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Author Topic: Just bought a dremel...  (Read 2021 times)
gigabytecoin
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April 21, 2011, 07:30:31 AM
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I'm going to be grinding away the edges of some PCIe x1 extension cables tomorrow with it. Hopefully to plug in 4x5870s into a 890fx MOBO.

Anybody have any comments/suggetsions/ideas?
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April 21, 2011, 08:15:13 AM
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When grinding plastic the high speed of a Dremel can cause it to melt easily and if that happens you'll quickly ruin the grinding discs, so try to go about it pretty slowly and give it a bit of time to cool. If it's an Easter project and your local hardware store will be closed make sure you have a spare pack of 20 or so cutting discs, you might be suprised how many you can go through with plastic. It will also stink and/or throw about plastic dust particles so it would be best to setup a vice outside to avoid grief from any significant others Cheesy.

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April 21, 2011, 08:30:12 AM
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dust mask and safety glasses  Cool

And take lots of pictures so you can write up a tutorial for us Wink

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April 21, 2011, 08:37:43 AM
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dust mask and safety glasses  Cool

And take lots of pictures so you can write up a tutorial for us Wink

Good idea!

I will charge my camera now...

I have been waiting for 2 days now so I can do this outside because of all the dust I anticipate it will create. And the guy at the store warned me about safety glasses too, got some, check!
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April 21, 2011, 08:40:53 AM
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When grinding plastic the high speed of a Dremel can cause it to melt easily and if that happens you'll quickly ruin the grinding discs, so try to go about it pretty slowly and give it a bit of time to cool. If it's an Easter project and your local hardware store will be closed make sure you have a spare pack of 20 or so cutting discs, you might be suprised how many you can go through with plastic. It will also stink and/or throw about plastic dust particles so it would be best to setup a vice outside to avoid grief from any significant others Cheesy.

Holy shit, eh!? 20 discs? Aren't they like $10 each? Maybe you might get 5 for $10, but most every dremel bit seemed to be $10-$15 at home depot.

I was thinking that the cutting discs seemed to be of pretty poor quality. They are already falling apart/chipping just from being jossled around in the box during shipping/purchasing process.

Already got the vice and an old table waiting outside for a sunny day to do it on.

Thanks for the tips, I will be sure to go slowly as to not burn the plastic too badly. These bastards took like 3 weeks to arrive.
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April 21, 2011, 09:13:14 AM
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Holy shit, eh!? 20 discs? Aren't they like $10 each? Maybe you might get 5 for $10, but most every dremel bit seemed to be $10-$15 at home depot.
I normally buy the augers where you replace just the disc, just had a look and my pack has 36, I can't remember what I paid but it was more like $5-10 for that many. The auger was part of a larger pack, but think they're something like $10 in a pack with 3 or so discs. These are called "Cut-Off Wheel No. 409". There's also EZ-Lock products that are excellent for steel (got mine free as part of an online promotion) and more convenient to change but I wouldn't use them on plastic because they're a bit dear as well. See how you go but those solid grinding pieces don't seem to be so good for plastic, they just clog up too fast so better to use the cheaper replaceable discs.

ETA - Just had a look and those have a list price of $6.76 at Amazon (they sell for $5.29) and while they don't recommend them for "sanding" they do seem to work well that way for plastic, and it doesn't feel so bad to have just ruined something that's only 20 cents odd.

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April 21, 2011, 08:55:53 PM
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Holy shit, eh!? 20 discs? Aren't they like $10 each? Maybe you might get 5 for $10, but most every dremel bit seemed to be $10-$15 at home depot.
I normally buy the augers where you replace just the disc, just had a look and my pack has 36, I can't remember what I paid but it was more like $5-10 for that many. The auger was part of a larger pack, but think they're something like $10 in a pack with 3 or so discs. These are called "Cut-Off Wheel No. 409". There's also EZ-Lock products that are excellent for steel (got mine free as part of an online promotion) and more convenient to change but I wouldn't use them on plastic because they're a bit dear as well. See how you go but those solid grinding pieces don't seem to be so good for plastic, they just clog up too fast so better to use the cheaper replaceable discs.

ETA - Just had a look and those have a list price of $6.76 at Amazon (they sell for $5.29) and while they don't recommend them for "sanding" they do seem to work well that way for plastic, and it doesn't feel so bad to have just ruined something that's only 20 cents odd.

I started out with the cutting discs, but found they (the free ones provided in the dremel 4000) were a bit too think to make a proper incision without grinding away the metal connectors. Pretty sure I botched one of the cables so far using the discs Tongue

I ended up doing the rest of the cables with a small steel star-shaped grinder. It's only about 2mm wide and is great to make the necessary grooves. Will show with pictures soon.

Sidenote: Why would manufacturers limit themselves to creating x1 only cables in the first place!? Surely it would be more profitable to use less plastic and allow all sizes of PCIe boards to fit, no?
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April 23, 2011, 06:55:29 PM
 #8

hows this going?
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April 24, 2011, 09:09:15 PM
 #9

I also tried using a Dremel "420" cutoff wheel (the thicker type), and I promptly damaged the 4 pins on the end.

Next I'm considering trying a torch/razorblade/pliers to cut/melt that section out with the heated razor.  When I was soldering on the PCB I noticed that the socket material will indeed melt fairly easily.  (Mine uses an FRE brand socket.)

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April 24, 2011, 09:28:11 PM
 #10

Next I'm considering trying a torch/razorblade/pliers to cut/melt that section out with the heated razor.  When I was soldering on the PCB I noticed that the socket material will indeed melt fairly easily.  (Mine uses an FRE brand socket.)

I used a blade lodged into a groove in my soldering iron. I spent quite a while finishing it off, as I preferred to remove too little at a time, rather than too much.

Jim Hyslop
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April 24, 2011, 10:35:12 PM
 #11

I used a blade lodged into a groove in my soldering iron. I spent quite a while finishing it off, as I preferred to remove too little at a time, rather than too much.
Probably a wise decision, since it's a lot easier to remove a little more than it is to put a little back :-D

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April 25, 2011, 12:17:45 AM
 #12

I also tried using a Dremel "420" cutoff wheel (the thicker type), and I promptly damaged the 4 pins on the end.

Place the cutting disk along the lateral axis to not damage the pins: Tip to Use a Dremel to Cut Open a PCIe x1 Slot
This technique is really safe and should take you less than 1 min to cut one.
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