Monday, January 04, 2010

Power tool recovery

The Foredom people responded promptly to my question about parts replacements. Meanwhile I was curious what my local small appliance repairman, Don, would have to say about the broken wire covering. Yes! We still have someone in our city who will repair things! In about thirty minutes he had shortened the wire by about two and a half inches and had re-attached the same connectors. When I put the hand piece back together and plugged it back in, it worked beautifully! I'm back in business, and at far less cost than buying new parts or a new hand piece. All that was thrown away was two and a half inches of braided copper wire.

Having spent a day back on the block with my hand tools, I have a different perspective on working with the power tool. I realize how I miss the control and slower pace of the hand tools. I believe I will find myself distributing the work between the power tool and the hand tools a little differently from now on.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A case for hand engraving tools

I was made aware today of the value of simpler technologies. I started engraving a new block a few days ago and was returning to work on the block this afternoon. I picked up the hand piece of the Foredom micro motor I rely on for the majority of my wood engravings and was about to turn it on. Then I noticed the covering of wire which comes from the hand piece was cracked and I could see the copper wire. Both stands! If they touched I doubt it would be a good thing. I have no idea how long the break in the wires had been there and I suppose I'm fortunate I spotted the damage before they touched.

I tried to take the hand piece apart to see if there was a means of making a repair but wasn't able to gain access to the point where the wire connects to the hand piece. I went immediately to the Foredom website to see if there was a replacement hand piece listed. The model number of the hand piece I own is not listed now. The machine is apparently obsolete. If I want to continue engraving I must use my hand tools for the remainder of the block. Waiting to solve the problem of the disabled part is not an option. I must continue to work.

This incident got me thinking about how we rely on technology for so much in our lives and when technology breaks down or is unavailable, how panic sets in and things shut down. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get the hand piece fixed or replaced but I do know I need to continue engraving and the hand tools I use for some areas will replace the power tool and will return as my main tools... until I find a solution in my spare time.