Foredom 44T Foredom 25 Harbor Freight

I recently commented about how impressed I was with the hand pieces that came with the Harbor Freight flex shaft motors. No noticeable side play by
chucking up a cutter and pushing it side to side.
Hoping to step up a notch I bought a couple Foredom 44T hand pieces. I was disappointed. The definitely have side play by the same test. I contacted Foredom and complained. Their explanation was that the 44T and 43T hand pieces are intended to be used as a hand held tool, and if they crank them down to get side play down in the .0015 range (which would be acceptable for what I want to use them for) they would generate way to much heat to be comfortable to hold. That actually makes sense and its one of the complaints I read in the reviews of the Harbor Freight hand piece. It gets too hot to hold when run at max speed for very long.
Kevin at Foredom is sending me a 25 hand piece to evaluate at no cost. If I like it I just send him my 44Ts and when I am ready, buy another 25. The price step is quite a bit though. The 44T can be had for about $50, while the best price I have seen on the 25 is $135. The 25 is listed as a "continuous production" hand piece.
The heat of the HF hand piece was not that big of a deal for me since I was using them in aluminum mounting clamps made out of 1/2 bar stock. I didn't feel the heat, and the aluminum clamps helped to bleed off some of the heat they generated.
My over all opinion of Foredom customer service however is very high. I did not expect such a fantastic response from them. I will abuse the 25 as soon as it arrives and see how it performs, and if I am happy with it I will buy another one. The 25 is a little larger diameter than the HF or the 44T so I either need to bore out my clamps or make new ones. I think I'll make some new ones because building the "prototypes" for the HF hand pieces and using them to make some parts showed me some flaws in my design. I need a squaring brace/block directly between the two clamps if I want them to easily be able to mount on the machine and maintain relative position accurately.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is a good review that you've presented. The Foredom rep's explanation is easy to accept, and Foredom at least, has some interest in their tools providing good performance and value.
I suppose you may have already considered making your own high speed spindles, which may be an option. At very high speeds, proper bearing lubrication becomes a fairly important issue, although the load forces you would be applying probably aren't extremely unreasonable for small bearings in that size range.
Reliable (long life) high speed spindles with an accurate spindle chuck are somewhat specialized items, such as tool post grinders.
--
WB
.........


"Bob La Londe" < snipped-for-privacy@none.no> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is a good review that you've presented. The Foredom rep's explanation is easy to accept, and Foredom at least, has some interest in their tools providing good performance and value.
I suppose you may have already considered making your own high speed spindles, which may be an option. At very high speeds, proper bearing lubrication becomes a fairly important issue, although the load forces you would be applying probably aren't extremely unreasonable for small bearings in that size range.
Reliable (long life) high speed spindles with an accurate spindle chuck are somewhat specialized items, such as tool post grinders.
--
WB
.........


"Bob La Londe" < snipped-for-privacy@none.no> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For some really kick-ass high speed handpieces, check out http://www.ramprodinc.com . These guys really know their stuff, and most of it is pretty reasonably priced.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I looked quick, but I think I need to look in a little more depth.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/8/2010 12:25 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

Good luck. Most of the links are busted.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, its Friday afternoon and the promised Foredom 25 never arrived. I guess its time to disassemble the 44Ts and see if I can crank down their tolerance and make them into something useful. I would have done that a week ago if Foredom had not offered to send out a 25 to try.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ok, I guess UPS must have come back and made a second delivery on Friday. I found the Foredom 25 hand piece sitting in the drop box in front of my office on Saturday evening. Not sure why I unlocked it and checked...
Now I need to make some mounts for it. The HF hand pieces are about .85 diameter. The 44T is about .95, and the 25 is about 1.026 I could just mill out the HF clamps, but I may want to use the HF handpieces again some time, so I guess its time to design a clamp for the Foredom 25 and see how it performs. I want to make some improvements to my clamp design anyway.
For a baseline or comparison, the one HF handpiece has about 100 hours of run time on it. The last 40 hours was almost continuous nonstop. It is just now starting to develop some noticeable side play. By grabbing a bit chucked up in it I can wiggle it slightly and feel it. I'm guessing its under .01 according to my calibrated finger, but I can feel it. I stopped the mill at 7.5 hours into the job to check clearance and that no steps were being lost. Then it ran 32 hours straight. I stopped it very briefly because the snap in connection was rattling. All I did was snap it back in and it was good. That was probably my own fault. I had backed off the amount of protrusion of the drive shaft to match the Foredom tool spec, and when I went back to the HF hand piece I had not put it back the way it came. I had just assumed the Foredom spec was generically correct for all hand pieces.
I have to say that the HF tool is really not bad. I bought two of them as some of you might know. I had a brush carbon up and quit working right at about 30 hours on one motor. I swapped it for one of the new brushes that came with the tool and all was good. The other has over 100 hours of runtime at maximum speed continuous duty and its still working fine. The hand piece with 100 + hours is starting to show some slop or side play. For a very occasional user who takes care of their tools they might last their lifetime. Very likely if they only use it as a foot pedal controlled hand held tool. For a commercial shop I suspect downtime for service would override cost savings, but I have not run a Foredom hand piece or motor that hard yet. Even a jewelry shop would probably take months to put that much hard use on their motors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No. This is the one I am using. It is in a fixed mount on the side of a mill spindle being used for milling aluminum at full motor speed (speed control is not used).
http://www.harborfreight.com/flexible-shaft-grinder-and-carver-40432.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.