peak of our up coming chess DIY.

That little thing is versatile! It has a rotating motor, where one can add all sorts of end equipment, from oscillating saws to sanders. And we so happened to have an oscillating (does not rotate, therefore less dangerous to cut through your hands – that’s how I saw it anyway).

Hubby attached the end and gave me psychological support (I also used him as extra clamps), while I held on the little dremel like my life depended on it. Really. I was afraid my hands would slip towards the blade so, I went to great effort to stop such an incident.

 

TwoPlusCute Using a power tool, for the first time. A newbie's guide on cutting lattice with a dremel and what to watch for. Holding on the dremel tool for dear life.

 

Let’s see: one hand (ungloved for extra friction), gripping hard – real hard. So hard, I couldn’t feel my hand after I was done cutting. One hand gloved, placed between my ungloved hand and the blade end. The idea was that if my ungloved hand slipped, the gloved one would act as a safety cushion. On retrospect, this wasn’t too bright (but made me feel a little safer so that counts, too).

Mistakes I did, even though I knew not to do stuff like that:

  • I kept turning to check on stuff with the dremel still on. Which is perhaps ok with a little dremel but would be so very bad if I was wielding something more vicious (like a skill saw for example).
  • I kept turning to check on stuff with the dremel still on. Which is perhaps ok with a little dremel but would be so very bad if I was wielding something more vicious (like a skill saw for example).
  • That’s it. I just kept doing it again and again, mentally slapping myself every time after the deed.

If I were to give an advice on using any power tool, it would be this: ALWAYS stop the tool before you stop focusing on it. Whether to scratch your nose, to look what that sudden noise behind you was about or, I don’t know what else, shut off the tool. Even if it is for a second.

It was worth the effort; the result was so pretty and using the little dremel empowered me to try my hand at more complex and dangerous power tools that I have never used before in my life.

Like this hand mixer I got for Christmas:

TwoPlusCute Using a power tool, for the first time. A newbie's guide on cutting lattice with a dremel and what to watch for. This mixer is even more intimidating.

Have you ever used power tools? If yes, do you recall your very first time and how it felt? I mean, all the super DIyers breeze over the power tools and surely, that comes with experience but, am I the only one who is really worried about losing a finger while using a big saw (or failing a batter for that matter)?

17 thoughts on “Initiative – my first time with a dremel

    • November 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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      That’s a good FAQ you wrote. I found it helpful and bookmarked to use as reference. 🙂

      Reply
      • December 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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        Thank you 🙂

        Keep up the great content with your blog.

        It’s got a fantastic feel to it.

        Reply
    • November 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm
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      Go down in that basement girl! His tools are your toys. 😀

      Reply
  • January 13, 2016 at 9:57 pm
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    I do not own any power tools. Of course, my husband has them all and I happily let him use them! The last time I needed to sand wood, I used a nail file. That’s really bad I know! 😉 I am impressed with your skills!! And hey, if you figure out how to motivate your dishes let me know. I have a sink full of lazies over here, too!!
    Kim posted…Independent Interiors: Decorating On Your Own

    Reply
    • January 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm
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      It might be off the beaten path but using a nail file is pretty innovative. Hehe. 😀

      Reply
  • January 12, 2016 at 8:11 pm
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    I am also quite fearful of power tools, but as DIYers we have to overcome and take the plunge. I was so happy to have found your blog. My freind Sweet Things recommended it to me when she saw the greek market. I am also Greek living in the mother land and I think we are going to be good freinds. I have also been blogging for about a year and my blog is full of pictures of Greece. Nice to have met you, let’s keep in touch.
    Mary-the boondocks blog posted…The Snow Spray that Wasn’t – Το Σπρέι Χιονιού που δεν ήτανε

    Reply
    • January 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm
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      Hi Mary, so glad Sweet Things helped us meet.
      I came over and subscribed. 🙂

      Reply
  • January 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm
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    Good job! It’s always empowering to do something you’re apprehensive about, and succeeding.

    I just ordered a Black & Decker powered hand saw to cut through some tree branches. It’s been on my to-do list, and when I saw the saw (!) I knew it was time.

    Love your blog…

    Reply
    • January 13, 2016 at 4:10 pm
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      Hi Moggie and welcome here!
      It did feel good when I finished and still had all my fingers in place. 😀

      Reply
  • January 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm
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    If you consider a nail gun (with an attached compressor) a power tool, then yes… yes I have used a power tool (although it was only a few attempts)! I am still at the intimidated stage… Besides, I think my hubby is terrified of me using a real power tool. I can be quite clumsy. 🙂 But he does rave of that dremmel thing you are talking about! 🙂
    Carol @ CAD INTERIORS posted…2016 Home Renovation Goals

    Reply
    • January 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm
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      A nail gun is definitely a power tool and congrats for using it! I would like to own one too, just have no clue what to buy (how about you make a post on buying nail guns?).

      Reply
    • January 7, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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      I’d never imagine you gathering courage to use a power tool!

      Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm
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    Great job with the lattice! I learned to use a miter saw a couple of months ago, and yes, it was SCARY! I really want to try the table saw next, but I’m still working up the courage for that one. I’ve been watching my husband to get the hang of it, but man, I can see so many bad things happening!

    Reply
    • January 7, 2016 at 4:28 pm
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      Same here. I imagine dragons happening every time I think of using a serious saw. 🙂

      Reply

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