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I Forge Iron

Punching holes...show off you handled punches

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Hello all,


I am new here...actually been following this site for a long time, but this is my first post.  I'm hoping you can help me with hole punching.  I have made my own punch out of coil spring, and it works ok, but it is for small holes, long and thin, and I bend it often.  I have several antique punches I got at flea markets that are better, but too short to hold over hot metal and punch for long. 


I would like to add a handle to one of these punches.  I have used a commercial stubby handled punch from blacksmith depot that is great, but it is big, and they aren't cheap.  Looking to punch small holes for something like a decorative leaf hook.  So what is the best way to make a small handled punch?  Weld a handle on?  Wrap it with Quarter inch rod?  Is it difficult to make your own stubby punch?   If you could post some pics of your punches so I can get ideas that would be great.


Thanks in advance for your help.  This is a great site and I have gotten tons of ideas from here!

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Welcome aboard Robert, glad to have you: A really handy looking pair of tongs for holding tools like punches was posted a while back but I haven't gotten around to making a pair myself. I just use garage sale pin and drift punches for small holes and hold them in a pair of vise grips. It still gets too hot on my hand but it's livewithable.


Wrapping light rod or heavy wire for a handle is perfectly fine, you can even burn a hole in a stick say lathe or split a green (say willow) branch. There's nothing special about what it needs to be so long as it holds your punch, chisel, whatever, firmly and keeps your hand out of the heat.


Frosty The Lucky.

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A way to make a simple handle is , well maybe not simple but i use a piece of 3/8 or 1/2 inch cable,cut about 10 inches long. braze or weld the ends so as not to unravel or catch on anything. Then put it in the vise about 2 inches from one end, and get a pair of vise gripes and slightly twist the welded end opposite of the cable twist when it opens up insert your punch or chisel threw a wrap or two of the cable release the pliers it will turn a little but will hold the punch, the cable also dampens the vibration to your hand.. I use to help an old guy drive track pins out of cat track he made up a few of them only way longer about 2 feet long man that feller could swing a 10 sledge all day. I can't get my camera to load any pics on the puter or i would show you mine. hope this might help   

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