Is my Dremel 4000 Broken?

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I think it might be. I checked the brushes, which seemed ok. I removed the EZ Twist Nose cap to clean out any saw dust. I kinda messed around with the tool for a bit then I plugged it in and tried the power again . . . It worked! I began carving on my Tiger and after about 10 minutes the motor quit again. The Dremel didn’t feel especially warm and all of the vents were clear. I’ve had zero problems up until now. Hmm, I wonder . . .

tim taylor consults wilson I checked online and I found a few people who have experienced this same problem. I found this website with a pretty good review. According the reviewer the motor is the biggest problem with the Dremel. I’m still within the 2 year warranty so I better get to it. If you plan to purchase this tool I suggest you keep your receipt and packaging just in case.

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Also, remember it’s not a commercial tool . . . so it requires frequent breaks while in use. Make sure you don’t put extra pressure on the Dremel while you’re using it. On some of the harder parts of the wood, I might have pressed harder instead of just allowing the tool to do the work.

tim taylor cryingAny Dremel 4000 owners know what’s up? Losing a tool is like losing a loved one . . . except you usually don’t have a warranty option.

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3 Important Things to Consider when Working with Wood

When I first got my Dremel my mom requested that I make her a sign for her family property. A sign is a perfect beginner’s project. I immediately found a nice solid piece of wood in my scrap pile and got to work.

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I had so much fun that I got excited and wanted to start working on something more complex. That’s when I got the idea for the Tiger wood project. I searched Google images for cool wood carvings and engravings of tigers for inspiration. (Now my project reminds me of the golfer, Tiger Woods, thank you Google.)

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I’m a Newbie

In high school I took a technical systems class that included wood shop. I made a bookshelf that I still use today. I also spent a lot of time in the wood shop in college making frames and shipping crates. Other than that, I am new to the woodworking world. I want to share some important things I have learned so far that I hope will help you before you begin your wood projects.

1. Type of Wood –

Pay close attention to the type of wood you’re using for the type of project you’re doing. When I chose my piece of wood I didn’t notice that it was a plywood. My sign project is made from a solid piece of wood which is what I had in mind for my tiger project. So, it’s very important to pay attention to the type of wood you’re using. I’m sure I can make the plywood work though, so no biggie.

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2. Characteristics of Wood –

Another problem I ran into was the hardness and softness of the wood. I was in the carving zone, and I got so used to working on the harder spots that when I hit the softer spots my Dremel suddenly ran away from me. Some spots were so hard that I could barely drill into it. I’m glad I didn’t ruin my artwork, but I could have. In the picture below I’m working on a very hard spot which is the sky, the part of the image that is furthest away.

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Be aware of the grain and knots too. Understanding the characteristics of wood is an important thing to remember for any wood project, so that your final artwork is made with craftsmanship you can be proud of.

3. The Blueprint of your Design –

I sketched my tiger, water, bubbles, and mountain directly onto the wood. I could have drawn my sketch on paper and carved through it, but that seemed awkward. As I carved my drawing disappeared. I had to imagine my image which requires a lot of extra brain work. You also run the risk of taking away too much wood, like I did on the image below. I carved away some of his body right underneath his ear. dsc_0024-4

I’m probably going to have to carve away more wood in that spot anyway since it’s further in the distance. Wood filler could also be used. Below is a picture of my progress so far. I still have a lot to do on both the tiger picture and the property sign.

I hope this information helps and If I learn anything else, I’ll be sure to share. If you have any woodworking wisdom or artwork you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you.

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Experimenting with the Dremel 4000

My dad recently got me the Dremel 4000. For my first project I’ve decided to carve a tiger running through water into a piece of scrap wood. 

So far I’ve gotten a sketch drawn so I know where to carve. And when I’m done carving, I plan to paint the tiger and water, and stain the border.

I was inspired by the Japanese color woodblock, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. I really like the Japanese style of drawing waves.

I’m really excited to get started. And It’s a nice warm day . . . perfect for getting outside and making some art.

Should Graffiti be Legal?

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Elaine Vilela Gomez, Morro da Providência favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008 by JR Pasted Photos

Spray paint art doesn’t just grab my attention on artwork that can be held in your hands. Walls make great canvasses too. Street art and murals have been gaining a lot of ground lately.

