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How can I set up a dental tool as a high speed hobby engraver? Answered

I have this:  http://www.dickblick.com/products/iwata-sprint-jet-studio-compressor/#itemspecs  Compressor and I know it can't run it with something like this:  http://www.treelineusa.com/power-carving/pneumatic-tools/nks-presto-handpiece.html

or can I?

What I don't know is can it run a dental tool.

Something like this:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-Dental-Air-Turbine-Unit-4-Holes-2-High-Speed-Push-Button-Handpiece-/251980511734?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aab3579f6

Though that thing says / w compressor... I don't think that thing is a compressor.  Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

I would love to be able to carve into wood or eggs or do calligraphy with one of these tools


Buyer Beware !

The first one of these I bought had a misaligned connect to the grinder and had to be returned and exchanged.

But since then it works with my diamond bits in watery slurries. And because of sealed bearings it turns slower when first started until the machine warms up and assumes the speed you want.

I actually like this as a Feature, which lets me prep a work point without running off the mark and scarring a nearby polished surface.

Now that's what I call Cool ! totally need to add that to my mobile shop wishlist lol

Yes I love mine! 1/2 hp motor, quick change hand tool, and fairly quiet. I do all my rough out work with it. My Dremel and this hang side by side.


Best Answer 3 years ago

I think you may already have your answer, but I'll try to add to the discussion. What you have is an airbrush compressor and as you've deduced, it doesn't have a high enough CFM to run an air carving tool. Most air carvers I've seen run between 1.25 and 2 CFM at around 38 psi. The Ebay dental tool is probably going to have even higher requirements and there may be legal issues with being able to buy it because it is regulated by the FDA. If you're really interested in getting into this hobby, you may want to look at this website www.sculptingstudio.com. They have a very nice tool for $295 and a compatible ultra quiet compressor for $199. It would be worth checking out if you can afford the investment.

I think this is going to end up being the route I end up taking. I was looking for a used tool.. or someone getting out of the hobby. However I think these tools have a very high resale value.

Thank you for taking the time to send me this link. I have been looking at the turbo carver for years and a few others in the category..

What you need is a High Speed Carver that runs in the neighborhood of 350,000 to 450,000 rpms, it does not use torque it uses speed. They run around $300.00 and you need a compressor that will do at least 2CFM at about 35 lbs pressure. some suggested Sculpting Studio as a place to get this, they are developing a new carver and it is ready to hit the mkt.

If your willing to spend that much just get a proper Dremel rotary tool. ($50-$150)

Hundreds if not thousands of different attachments for cutting, sanding, grinding polishing ect...

The compressor you noted simply won't work, it's made for small Airbrushes and not much more. you would need a shop style compressor and the Moister filter also.

Oh yes! I have a number of Dremel tools as well as a Foredom. I was looking for something for fine detail as well as the ability to use it as a pen. I have the Dremel flexishaft but it still cannot provide the power and the precision I am looking for.

Thank you for your answer!

couldn't you use the fine bits in the dremel? hopefully has the same mandrell size !

I have all the bits that I think I could use. What I am looking for is super fine detail work as well as being able to cut with ease. I have tiny diamond bits and very very small drill bits, grinders, polishers etc. They all have a place in my workshop. The flex shaft / or tool itself is fairly heavy even though im a well muscled lady. I feel like I am fighting the tool as well as the material I am carving into. I need more rpm, and something a bit lighter. I have started to use hand carving tools for my final detailing but it is slow going. I would additionally like the freedom to carve into many different types of material, from glass to polymer clay to wax. While a Dremel can do the latter two with ease it cannot do the first that well. Additionally without using some high speed or coarser bits you cant work well with textured wood or ceramics. I am looking for something that can help me with engraving. For that I need something where im not fighting the tool.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Dremel and my Foredom, but I thought an UHS rotary could do that work. I am not so sure anymore it can.

I am not sure if I mentioned this, but Dremel and the flex have a great deal of wobble (side to side) as compared to more precise tools.

The Ebay item says "Just connect to a compressor", but it doesn't say what consumption of compressed air it has. It could well be comparable to the Presto.

Right, the stats on the compressor are
1/8 hp single cyl
max 80 psi
working: 0-60 psi
.71 cfm
20 lpm
1 amp

I dont know what all that means in relation to the requirement of
0.4 Mpa - .0.8 Mpa

If anyone could shed light on any of this i would be grateful!

After a bit more research, I found a link that helped.


So I would still need a more heavy duty compressor
Thank you @steveastrouk