New Tool

I picked up a drill press stand for my vintage 1970s era Dremel Moto-Tool a couple of months ago. I found one at a decent price on EBay and bought it to do a better job on the bolster holes. I had used the Dremel for this task previously in a free-hand mode, but some holes were drilled at a slight angle introducing a slight lean to completed models. I needed to do better.

It’s a model 210 of the Dremel Moto-Tool drill press. The tool is fit into round clamps and the table moves up and down. It certainly is not a heavy-duty set up but just enough to complete the tasks at hand.

Here’s the set up. A piece of 1×3 is used on the drill press table so the drill bit has soft material when it completes the hole in the resin underframes. My Dremel pre-dates the variable speed versions so a dimmer switch was wired to half of an outlet on a junction box to adjust the drill speed. A foot switch is also available but I had these materials at hand.

An old kit box keeps the Dremel accessories handy. A #50 bit is installed in the tool and a beeswax cake is nearby to lubricate the bit after drilling several holes. A small ruler and scribe are handy to mark the center point of bolster pads that do not have a dimple. Connect the corners of the square pad to create an X and impress a starter dimple at the cross point to locate a bolster hole. Eye protection is just out of the image to the left and needs to be used for any motor tool work.

Since I set this up to drill holes in a Yarmouth Model Works kit, I decided to break out a few more kits and get this task out of the way. Eight resin freight car kits now have bolster holes and are ready to be tapped for a 2-56 screw.


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5 thoughts on “New Tool”

  1. These Dremel drill presses have been around for a long time. I bought mine in 1973, and I’m still using it to drill pilot holes for tapping bolsters and coupler boxes, plus other general hobby related drilling. This is not a precision tool, and neither are the old Dremel motor tools used with this drill press. I have two vintage Dremel tools, one I purchased in the early 1970s and the other inherited from my father in 1987, and both of them have developed ‘wobble’, where the bit doesn’t spin perfectly vertically on its axis, resulting in over size and possibly acentric holes. Dremel made a variable speed accessory back then, and I purchased one to control the speed of my motor tools when I bought the drill press. While both the motor tools and the drill press function well for most light tasks, they lack precision for critical drilling projects. I don’t attempt to drill grab iron holes with these tools.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Nelson. You do make some very good points. I agree that these are not precision tools. But the combination does the required job of drilling a hole more perpendicular to the bolster pad than I have been doing as free-hand work. I wouldn’t want to try drilling material any tougher than resin. After drilling holes in all of these underframes, I wondered aloud why I had waited so long to purchase this drill press stand. – Eric

  2. I have found that I can increase the odds of a more precise hole if I start a small pilot hole by hand in the exact center of the work then let the wobbly dremel bit follow this hole. I’m no machinist so I can’t speak with much authority, but only what has worked for me through trial and error. Glad you found a tool that works for you!

  3. I know this is not related specifically to Dremel but, as Nelson stated, mine also has wobble. It’s about 12 years old.

    When I was producing S scale trucks, I needed to drill enlarge wheel centers for different axles. My local machine shop made a steel fixture that drops into a small, movable vise (by hand) and this arrangement went under a MicroLux precision drill press. Yes, it’s more costly than Dremel but it has everything you need in 1 package (variable speed, light, accuracy, etc.). If you’re drilling a LOT of precise holes, like for grab irons which can easily be done (I’ve done it), I suggest waiting for 1 of these to come on sale at MicroMark. Be sure to buy a spare belt (big O-ring) too … I’ve had to replace mine once.

  4. I have a Dremel drill press and I have used it with nominal results, not bad but not good either.

    Question: who makes a precision drill press?


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