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Thread: Incidental optical centre punch

  1. #1
    Canobi's Avatar
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    Incidental optical centre punch

    Seasons Greetings folks *< []: )

    I've had an optical centre punch on my "to make" list for ages and was slowly gearing up to make one. I decided to go with 12mm for the punch and got a 12mm reemer and some 12mm x 50mm acrylic rod in preparation:


    Not long after, I snagged a bag of hardened and ground dowel pins of varying diameters, some of which also happen to be 12mm x 50mm and figured I could use one to make a punch:


    I've had a lot of other financial commitments recently, so have been unable to acquire a piece of brass to make the base with so was saving the project for a later date.

    That was until today. I was given a steering column essembly to salvage parts from a few days ago and I decided to strip it down this afternoon.

    I was interested in one part in particular as it looked like it could be used as a milling jack. It wasnt until I got it free that I realised that it was actually made up of three pieces and as such, was way too short to make into a jack (bummer) but by shear coincidence the part was perfect as an optical punch base as it's quite heavy and very hard (files just skip across it and I couldn't "soften" the edges with my noga deburr) and the bore is such a good fit for the dowel that when one end is blocked, I get a "pop!" when removing it or the acrylic rod:



    With that, I took the acrylic rod and chucked it in an ER32 on my lathe. I then faced, spotted and then sanded the end to get rid of any tool marks. Afterwhich I carefully heat polished it to make it optically clear again and used a permanent fine tipped marker to black the central indent:


    I then flipped it round and used my lathe file to make a slight some. I'm given to inderstand that the optimal dome radii is 15 but without a way to accurately achieve that, it took a bit of playing around to shape the end to a usable magnification, in this case it's closer to 24 but it still turned out fit for task:



    With the optical part complete, I turned to making the punch, nothing of which was spectacular enough to write home about but it did involve a little hard turning, so I broke out the carbide tooling for this job.

    I wasn't entirely sure what the optimal included angle was for a metal punch, so simply set my topslide to copy the business end of one I already had and voila:



    I will make a brass base for it one day but at least I have one on hand when I need one


    Have a fantastic Christmas one and all and I wish you all the best for the new year.

    Canobi *< []: )
    It's not the destination but the journey you take to get there that matters.

  2. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Canobi For This Useful Post:

    bigtrev8xl (12-25-2018), Corm (03-19-2019), Dimitris Polychronis (12-25-2018), Inner (12-30-2018), Jon (12-24-2018), LMMasterMariner (12-23-2018), Paul Jones (12-28-2018), rossbotics (12-26-2018), Seedtick (12-24-2018), tonyfoale (12-25-2018)

  3. #2

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    Nicely Done. Supersized version of a Veritas center punch I purchased years ago.

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    Canobi (12-25-2018)

  5. #3
    Dimitris Polychronis's Avatar
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    Well done, Canobi! I just love tools that are made from salvaged parts or scraps!

    Merry Christmas and happy new Year, to you too!
    Dimitris

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    Canobi (12-25-2018)

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    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks Canobi! We've added your Optical Punch to our Measuring and Marking category,
    as well as to your builder page: Canobi's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  8. #5
    rossbotics rossbotics's Avatar
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    Great write up and display Canobi
    Think I'll put one of those on my to do list, Happy Holidays to you too and all of yours.

    Doug
    Comments are always welcome
    Doug

    Subscribe to my you tube channel

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDD..._as=subscriber



    Tool Plans for Sale by rossbotics






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    Canobi (12-31-2018)

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    thinkbackwards's Tools
    Very nice. I'm jealous. excellent description and photos of your technique.

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    Canobi (12-31-2018)

  12. #7
    Canobi's Avatar
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    Thank you for the kind words everyone, a Happy New Year to you all
    It's not the destination but the journey you take to get there that matters.

  13. #8
    Mr.Pete's Avatar
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    O my god This is a cool tool I need one so badly, my eye sight is going bad I need 3 hands to use a center punch .
    Last edited by Mr.Pete; 12-30-2018 at 08:18 PM. Reason: mis spelling

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    Canobi (12-31-2018)

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    wizard69's Tools
    Nice work leveraging found parts. Honestly I wouldn’t bother with a brass base as this one will last forever.

    Unless of course you add a light to that base. Old age loves lots of light.

  16. #10
    Canobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Pete View Post
    O my god This is a cool tool … I need one so badly, my eye sight is going bad … I need 3 hands to use a center punch .
    I have a few spares, PM me if I can help in any way
    It's not the destination but the journey you take to get there that matters.

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