Peter McBride

Antique and Old Tools
Updated :- Monday, 29 August 2011  

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Making a simple name punch.
update: I made another punch using a Dremel Tool.... See below.

I just grab any old tool steel from the scrap heap. In this case a 3/8 inch (9.5mm) star drill came to hand first. I've cut the end of this piece for a punch previously.
On the left, the old star drill, and on the right the finished name punch. Note the small hacksaw cut about 1.5 inches back, it references the bottom of initials on the face of the punch. That's where I put my thumb to be certain I have it aligned, and the right way up before I belt it with a hammer..

 punch01.jpg (29856 bytes) punch11.jpg (34117 bytes)

  First step is to lay out the initials with a sharpie, mirror image of course. Then I use a 1mm cylinder burr in the flex-drive. It gives me nice square ends to the verticals, and then I run it along the line to cut them to depth. 
punch02.jpg (57047 bytes) punch03.jpg (55407 bytes)
The bottom of the "J" is done with a ball burr.
punch04.jpg (38104 bytes) punch06.jpg (17334 bytes)
 To do the fluting, I mark it out with the sharpie again, then file every alternate groove with a round file. That way I get a chance to split the gap and move them a little left or right to even them up if needed.
punch05.jpg (51363 bytes) punch07.jpg (17431 bytes)
Once I'm happy with the initials and the fluted edge, I polish the face up to with 600 grit W&D. A test strike in end grain pine looks alright, so I heat the end and 1 inch back from the face, up to cherry red then quench in water. The steel is now too hard to file, then heat up to straw yellow, and quench in water again to temper it.
punch08.jpg (49749 bytes) punch09.jpg (20229 bytes) 
It's hard enough to strike into cold, soft metal like copper or brass.
punch10.jpg (49871 bytes)
Using the Dremel.
punch20.jpg (108414 bytes) punch21.jpg (118852 bytes)

Copyright Peter McBride 2011