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Thread: .0005 Shim Stock Punching Holes

  1. #1
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    Default .0005 Shim Stock Punching Holes

    I need to punch some 1/2" holes along a 24" long x 1" wide piece of SS shim stock. The holes will be spaced about 4" apart, but that's irrelevant.
    I've tried a few methods so far. One was to use my Mayhew punch which works great on felt, leather, rubber etc. but you can see the results on the shim stock.
    I was using a smooth piece of hard wood for a backing. My second try was a paper punch. It punches nice holes in paper but not in the shim stock. I thought I could nibble away at the edges to get a 1/2" hole... guess not.
    My third attempt was to use a straight edge and an exacto knife to cut a square hole. That gave me the best results but still rippled the edges. If I should mess one up I ruin the whole shim.
    I don't have one of those punch die sets with the clear plastic top. Always wanted to get one but $75 ??
    I need the shim to go behind my shear blade.
    Any suggestions?


    JL................


  2. #2
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    Default

    use a piece of aluminum as the backer...

  3. #3
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    OK, I'll try that. I just don't want to dull the edge of my punch.

    JL..............

  4. #4
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    I would not waste money on a matched metal punch and die for shim this thin. I am not aware of any that are commercially available that have clearances tight enough to cleanly shear 0.0005 shim. The gap would need to be on the order of 50 millionths.

    A knife and anvil cutter may work well enough if the blade is sharp and the anvil is hard enough like Skunkworks suggested. In a very controlled environment, one can use a knife edge cutter against a hardened anvil but the cutting machine must be able to control knife position exactly. If the knife is a waste item, then control is not important against a hard anvil.

    You might be able to tightly clamp it between two very flat pieces of scrap and then drill it.
    Last edited by rzbill; 07-02-2019 at 08:12 PM.
    Bill Pendergrass
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  5. #5
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    Just cut small pieces (for between holes), insert behind the blade. They stay. I've taken several apart and that's what's behind. Dab of oil will hold them while you are getting therm all in.

  6. #6
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    Springfield Mo
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    Id stick with the paper punch. Im guessing that .0005" was just too thin for the punch to effectively shear through the metal, and thats what messed it up. You might try sandwiching the shim stock between a few pieces of cardstock to up the thickness and help out with that, its a cheap test if nothing else

  7. #7
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    Well Joe there are lots of ways to do this, but first look at your work
    The ripples show that you are "drawing" the material
    To stop that you need a draw sleeve .
    There are ways to build one and here is one way for example
    Make your Punch "T" shaped and add a spring loaded sleeve.
    For example:
    Take a 4 inch rod 3/4 in Diam and turn it down to 1/2 for 3 inches
    Put a 2 inch long spring on the rod and then a bushing 1/2 ID x 2 inches long.
    When you whale on the rod top with a hammer, the spring will compress before the punch hits the target
    and the bushing will prevent "drawing" the material in and the wrinkles.
    You get the idea... sizes and lengths are custom to your design
    Just know that when the punch perforates the work piece that the spring should have some "un-sprung capacity.
    I would suggest using some hard plastic sheet as a support material under the workpiece.
    Hold the punch with vise grips if the "T" portion is short to prevent injury

    Rich
    Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 07-02-2019 at 09:19 PM.

  8. #8
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    I would try sandwiching it between two pieces of thin plastic, perhaps 0.005" to 0.010" thick. Clear plastic will help getting the holes in the correct places.

    Another idea would be to print your pattern on label stock with the removable adhesive and sandwich your shim stock between two layers of it. Punch and cut to the pattern. Then soak the label stock with WD-40 until the adhesive softens and separate them.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside53 View Post
    Just cut small pieces (for between holes), insert behind the blade. They stay. I've taken several apart and that's what's behind. Dab of oil will hold them while you are getting therm all in.
    This is my other thought if I can't cut clean holes. But, I'll give it an honest try. I hate defeat.

    JL.................

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rzbill View Post
    I would not waste money on a matched metal punch and die for shim this thin. I am not aware of any that are commercially available that have clearances tight enough to cleanly shear 0.0005 shim. The gap would need to be on the order of 50 millionths.

    A knife and anvil cutter may work well enough if the blade is sharp and the anvil is hard enough like Skunkworks suggested. In a very controlled environment, one can use a knife edge cutter against a hardened anvil but the cutting machine must be able to control knife position exactly. If the knife is a waste item, then control is not important against a hard anvil.

    You might be able to tightly clamp it between two very flat pieces of scrap and then drill it.
    Yes, I understand what is happening.
    If I were to clamp the shim between two pieces of flat bar the surfaces would have to be ground dead flat in order to keep the shim from slipping.

    JL.............

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