wheel punch

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by rickstef, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    hi all,

    I had bought this punch some months ago, and finally got around to using it, but I noticed that the punch tubes aren't as sharp as i want for paper, I have to reposition the punch a few times.

    question is as follows, should I get a set of rifler files, and try to sharpen the cutting edge?
    or is there some other solution I am overlooking?

    this is the punch in question >> http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm?terms=2856&cartLogFrom=Search

  2. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Rick

    I bought this one about six months ago, so far the only problems I have with mine is the punch holes block and have to be cleared after two or three shots at it. The other is when I do thick card the handel starts to bend under the force put on it.

    When I use them I press it in hard and before letting go give it a little twist to make shure of the cut, so far has worked every time.

    Oh I also close them over before each new punch to centre the punch.

    Hope this helps

  3. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Use ceramic bits and make a tool for ejecting rejects

    Hi Rick

    Had exactly the same experience! Solved it by:

    1) Sharpening the various punch members by using a number of ceramic bits and a power drill (Dremel or similar). Works wonders! Although the ceramic bits may be totally wasted afterwards...

    2) You can actually dismember the whole clumsy contraption with proper application of physical violence. Then you've got a much more handy wheel, which you can use by putting a dowel or some other tool of suitable diameter inside to be able to apply pressure. Twisting, plus pressure, like Barry said, is the name of the game.

    3) You can actually dismember the wheel even further by applying brute force to the single punch bits. But then you've got the problem of applying pressure to them, so try not to do that.

    4) Make a tool, from a stiff wire or similar, to be able to eject the paper rejects from the punch bits. Otherwise you'll find it mighty hard after a while to punch them holes.

    5) Be sure to have SEVERAL layers of scrap paper under the piece you're punching. Otherwise you'll end up with one cutting mat completely destroyed by small circular patterns, impossible to mend.

    Otherwise, it'll work just fine!


    Me, I'm longing for the Japanese punch drill once described on this site, at an exorbitant price...
  4. cecil_severs

    cecil_severs Member

  5. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Cecil

    I have a full set of these and use them a dam sight more than the wheel punch. A million times better in my opinion than the wheel punch!!!


  6. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Lovely looking tools Rob, any European source? - I'll be on them like a hawk!

  7. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi leif

    The whole set of 12 I got from a local market for about £7.00 about $11.00.
    As to a place to buy them in the EU I would not have a clue.
    Send me your address in a PM and I will send you a set as soon as I can lay my paws on them.

    Hope this helps

  8. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Thanks mate, I'll be sure to take you up on that very generous and kind offer. Just let me make a run through the local iron mongers here tomorrow to make sure, and I'll get back to you!

  9. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Hi All,

    This post caused me to finally sharpen the set of individual punches that I purchased from Harbor Freight about a year ago. They're good punches except they aren't sharp enough to make a clean cut through paper. Leif's sharpening method should work fine with this purchase. Make sure you check them out to make sure there's no nicks in the cutting edge. You'll have to grind the edge down if there is by placing a piece of wet or dry sandpaper on a glass plate, splash a little water on the paper and procede to rhytmically "lap" the cutting edge down till the nick disappears. You'll need to grind a new cutting edge afterward. I buff polish the edge to a razor sharpness with buffing compound. This also helps make a very clean parting from the main sheet. A sharp punch has a very disticnt feel when hit with a non-marking hammer. It's a most satisfying experience.

    Glad Rick goaded me into finally getting around to this. Leifs sharpening for wheel punches works a treat also.

    Happy Puncher, Gil
  11. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    well, all I wanted to know if I should invest in those files

    sheesh, and then I get all I wanted to know about sharpening the cutting edge

  12. Maurice

    Maurice Member

    Gee - some people are real hard to satisfy. :lol:

    Don't bother just for this.
    If you have a Dremmel use the ordinary sanding discs on the outside of the tubes.
    If not a minimalist approach is to stick a bit of abrasive paper to a pop stick with PVA and use that with care.
    In either case keep your "angle of attack" as steady as possible and keep the cutting edge of the punch always level and at right angles to the hole in the middle.

  13. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Here, here Maurice,

    Rick, I guess the point to be made is a punch is only good if it's sharp. A dull punch will only provide disappointing results which we want to avoid if we are to build the number of successful card modelers. That's the reason for the emphasis on keeping them as sharp as is possible.

    The other caveat written into but not stated is the Harbor Freight punches are made from good quality steel but they come with varying degrees of sharpness.

