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Make an Advent calendar with Dremel

If you have some 9mm and 12mm SupaWood offcuts lying around at home, Dremel will show you how to put these to good use. This project also introduces the new Dremel Moto Saw, due to be launched in South Africa in the new future, but hopefully before Christmas as this is one tool I definitely want to add to my collection...!


The Dremel Moto-Saw is a compact and easy-to-use scroll saw for making detailed cuts in different materials. With its range of different saw blades, the Dremel Moto-Saw can handle many different materials easily. Thanks to its detachable fretsaw, it can be used not only stationary but in-hand anywhere. This userfriendly scroll saw is not only easy to store and set-up, but also easy to operate. The Dremel Moto-Saw is the most user-friendly scroll saw available.

You will need:

25 of 16mm x 19mm (open) brass hinges and screws from model making retailer
Precision screw driver set, screwdriver size 0
64mm brass butt hinge
73cm x 50cm piece of 12mm SupaWood for the front of the Xmas tree
2 of 45cm x 70cm strips of 9mm SupaWood
1 of 73cm x 50cm piece of 3mm SupaWood or Masonite for the backing board
1 of 8cm x 50cm piece of 9mm SupaWood for the strut
Panel pins
Wood glue
240-grit sandpaper
Rust-Oleum 2X gloss apple red


Dremel 3000 multitool - precision drill bits
Dremel Moto Saw
Moto Saw fine wood cutting blade + general purpose blade + spiral cutting blade

Here's how:

Step 1
Draw a basic xmas tree shape on your 73cm high x 50cm piece of 12mm SupaWood. Start by drawing a vertical line down the centre of the board and then measure and mark at each 10 centimetre point from the bottom to the top on the centre line. Go back to the bottom and this time make a mark 10 centimetres in from each edge. Now, follow the drawing as shown and make sure that your tree branches extend out to roughly the following measurements: 50cm at the bottom, 41.5 cm, 33.7 cm, 25.5cm, 17.8cm, 9.8cm.

Step 2
Now that you have your xmas tree drawn out on the SupaWood, cut out the outline of the xmas tree using your Dremel® Moto-Saw and the fine wood cutting blade MS52. This will become the front of your advent calendar.

Step 3
Use your cut out xmas tree as a template for the backing board of your advent calendar. Do this by placing it on top of the 73cm x 50cm 3mm piece of SupaWood or Masonite and draw around it. Cut it out using your Dremel® Moto-Saw as before. Now you should have two xmas tree shapes cut out.

Step 4
Next, create the doors for your advent calendar. Using your Dremel Moto-Saw, cut your two strips of 9mm SupaWood into 25 x 45mm squares.

Step 5
Place your cut out doors onto the 12mm Xmas tree shape board in the following configuration: from bottom to top – 3, 5, 3, 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1 – equally spaced apart. Draw around each door. When you've done this, draw a parallel line 2mm or 3mm inside the line you've just drawn onto the board. This will give you a plan for plunge cutting out the centre of each square to provide a cavity for the chocolate or sweet to be hidden behind each door.

Step 6
To plunge cut out the centre of each square, use your Dremel 3000 and the Dremel Multi-purpose spiral bit to make an access hole and cut through to the part you will be removing. Now, pass the Dremel Moto-Saw and its fine wood blade through the cut you've made and cut one side. Continue in this manner until all four sides are cut and the piece of wood falls out.

Step 7
Take your tree-shaped backing board in 3mm SupaWood or Masonite and pin it to the front board. Use a hammer to drive in panel pins around the edges and a few up the middle. Alternatively use PVA wood glue, apply an even pressure and allow to dry.

Step 8
Fix the doors by firstly screwing a hinge onto the edge of each door using a precision screwdriver. Using the Dremel 3000, drill a pilot hole for each screw using the bit 1,2mm. Drive in the screws using the precision screwdriver. Then affix the other side of the hinge to the face of the advent calendar.

Step 9
Finally, affix the brass butt hinge to one end of your piece of 50cm x 8cm 9mm SupaWood by drilling a pilot hole with the 2.0 Bit. Using screws and a precision screwdriver affix to the centre of the back of the advent calendar to make a strut. The strut should allow the advent calendar to stand up at roughly a 10 degree angle.

Step 10
Sand the edges of the SupaWood with 240-grit sandpaper until they appear shiny and polished. This helps prevent the SupaWood from absorbing paint too quickly. Spray with Rust-Oleum 2X in gloss apple red. Spray on light, even coats and allow drying time between coats. Print out and stick on your embellishments.


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