Rotary Tool Projects

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A Rotary Tool for the Craftsman in You
A Rotary Tool for the Craftsman in You (Image: http://cdn.overstock.com/images/products/L10362646.jpg, http://www.woodcarvers.org/patterns3/4_LetterOpenersbyWillHayden.jpg, http://www.geocities.com/budb3/tpic/toolb/rotrtr.jpg, http://www.turbocarver.com/MetalBurs.jpg, http://www.istockphoto.com/file_t)

A steady hand is especially critical when using rotary tools. The projects you can create are limited only by your imagination. With all the bits and cutters available, it is a snap to create figurines, sculptures or precise carvings. It is highly recommended that novice rotary tool users get plenty of practice before creating that first masterpiece. For the purpose of this article, we will be working on figurines, which cover many projects.

Things You'll Need

  • Rotary tool
  • Bits
  • Blocks of wood

Draw the outline shape of the desired figurine on the block of wood.

A Cool Letter Opener Pattern
A Cool Letter Opener Pattern

Follow the shape of the outlined pattern with a carving bit. Don't apply too much pressure--let the tool and the bit do the cutting.

Cutting and Carving Bits
Cutting and Carving Bits

Draw the features of the object on the newly formed figurine. Carve these lines with a fine-tipped bit for accuracy.

Fine Tipped Bits
Fine Tipped Bits

Repeat Step 3 for any additional carvings that have not been covered. Next, use a sanding bit to smooth the carvings to add the finishing touches.

Different Sanding Drums
Different Sanding Drums

Stain or paint the figurine as desired. Apply several thin coats, as the minute details can "pool'"the stain or paint.

Ahh, Completed Project
Ahh, Completed Project

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear safety glasses.
  • Use a wood clamp or table vice to hold the block of wood while you are carving.
  • Do not rush the project.
  • Do not allow your hand to get close to the bit while the rotary tool is on.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended.
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