    Best regards, Gil
  14. Boris

    Boris Member

    Hi Guys!
    I saw a german-made punch set in a tool shop. Diameters are from 3 to 80 mm in 2-3 mm step , laser-sharpening and it fits for pretty heavy duty work ( as I was told by seller this set is good for hole making in 10 mm leather ) and it' possible to insert up to five these punches one inside the other. What do you think, guys, is it a good buy ? It's a very expensive set ( about 220$)
  15. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Boris

    These type of punches are very good, but before spending that kind of money :shock: on punches make very, very, vry shure your not just going to use them every blue moon. Ask the question do you realy need an 80mm punch thats some hole mate!! and how often will I use them.

    I would say start with a basic set and buy the extra sizes you need when you need them.

    Its a hell of a lot of cash mate :!:


  16. Boris

    Boris Member

    Actually , here , in Israel , 220$ is a little more than quarter of minimal wage so , of course, I'd think twice (maybe even 4 times :) ) before buyng this set (after all , it's like two months worth of food).
    From the other hand , once , when I was working at Israeli Shipyards, I had a co-worker , a locksmith .He suggested that I may use pieces of tubing that he could sharpen in the right way (as he said it'd be enough to have the 45 degree angle sharpening) but I didn't like the idea .The tubes come in certain diameters with very big differencies ( like 10mm 14mm and so on) so it would be hard to find exact sizes needed in paper modelling. But it gave me another idea : I could use a telescopic antenna (from a radio or a portable TV set) taken appart and have it sharpened (by myself - yes, I was a metall worker once too :) ) and so I'll get small diameter punches (from 2 to 10 mm) . For now I'm looking for a broken radio or, better, portable TV set to "loan" the antenna Let's see
  17. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Voila! Punches du Jour


    You're thinking is shown below. These were made from a supply of telescoping brass tubing I have on hand (K&S Metals here in the U.S. It or a simlar product is sold in most hobby shops World wide). Each is approximately 5 cm long and varies in diameter from about 2 mm through 12 mm. I sharpen one end to cut on the Outside Diameter (OD) and the other end to cut on the Inside Diameter (ID). Telescoping antenna are generally made from brass makng it a good source for a low cost alternative to buying from a hobby shop. The wall thickness will be a lot thicker than the thin walled telescoping tubing however. I use these with a drill press when there are a lot of holes that need to be cut as in the corners of window frames or portholes. It makes this operation quick, easy and clean.

    Best regards, Gil
  18. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Gil, Boris

    This is a good way to go. I've done that, too, although I don't have those little home-made tools around any longer. They are sorely missed. Used the assortment of brass tubes available from hobby shops in very close intervals, small diameters.

    Gil, you've gone all the way. Perfect to sharpen the tubes from the inside if you want a correct and repeatable (by renewed sharpening) diameter hole. Sharpening from the outside if you want a correct and repeatable diameter plug (less likely, I guess).

    Last night I was thinking about handles for these prospective home-made tools, and actually played with the idea of making a set of small punches (or rather drills) with dowel handles, the idea being to create a set of SMALL tools, for SMALL diameter holes in paper.

    No need to get tools that would cut through 20 mm leather, if you just want to punch a neat hole through 0.20 mm paper, right? What you want is something neat, fitting into your little card model tool box.

    I was just thinking that you could probably use a single ceramic bit for sharpening a series of such home-made punches from the inside, if you start sharpening the smallest diameter tube and progress upwards. You would gradually ruin the ceramic bit, but never mind since the slightly larger diameter part of the bit would be intact for the next diameter tube, until you had finished the set.

  19. Renaud

    Renaud Member

    punches/fantastic shop in Paris

    In Paris ( quincaillerie Weber, an outstanding store) are sold plyers, with punches for metal sheets, it works perfect for paper too. It ranges from 0.6 mm to 2.4 mm ( 2.4 mm is nearly one inch, one inch being 2.54 mm), and makes very clean holes, even through thick paper. You can pierce holes up to more than one inch away from the edge of the sheet. Very expensive, 62.39 euros each plyer ( may be a discount price for the whole range...?). In all, not less than 15 plyers, each one for one diameter only (and for enthusiasts only) The whole range is 0.6mm-0.7mm-0.8mm-0.9-1mm-1.1mm-1.2mm-1.3mm-1.4mm-1.5mm-1.6mm-1.8mm-2mm 2.4mm. Spare punches available at 5.85 euros.
    I have the catalogue, in English of course, although it is made in France.

    After you bought one plyer, you are sentenced to build the only ships whose portholes are the same diameter for the rest of your life unless you spend another 62.39 euros...
  20. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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