Jan 082018
Cut female pin headers with a Dremel Jig

I have an occasional need for 13-way female headers. Actually they are a component in both the RasPiO 7-seg kit and the RasPiO Breakout. But 13-way headers are not as easy to get hold of as other sizes, e.g. 15-way, unless you want to order eleventy-billion of them imported directly from China. If you only want a couple of hundred or less, it’s better to buy 15-way and cut them down to size. It’s certainly quicker if that’s what you already have in stock.

It’s rather an unpleasant job, but to do it well with a fair number of units you need a ‘machine’. Ideally a small modelling table saw, tile saw or something like that – even an industrial guillotine would do it nicely. But how do you do it in a “hacker’s garage” using just what you already have?

Well my solution is to use a Dremel clamped into a jig to make a kind of small table saw. It’s certainly not as safe as I would like it to be. One day, perhaps I’ll make a modified version that places the ‘table’ above the blade. But this is what I have for now. It’s an interesting hack and I thought I’d share it with you. Enjoy the video…

Cutting a header

Cutting a header

  8 Responses to “Cutting Female Pin Headers with a Hacked Together Dremel Jig”

  1. It’s good to have a “healthy respect for any fast rotating cutting thing” and use push sticks etc, and your comment reminded me of a recent “Inside the Factory” episode on fish fingers (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09l60v0/inside-the-factory-series-3-4-fish-fingers) – skip to about 12mins 20seconds and see what you think about processes/techniques in use.

    • Yeah – using a bandsaw requires concentration. I have a small one I use for woodwork :)
      I’ve never tried cutting fish fingers with it though.

  2. Suggestion – try joinning many of the headers together. It may add stability and cut more headers at a time, making the process faster.

  3. “Give us a thumbs up” (as long as you haven’t chopped it off)

  4. With a 3D printer and an applicable design from Thingiverse you could make a more stable and safer sawtable with a Dremel tool.

    • I don’t have a 3d printer, but I spent some time over the week-end working on a better version (I couldn’t leave it alone once I had the idea), but that’s a story for another day :)

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