Lee Valley Flexible Shaft
#11
  
I'm looking at the Lee Valley Kirjes Heavy-Duty Flexible Shaft (68Z50.81) and wondering whether anyone else has one or has used a similar drill driven flexible shaft?

My woodworking has involved a little carving and shaping of odd items and this looks like it might be useful for detail sanding with a Rol-loc setup as well as a little shaping carving with a burr.  I just don't know how useful something like this might be to get into tight corners, etc.

Any info. greatly appreciated!
Mike


If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room!

But not today...
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#12
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
I don't drive it with  drill, rather an induction run motor.  Use an older version of that one pictured presently.  Make sure if you buy any other brand , that it has ball bearings. 

Don't think a drill motor will smooth out the gaps enough to make carving with a burr anything good.  Those run real fast, so they won't jump and jig. Think Foredom or Dremel. As to detail sanding, the minimops and such will handle anything you need in light duty sanding. http://klingspor.com/products/index.htm
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#13
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
I used one of the older ones  a lot on a cedar strip canoe. I drove it with a 2000rpm drill motor. I think they have a rpm max limit.
A man of foolish pursuits
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#14
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
I'm thinking I might drive the shaft from my drill press so I can change speeds as necessary.  I could also drive it from a corded electric drill which runs about 2,000 rpm which is well within the limits of the shaft.
Mike


If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room!

But not today...
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#15
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
(01-11-2017, 08:22 PM)gMike Wrote: I'm thinking I might drive the shaft from my drill press so I can change speeds as necessary.  I could also drive it from a corded electric drill which runs about 2,000 rpm which is well within the limits of the shaft.

Can't carve at that rpm, really. Utility is about adequate, not limits.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#16
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
Linky thing

Back in the day when I had a ShopSmith they sold one, and it was supposed to be big whoopee due to the adjustable speed dial on the MK V. I sold it pretty quick. The SS one ran very smooth, so that is the only thing a good versus a bad one, or expensive/cheap would make a difference. I just found using a dremel and their tips did a heck of a lot better job. Now the Foredom tools always had a lot of followers. I've never used one, so can't say about them

I think the bulk of the "flexible shaft" weighed enough it was unwieldy to move it around, while you were trying to be artsy.
Worst thing they can do is cook ya and eat ya

GW
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#17
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
(01-12-2017, 09:25 PM)Steve N Wrote: The SS one ran very smooth, so that is the only thing a good versus a bad one, or expensive/cheap would make a difference.

Not true.  While in the middle of prepping a bunch of bowls some years back I broke the shield on my Lee Valley "French" flex shaft.  Bought one of the cheapies at Menards to get me through the week, so have experience with both.  Cheapies have sintered bearings, overheat, collect sawdust in the oozing lube, and might overheat.  Got to have ball bearings, and they add to the cost.  Dual bearings better than single row.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#18
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
So you just made my case. A POS will run rough, and not do a good job, and good machine will run smooth. The SS model I had was a very good shaft, with well made parts. Once you have a shaft that is running smooth, there is nothing you can do to make it better, it's going to run without vibration, and give as clean a cut as your chosen tips will allow. Using a POS it will be rough, vibrate, and possibly fall apart on you.

My point for posting wasn't to say that. my point was to say after having several years of using, selling, and demonstrating this type of flexible shaft tool, that I prefer to not have all that weight to lug around at the same time I am trying to direct the tip with accuracy. So I prefer a much lighter Dremel tool which you can easily grasp, and control. That would have been my point. Now go ahead and argue that. I know you will want to. Rolleyes No No No
Worst thing they can do is cook ya and eat ya

GW
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#19
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
There are times when it's the only tool that will work. I used a 1" wood carving burr that Lee Valley use to sell. It radiused the epoxy filler fillet perfectly.  I've used enough burrs to have worn out two 1/4" air die grinders and have both a Dremel and a Foredom clone.
A man of foolish pursuits
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#20
  Re: Lee Valley Flexible Shaft by gMike (I'm looking at the L...)
The OP, I hope, has no chip on his shoulder like Steve, and will stick to what's important in selection - bearings.  Sintered bearings run smooth, until heat destroys them, and the finish on the Borg brand is similar, but it's window dressing. 

As to carving with the tool, you will need something running much higher rpm if you expect to run smooth (or small) over the gaps in burrs.  These are better, given the random nature of the grit, but they are large.  http://katools.com/images/burr_group.jpg  I tried them for spoons, but they wanted as good a hold as a scorp or gouge, which leaves a superior surface.

One hint for use which helps the problem of shaft rigid resistance is to sit such, and mount your piece in a position that allows that last cubit of length to parallel your forearm.  Turnings left in their chuck work handily with a 1" 8 standard bolt to secure them to a vise fixture.  As with all carving it helps to not have to commit one hand to hold the piece, so plan for it.

Almost forgot. I recommended the mini and micromops, but for truly small details, running brushes can smooth and case harden detail beautifully.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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