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Thread: Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch

  1. #1
    jjr2001's Avatar
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    Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch

    Well I think this is a bit different than the others that I have seen. Most have several pieces. You need to align with the optical lens then switch out to the steel punch after removing the optical lens. Smack the steel punch and for the next hole insert the optical lens etc. Prices vary but up to $100.00 for a punch?
    This one is self illuminating with ambient light or if you want you can use a bench lamp off to one side.
    You do not have to swap out pieces of the center punch while punching.

    Ok, so here is one you can make with a band saw and a drill press. I used my band saw, mini mill, and grinder.
    First obtain a block of transparent or translucent plastic. (Lucite,polycarbonate,lexan). Cut out a piece about 2" x 1 5/8 x 1 3/8. Slice off a wedge at 45 degrees from the top. The 45 deg flat remaining on the main block needs to be larger than the diameter of your lens. I used my quite old Bausch 5x magnifier which is 1.045 in diameter. I stopped this bore just short of breaking out the side opposite the boring bar but let it cut out about 1/2 of the bottom. You can see the half circle in one of the pictures.

    Step 2 was to drill a hole to just allow a .178 dia piece of drill blank to slip in the hole. Position this hole so it will be near the center of the half circle in the bottom of the block. Make this hole a nice slip fit to the drill blank. The punch can be most any diameter but it should be a drill blank and not drill rod. Drill blanks are hardened so you don't have to do any heat treating and annealing. I had ground a point of about 60 deg on the business end of the drill blank.

    Put your lens on it and punch away. You do not need to put the optic down and pick up the punch. Just locate and punch away. Very fast. Anyhow if you make one share the build.

    Cheers, JR
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-1alltheparts.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-2punchview.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-3sideview.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-4lensview.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-5eyepiecemount.jpg  

    Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-6endview.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-7mainblock.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-8sideview2.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-9bottomview.jpg  

  2. The Following 15 Users Say Thank You to jjr2001 For This Useful Post:

    bruce.desertrat (12-29-2017), Christophe Mineau (05-15-2018), dennis ford (12-29-2017), DIYer (09-16-2016), Drew1966 (12-28-2017), Moby Duck (12-28-2017), Okapi (09-19-2016), olderdan (09-13-2016), Paul Jones (09-13-2016), penca (09-12-2016), PJs (09-13-2016), thoms_here (10-18-2016), tonyfoale (12-29-2017), Toolmaker51 (09-13-2016), zarembak (05-14-2018)

  3. #2
    penca's Avatar
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    great tool! simple efficient, i`ll definitely make one and post here. don`t know if i`ll be able to find a block of plastic but if i can`t i`ll make it of metal and add a window for light to enter or put a small led, i`m complicating the thing but the local plastic supplier only stocks sheet (i`m on the end of the road). thanks man.
    pete
    now that i think maybe in the supermarket i can find something made of transparent material i can use, i`ll see

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    Hello Pete,
    I bought my block on eBay. Price was not bad but the shipping makes it ugly. It was 10" long so I have some stock left over.
    We have a container store here in Phoenix/Glendale. They have a lot of plastic stuff. Another would be Michael's craft store.

    Aluminum/Brass/Steel would all work with windows. Don't even have to glaze them!

    Cheers, JR

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    PJs (09-13-2016)

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    Optical Punch Version 2.0

    The original design works great with the Bausch & Lomb 5x eye loop. I had ordered two imports for about 1.00 each. they just came in and the focal length is different. I made up the pvc pipe adapter using a short length of 3/4 sch 40 pipe and one elbow. Cut off one socket, glued it up and just had to remove a very small amount of pvc for a sliding fit into the original optical punch block.

    The optical quality of the Import is no where near the Bausch lens. It works but it is not as crisp.

    Cheers, JR
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-dscf0014.jpg   Optical Center Punch Self Holding Punch-dscf0013.jpg  

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    Paul Jones (09-16-2016)

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    Thanks jjr2001! We've added your Optical Punch to our Metalworking category,
    as well as to your builder page: jjr2001's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Thanks jjr2001! We've added your Magnifier Adaptor to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: jjr2001's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  10. #7
    Saltfever's Avatar
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    Great idea, JR and thanks for sharing.
    Since I have so much aluminum cut-offs lying around I will probably make mine out of aluminum. I also have quite a few of the cheap (free) Harbor Freight LED flashlights that are given away. I’ll put another 45 flat opposite the existing 45 degree and bore it to fit my HF light. THANK YOU for posting your great idea.

  11. #8
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    Great idea with the light. Let us know how it works out.

    Cheers, JR

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    Thanks for the tip on optics quality. I just ordered the B&L for $8.95 on Amazon. Re-thinking this a bit; a 45 angle opposite my eyepiece may reflect too much light. I probably will make the flashlight more perpendicular (less of a 45) and off to one side. You created a great tool! All the best

  13. #10
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    Great price on the B&L. I thought the HF light might be a bit large and bright. You could use some layers of plain white paper inside the flashlight lens to reduce the brightness if necessary. Also I found some really inexpensive ones on eBay for $1.00.
    They appear to be quite a bit smaller and might be easier to mount.

    Useful Stream Light Micro Mini LED Super Bright Flashlights Keychain EDC Tool | eBay

    Cheers, JR

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