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Proper Dremel bits for pick making?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:43 pm
by pgribe

I recently got a dremel 3000 rotary tool and the first thing I thought of was making lockpicks. I'm tired of hand filing hacksaw blades. But I don't know a lot about metalworking or power tools, and the amount of bits available for dremel tools nears infinity. I guess I should use cutting disks to get the stocks down to size and then the pink aluminum oxide grinding stones to get the pick shape, but I'm not entirely sure if I should stop there or if I can use other bit to finish the piece, rounding edges and polishing, etc.

Most of the information I could find was about using bench grinders or sand belts for pick making, not a lot of information on rotary tools.

Thanks! Also let me know if this is the wrong section, I thought about posting this on the DIY but most of the stuff there was so specific, I found this to be more of a beginner question.

Re: Proper Dremel bits for pick making?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 4:14 am
by GWiens2001
I don't use dremel tools to make picks. It is very overheat the metal and ruin the temper. I have used a bench grinder to do the rough grinding, but I keep dipping the metal in water every few seconds to keep the metal cool enough to prevent ruining the temper.

I don't know how to cool the metal while using a dremel.


Re: Proper Dremel bits for pick making?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:55 pm
by tpark
I do pretty much the same thing as Gordon. I get the shape close to what I want on the bench grinder, then use a hand file to finish the shape. I have used my dremel tool for shaping as well, but I only removed small amounts of material at a time so the work part didn't overheat. For stock I use Starrett or Precision feeler gauge. I've gotten lazy and I mostly buy Peterson or Multipick tools, these work well for regular locks, but sometimes I need special tools for Primus or Assa locks.

I find that hacksaw blade is too brittle for me, 16 or 20 thou Starrett is what works for me.


Re: Proper Dremel bits for pick making?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:58 pm
by mastersmith
Over heating will be an issue no matter what type of powered tool you use. Modern Dremel tools are variable speed and can there for be regulated as to how much heat they produce. The cutting/grinding wheels though are designed for certain speeds. Going out of range may reduce their efficiency. I use a Dremel for very delicate work, like making the small "humps" in a rake. Just be careful, keep water close (in case) and craft away!

Re: Proper Dremel bits for pick making?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:16 pm
by Navin_R_Johnson
300 series stainless is not heat treatable so you don't need to worry about getting it hot. Sparrows and, I think, Peterson both sell 300 series blanks. Wiper inserts are usually 3xx but, YMMV.

Carbide burrs will cut well and last longer than stones. Get a larger diameter to hog off the bulk and a small burr for the detail. Finish with files, stones and paper.