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Small HSS Center Punch

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  • Small HSS Center Punch

    About 5 years ago this 3/16 HSS Center Punch was in a bunch of Garage Sale goodies,I’ve used it since then and have never sharpened it.I find it real handy for smaller jobs and sharpened a couple 1/8” today.I use a small 100 gr. Hammer with these. Click image for larger version

Name:	9C5D457C-2307-41E3-BED6-8CB30499AB6D.jpg
Views:	490
Size:	3.09 MB
ID:	1980950

  • #2
    I have made them out of broken taps, mine have always worked pretty well for me.

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    • #3
      For a lot of years I've used a 1/4" Whitworth tap. The pointed end is perfect for centre punching, and I've never had to sharpen it yet. I got the idea from a guy in the toolroom, if it was good enough for him, its good enough for me.
      'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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      • #4
        Very nce set. JR

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        • #5
          Good idea. I think I just found a use for that piece of round HSS sitting in the drawer.
          Tom - Spotsylvania, VA

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          • #6
            Handy making them from square stock - they won't roll off the bench. I'm guessing that's why bought round ones often have square heads.
            All of the gear, no idea...

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            • #7
              I'll be the dissenter on this one, HSS punches aren't a great idea. A cutting tool blank is too hard and brittle, can shatter and will be tough on the hammer face. When you a temper a punch you do so far more than a cutting tool, into the blue so its tough and won't shatter. If you want to roll your own, a piece of O1 heat treated and tempered works well
              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                I'll be the dissenter on this one, HSS punches aren't a great idea. A cutting tool blank is too hard and brittle, can shatter and will be tough on the hammer face. When you a temper a punch you do so far more than a cutting tool, into the blue so its tough and won't shatter. If you want to roll your own, a piece of O1 heat treated and tempered works well
                I know what you mean, but all I can say is that after about 20 years of use, I haven't had a problem with the tap shattering. Admittedly, I don't belt it with a 2lb hammer, but its so sharp that a light tap with a 8 oz hammer does all that is needed.
                'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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                • #9
                  I've done the same, however have read that sometimes when they let go from an impact they can really let go, exploding shard like. So I don't use them anymore. Just don't want to end up in emerg with a piece in my eye. I could probably put the key in the chuck for 20 years and be ok, but it only takes one instant for the magnitude of the bad idea to be driven through your forehead (literally). I just thought it should be said before 100 lurking newbies rush off to grind hss punches lol...not (imo) a good idea; you don't make punches out of stuff that can shatter.
                  Last edited by Mcgyver; 01-16-2022, 08:44 AM.
                  in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                  • #10
                    Hit ANY punch with a brass or copper hammer, never with a steel hammer!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tundra Twin Track View Post
                      About 5 years ago this 3/16 HSS Center Punch was in a bunch of Garage Sale goodies,I’ve used it since then and have never sharpened it.I find it real handy for smaller jobs and sharpened a couple 1/8” today.I use a small 100 gr. Hammer with these. Click image for larger version

Name:	9C5D457C-2307-41E3-BED6-8CB30499AB6D.jpg
Views:	490
Size:	3.09 MB
ID:	1980950
                      Tundra: I enjoyed your post, but I think you made a small error. You stated that you used a 100 gr. hammer. Gr is the abbreviation for (grain), not gram. 100 grains would be near a 1/4 of an ounce. That would be a very small hammer.
                      Sarge41

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                        I'll be the dissenter on this one, HSS punches aren't a great idea. A cutting tool blank is too hard and brittle, can shatter and will be tough on the hammer face. When you a temper a punch you do so far more than a cutting tool, into the blue so its tough and won't shatter. If you want to roll your own, a piece of O1 heat treated and tempered works well
                        I was shocked seeing this in the Box of machining items,the flat end was not mushroomed but distorted from being hit.Maybe this is a low grade of HSS.

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                        • #13
                          Nice! I have been wanting to make something like that for a while now.
                          Best punch I ever had was made out of an old 7/8 jackhammer shank.
                          Only sharpened once, ever.
                          Hardened and tempered the shank to a blue color, and let the tip run to straw color..
                          25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                            I've done the same, however have read that sometimes when they let go from an impact they can really let go, exploding shard like. So I don't use them anymore. Just don't want to end up in emerg with a piece in my eye. I could probably put the key in the chuck for 20 years and be ok, but it only takes one instant for the magnitude of the bad idea to be driven through your forehead (literally). I just thought it should be said before 100 lurking newbies rush off to grind hss punches lol...not (imo) a good idea; you don't make punches out of stuff that can shatter.
                            I wouldn't stress over center punch shattering. Maybe HSS would be a bad material for pin punch or such.
                            Even tungsten carbide works surprisingly well for center punch as long as it is fairly obtuse angle. Tungsten carbide "prick punch" with 30-degree sharpening wont work that great.
                            Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                            • #15
                              If shattering is a concern, just wrap with electrical tape or a piece of adhesive lined heat shrink. Issue avoided!!
                              Robin

                              Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first

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