Converted Detailmaster to Razertip Configuration

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by Owen Lowe, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
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    Location:
    Newberg, OR: 20mi SW of Portland: AAW #21058
    For a few years now, I have accumulated an assortment of Detailmaster pyrography handpieces. Mainly this is because the local Woodcraft store stocks them and a selection of tips. I’ve been happy with them except for one thing… those darned cords attached to each handpiece. 1) They are difficult to wrap up and they make the handpieces messy to store neatly. 2) They get tangled whenever I am swapping 2 or 3 different handpieces while working on a design. 3) They have been known to pull handpieces to the floor because of tangling or even the hanging weight.

    In April, I attended a workshop with Cynthia Gibson. She uses the Razertip products and I was impressed with how she was able to store all of her handpieces in a toolroll-type bundle. None of those 5’ cords to get in the way. I even bought one of the Razertip ball-end handpieces from her. Different feel, but nice; I won’t hesitate to add more from Razertip, but I won’t be getting rid of my Detailmasters...

    This past Sunday, I cut the cord(s), both figuratively and literally. Radio Shack carries male and female RCA-style plugs like the Razertip uses. I went with the solder-type attachment because of the high connect/disconnect frequency. Viola! My cord problem is solved. The plugs come with both red and black in each package; I decided to use the red for all fixed-tip handpieces and black for interchangeable tips.

    I then spent a number of hours working on the bowl in the background of the attached photo after the conversion and didn’t notice anything different with the balance or maneuverability of the modified handpieces.
     

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  2. Donna Banfield

    Donna Banfield

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    May 19, 2004
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    Derry, NH
    Good information! I, too, have about 10 Detailmaster Handpieces, and find those attached cords frustrating. I may need to do exactly what you did - bite the bullet and cut the cords. Thanks for posting this.
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll miss Detailmaster for their great handpieces, but not their stiff cords. I really like the Optima tips and super flexible cords, but the handles aren't quite as comfortable as the Detailmaster handles. I would like to modify the handpieces to use the phono connector that Optima, Razertip, and others use rather than having the phono connector on a pigtail lead, I would like to see if it's feasible to have the connector mounted directly to the top of the handpiece which should make writing a bit easier. Doing this might be a challenge. Do you have any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  4. john lucas

    john lucas

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    It would probably be easier to just build the handpieces. I made some many years ago but they got too hot for my hands. I bought the Optima and their hand pieces. I don't mind the RC connectors at all. Not sure the Phono plugs are any improvement but then I've never owned any of those handpieces. I tend to burn with very low heat now like Cynthia Gibson so my hand pieces don't get as hot. When I finally get around to making my wood vaporizer I may work on some new handpieces and see if I can either get more insulation in them or make channels for the heat to travel up and out the end of the handpiece. I've seen a few designs over the years but unfortunately never sketched them so I'll probably end up re-engineering something someone else has already done.
     
  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Detailmaster had the right idea with their new vented handpieces. Most other use foam insulation around the handpiece which, in the long run, is the exact opposite of what should be done because the internal temperature will rise to a much higher level and hasten the demise of the handpiece. The vented handpiece is simple -- create a chimney effect where air flows in holes at the bottom and out through holes at the top. The fluted shape of the handle increases surface area to also help dissipate heat.
     

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