Friends: It is with the deepest sadness and reget that I announce the demise by massive coronary failure of my beloved Vigor Flexible Shaft machine, 1/10th HP, serial number T170, known to his friends and relations as "Twisty." Twisty was adopted in his infancy in 1969, and has performed valiantly for 34 years, in spite of very hard use and his owner's questionable maintenance practices. Towards the end of his life, he began to experience many symptoms of illness, in his motor, his foot pedal, his rheostat, and even the threads on his connections. Finally, he literally "went to pieces."
Twisty is survived by a number of loving brothers and sisters who were all adopted in 1969-1970: "Buffy," a 1/4 HP Red Wing grinding and polishing motor; "Preston," a Presto-lite Acetylene torch; "Victor," a welding and cutting torch outfit with many tips and fine regulators; "Spinner," a centrifugal casting machine who has been packed in an old cardboard box for at least twelve years, but who is assumed to still be in perfect working order, as well as by as many small cousins as Rabbit has in "Winnie the Pooh"--pliers, files, jeweler's saws, etc. Twisty was preceded in death by his contemporaries "Hummer," a high-powered UltraSonic Cleaner, and "The Juice," a costly electroplating machine.
While "Twisty" is soon to be "replaced" by a similar machine purchased today on e-Bay, he will never be replaced in the hearts of those who loved him. In lieu of flowers, Twisty requested before his death that beads, glass, metal foils, and/or gift certificates to major glass supply houses be donated to his owner.
Funeral services will be held at an as-yet-undetermined time and date at the Refuse Disposal and Landfill facility in Bishop, California.
The moral of the story is: good tools are worth every penny spent on them!
And--in my own humble opinion, and I'm sure Vince and others will agree--they just don't make 'em like they used to!
P.S. For those of you who are not familiar with Flexible Shaft motors, there is a distinct advantage to flex-shaft machines over Dremels. I own a Dremel with a flex-shaft attachment--but here's the difference: a Foredom or Vigor flex shaft operates with a foot pedal, so that you can insert a bead reaming diamond file into your bead BEFORE you "step on" the power, and you have an infinite amount of control over the speed of rotation with your foot, while you are performing any kind of drilling, cutting, grinding or polishing operation.
I have been using my Dremel for the past week, since Twisty's death, but I find it somewhat mentally retarded, in that I have to turn it on first and THEN try to get the bit into the bead hole, or put the bead on the reamer, turn the machine on, and then try to grab hold of the spinning bead. And then I need one of my hands to control the speed on the Dremel. New flex shaft machines are in the $200 price range--but I bought one today as I "Buy It Now" on e-Bay for $75, because I do not have the time to mess around...