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How to cut terra cotta pots?

Posted By Radius 8 Years Ago
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Radius
Posted 8 Years Ago
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Hi!



First time poster to this board, but I've had a Dremel for a while now and I love it!



Just one question, I'm trying to cut a hole into a large terra cotta basket (a rectangular flower pot) and I'm using the diamond wheel and it works great. However, teh material thickness is a little greater than the reach of the bit.



What could I use to finish the cut? Is there another bit that works just as well with this stuff, or is there a larger diameter diamond wheel on the market?



The material thickness is just over 1/4" at its worst.



Thanks!

the Dremel Lady
Posted 8 Years Ago
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I find the tile cutting bit # 562 works great on terra cotta pots. You can wet the pots too and keep your dust level down, helps the bit run cooler too. #569, grout removal bit, works great for smaller diameter cuts if you are doing a luminary cut out.

TDL

Radius
Posted 8 Years Ago
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Sorry, what's a luminary cutout?



I'm just cutting out the ends to make caves for my larger catfish in an aquarium.



I tried using the reinforced cutout wheels last night and wow, did that ever take a long time! I got about 1/3 of the way through a single cutout with two large wheels. I think I'll just get some more diamond wheels and make the rough cuts as deep as I can.



I'll try some of those other bits as well, thanks for the info!

Radius
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Sorry for the double post...



I was just checking the bits reccomended here, and I have a 9901 tungsten bit and it would take me a week to do the job with that. Maybe I'm not using it correctly, but it tages a very long time to get anywhere with it.

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It's possible the terra cotta you have is harder than some. I have run into that issue before with some pots being harder than others. In these cases, the tungsten bits do seem to struggle. Wetting them only keep down your dust, does not "soften" the pot as some have thought at some of my demo's. I still stand by my recommendation of using the tile cutter bit though unless you have an unusally hard pot with granite specs in it or something. Since you have already gone through most of the way with the diamond wheel, you should be able to finish up with #562. Do it at high speed and put some pressure but not so much that you are pushing the tool too hard. I use my pinky as support on the pot to stabilize the tool.

The luminary I mentioned is a terra cotta pot that has a design cut out like the one in the project area:

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/projects-and-community/projects/projects-detail.htm?H=188450&G=69627&I=69758

I did not have a 9903 bit handy when I first tried to make one but I did have some 562 bits and now that I've tried both, I prefer the 562. I also prefer the design so that the pot is inverted with the design "upside down" on the pot. Less light escapes and the wick hits the design better. You can us a terra cotta saucer base to hold the pot and candle underneath. Also, try doing a design, and then you can spray paint the pot. I did some Christmas trees before and then spray painted the pot green and then once that was dry I dusted it with white to look like snow. Did a snowflake in a pot and painted it white too.

TDL

jefforyj
Posted 8 Years Ago
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As a Dremel demonstrator I agree with the tile cutting bit(s), either 562, or grout removal tools 569 and 570. I purchase the little bitty clay pots at halloween time and cut jack-o-lantern faces in them them put a tea light in them and give to the little ones that stop by my demo table. I keep them soaking in a bucket of water beside me to keep down the dust. either of the 3 bits will do a super job on terra cotta or wall tile. If the terra cotta has been super-fired then it may be hardened and the only way to cut holes in it is with any of the diamond wheel points such as the wheel you are using or any of 7103 7105, 7120, 7123, 7134, or 7144.

Best of luck

JeffCool



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