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My Hand // Amazing Dremel Workshop

June 24, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


In early May, I add the opportunity to take the Amazing Dremel Workshop with Jill Timm. I had seen her workshop being offered across the nation by various Guild chapters. Due to its popularity and my position as the Program Co-chair for the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, I brought Jill to teach her workshop at the Northeast Document Conservation Center.

My interest in the class began when I received my Dzia’s old Dremel tool along with his collection of bits. I had never used a Dremel and wanted to get acquainted with its uses. As part of our material fee, we received a collection of bits neatly packed inside a wooden box. Jill introduced each type of bit by the material it was designed to carve into. We began by carving into glass using a series of diamond bits.


After adding a flex-shaft to our Dremel, we continued working through our wooden box of new bits by carving out designs in wood, mirror, copper and steel plates. The flex-shaft screws onto the hand tool; it’s much easier to handle because the design is similar to a pencil or stylus.

As Jill handed out the copper plates, she gave a demo on cutting the plate to create rounded corners using a cutting disc.


On our second day, we began to experiment with polymer clay, ceramic and plexiglass. In addition to experimenting with the various Dremel bits, we learned how to clean our tools and keep them in good shape. Jill also introduced us to the many attachments for the Dremel tool, such as a router attachment or the drill stand giving one the ability to drill through glass and other materials.

DremelWorkshop2-ErinFletcher DremelWorkshopBench-ErinFletcher

Overall, the workshop was fantastic. I understand my Dremel tool better and feel comfortable working with it in the future. Perhaps I’ll be making a binding with etched glass covers or carved wooden boards, only time will tell.

  1. I think this is amazing and genius; and I have to try it :)

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  • My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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