Some aren’t even done with spray paint . . . some are done by pasting photos like in the above street art from the series, Women Are Heroes by JR.

Recently on the summer olympics in Brazil, we got to see a little bit of Rio de Janeiro’s street art . . . where graffiti is legal.

 

 

Philadelphia is another town known for their street art. When we give artists an opportunity to express their creativity, we see that they make towns come to life with colorful and free and educational art for everyone. Instead of creating an opportunity for punishment. 

 

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Banksy

Don’t forget about the controversial British artist Banksy on the streets of England. If graffiti was legal, would Banksy’s artwork make the same impact?

Well, I could go on and on forever about graffiti, murals, and street art . . . But for now, I want to share a little guy I found in my town.

For many years, I’ve noticed this smoking bomb hanging out on an old gas station on Hwy 259. It looks like it was painted using Banksy’s preferred technique of stenciling.  

 

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Smoking Bomb on Hwy 259

 

Recently, I was exploring my town with some friends when I found another smoking bomb.

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Smoking Bomb Tower

He was hiding inside this tall brick tower at the edge of a sports field that I drive by almost everyday. Talk about hidden in plain view.

I’ve found 2 of these little smoking bombs so far. I wonder how many more are out there. And who is the artist?

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Smoking Bomb inside Tower

I guess the smoking bomb is considered illegal graffiti and most people probably think it looks ugly. But, I think it adds character to my town. Some of these paintings have been up for years. And some are temporary. Some I’ve grown so used to seeing that I don’t see them anymore. 

Do you have any eye grabbing artwork on the walls of your town? Has your town legalized graffiti and street art? Get out there and capture some great art before it’s gone forever. And if YOU’RE a street artist, I’d love to see your stuff. 

Shark Conspiracy

 

One of my favorite spray paintings. Gets the imagination going.

I really like making abstract paintings with spray paint techniques. I like being heavy handed with my paint and taking basically trash, and randomly moving it around on the paint to get interesting and unexpected shapes. Works great for complex galaxies.

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Shark Conspiracy

When I use this technique I always think of Europe after the Rain, by Max Ernst. He used a technique called Decalcomania. The process is not exactly the same but it’s similar.

For Shark Conspiracy, I used an old painting that I didn’t like, and put it on top of the wet paint and moved it around then pulled it off.  I added some planets, stars, light effects, and finished the black space on the edges.

Kid’s like glopping on lots of paint and moving it around, so this is a fun and easy one to do with them. And they can just be free to squeeze that trigger.

  • Of course, remember to always use spray paint in a well ventilated area and wear a mask.

Aahhhh . . . It’s Friday . . . and I’m ready to start the weekend. Next week I’ll share another type of spray paint art.

 

 

My First Spray Painted Jellyfish

My spray paint art teacher says that jellyfish are a really cool and easy subject for spray painting. This is my first jellyfish. I made a lot of mistakes but it was a lot of fun to paint. I love the textures that my materials make. Lot’s of bumps and cracks are perfect for nature and animals.

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Jellyfish

A good thing to remember is to always keep your palette knife clean! Otherwise old paint will dry and cake up your smooth edge which results in un-wanted textures. That’s why the jellyfish’s tentacles aren’t smooth and believable looking.

Maybe I’ll paint another jellyfish soon, or some other underwater scenes. We’ll see what inspiration brings.

Making Spray Paint Trees

I have a couple of boxes filled with almost empty cans of spray paint and I’d like to re-stock, so I’m doing some paintings that don’t require perfect caps or large amounts of paint.

Below is a magical tree where some fairies or some other illuminated creatures might live. I had Picasso’s Blue Period on the mind hoping that would provide a little inspiration. I wanted to achieve a sense of movement in the background so that the scene felt busy and active.

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Magical Tree

I wasn’t sure what effect the blue would give . . . would it be sad? Or would it be calm? I guess maybe it gives off a cold effect. I decided the next tree should have a little green added to create a more eerie feeling.

The tree below was inspired by one of the trees in my yard that was right in front of my face while I was painting. It’s just an old tree with big roots.

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Blue Tree

It turned out ok. The background could have a more interesting texture. I think I’m getting more comfortable making trees. I still have lots of cans to use up before I let myself buy new cans . . . so, back to the drawing board.