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How do you prefer to keep your flex shaft tool set up?

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  • How do you prefer to keep your flex shaft tool set up?

    Hello all,

    I'm new to this site, though I've been quietly following the forum for advice for a while. Reading all of your forum threads and comments have been great help in getting me started in power carving, so thank you for all that you've shared

    I am about to get my first flex shaft tool, and would like to ask those of you who own one (especially the hanging motor type) for some opinions/advices/preferences:

    1. How do you keep your flex shaft set up?
    I have read various different opinions about this:
    Most seem to say that you need to hang it straight down to avoid getting a kink in the shaft.
    Yet I've also seen the opposite (in a video no less) where they say that if you let the shaft hang straight down, the lubricant builds up in the handpiece and gets hot when you use it.
    I've also seen people who keep their motor hanging, but with the shaft lying on a table in a gradual arch.
    Or they just downright take the entire motor off the hanger/suspension to lie flat on the table.
    How do you keeps yours, and what are your reasons for it? Have you ran into any problems (e.g. lubricant building up in the shaft) doing what you do?

    2. If you were to go away on a vacation and won't be using the motor for a while (weeks, months), would you change the way you store the unit? If so, how?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who leaves feedback, I'll be glad for the insight!
    --- T. K. Lawrence
    I let my flex shaft hang straight down, with the handpiece attached
    I let my flex shaft hang straight down, without a handpiece attached
    I hang my motor but let my flex shaft lie on the table in a gradual, sloping arch
    I take my entire motor off the hanger/suspension and lie the whole unit on the table
    I have another type of setup (please elaborate)
    Last edited by kuroya-ken; 08-30-2018, 02:03 PM.

  • #2
    I put my Foredom unit back in the box it came in to store it.


    • #3
      This is not a Hanging type but is the way I store mine. It is a Base from an Old Stool , I like it because it's movable and always ready to use. Merle 1-IMG_0002-001.JPG


      • #4
        My foredom has been hanging from a plant pole for about 40 years. The handle some times hangs and some times lays on the bench. I have never experienced a problem.


        • #5
          My Dremel hangs from a hook with the flex shaft hanging straight down...hand piece attached.
          Keep On Carvin'
          Bob K.

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          • #6
            The wood shop down my street has several hanging motor Dremels. The units get laid out straight on a bench when not used.
            Brian T


            • #7
              When in use it is hanging, any other time the unit is laying on the workbench that is behind me.


              • #8
                Mine set beside me, not hanging
                . . .JoeB


                • #9
                  My Dremel hangs from a hook and the flex shaft is straight down. I have no problem with the lubricant building up in the handpiece. When I go on vacation or whatever, it stays just like it is. I did clean off the old lubricant with a soft cloth after about 6 years. I couldn't find the Dremel lube, so I went with a silicone oil - wiped on (not drenched). Seems to work just fine after 3 years of this lube - doesn't get hot at all.

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                  • #10
                    I never worry about it, i find tast what breaks shaftr is running the thing at 100 per cent no matter the burr and not keeping it lubed I have a foredom sr and two dremel tpes if i did it over i would have gotten the heavier duty fordeom


                    • #11
                      I read or heard somewhere that dropping them down or laying on the bench runs the grease to the tool end and you might have dry spots upwards. Since my official hanger - I have 2 fordom motors, and stand I U shape the flex keeping grease in the middle and climbing to top and bottom. I run them a little fully extended to help run the oil around. I had my 1/3 HP unit in the metal shop and it was on an S hook to a surface grinder - hanging down. I used it one day and snap the flex center twisted in half. It got dry and friction and drag did it in. Now they are in Air conditioning in my work room and so far so good. Grease might be thicker at 75 F than 120F the shop gets to. :-)


                      • #12
                        The video I watched on the Foredom site recommended running the motor with no handpiece and the shaft hanging over a waste can after lubing, so that excess lubricant would heat up and drip out. I haven't had any problems with my handpiece leaving it on and hanging it up. I think getting bends or kinks in the shaft that don't straighten out and lack of lubrication can indeed cause shafts to break.
                        'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"



                        • #13
                          Thank you everyone for the feedback. It has been invaluable to me in deciding how I set up my flex shaft.
                          I received my Foredom in the mail a few days ago and have been testing it out.

                          I wish I had taken mpounders 's advice though; I originally figured that that was meant for when you had to apply lubrication to the shaft yourself during maintenance, as I recall reading on Foredom's website that they always run the new motor for a few minutes before packing and shipping them. Or perhaps I was just unlucky. After the unit arrived, I dove straight in, and after I stopped to take a 30 minute break, I left the handpiece on hanging straight down, figuring that it was too short an amount of time for anything to go amiss. Boy was I wrong. The grease got all over the keytip and inside the handpiece.

                          I left the handpiece standing upright in a mug, and a bucket positioned below the shaft to catch any grease that may drip out; I left this set up overnight, but found no grease in either the mug or the bucket the next day. I then ran the motor without a handpiece for 10 minutes over a bucket to try get rid of any extra grease, but got nothing either. I think the extra grease had all gone into the handpiece

                          I tried following Foredom's advice on opening up the handpiece to clean it, but was unsuccessful as it was simply screwed on too tightly. I used a vice with rubber padding and a pair of pliers, but all I managed to do was badly scratch up the handpiece. Currently I have resorted to stuffing paper towels down the handpiece to try clean up what I can reach, though I can still see grease inside when I shine a light on it.

                          If anyone has any suggestion or advice on how to open up a really tight 44T handpiece (preferably without further scratching it), I am all ears :'(


                          • #14
                            I have my Foredom on a hanger with a hand piece holder keeping the shaft bent gently upwards.Generally the only issue with leaving you shaft hanging straight down is the possible accumulation of grease in the hand peace if you leave down too long. That will make your hand peace run hotter. If you are not going to use the tool for a while Foredom recommends removing the hand peace and putting a container of some kind under the shaft if it is going to hang down to catch and grease that may drip out. I have an extra shaft I store in a flat box like a shirt box. Keeps dust out and any grease contained. And does not take up any room on the shelf. You can also remove the shaft make one circle with the two ends at the top and securing them with sran rap and hang it on the wall.
                            Last edited by Randy; 09-04-2018, 09:41 AM.
                            We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi


                            • #15
                              I have a couple in my desk drawer - in the Polly bags they sent me. After I broke the 1/3 amp model shaft I was gun shy and bought spares. Might be a good idea of putting a 'scott towel' with some shaft 'oil' on it or tool oil and put it in the bag - to keep the shaft coated just a little. But that is my thought. Like putting oily rags in the closed container of my Cast iron machined parts for my hit and miss.