Sunday, December 9, 2012

Punching Holes in Copper....

MaryAnn Carroll
So, I went out yesterday with my grandchildren as I do many Saturdays. Bill stayed home firing the wood kiln from early morning until I think about 3 am when he came to bed. I will keep you posted on how the wood-firing went when I know.

Anyhow, I have been thinking about buying a hole punch for copper that would go deeper into the disc for easier centering. I currently own one like this. It seems to be missing and unaccessible for a picture at this moment. I like it, but it is limited.

After dropping off the grandchildren, I was on a search for a metal hole punch. Previously, I had searched online and found one at Sears. I was excited, but then when I got there, I went up to three employees who were chatting. I asked, "Do you carry a hole punch that will cut through copper sheet?"

Man One: "No, nothing like that exists!"
Man Two: "Yeah, there really isn't anything out there like that."
Me: "Well, I know there is because I found it online and it said that Sears carries it."
Woman: "Come with me. I will look it up......"

So, I did. What comes of it?  Nothing!!! I was directed to Home Depot where I got much better service, but with no success. When the kind man helping me asked another "expert," he advised  me to go look at the craft stores, which is response that makes my blood boil, since it is a common one."

I left there annoyed, but then got over it and thought, "maybe this time, I can find something in the craft store," so off to AC Moore I went. I ended up buying the Crop-A-Dile II, which is not what I was looking for, but the store manager tempted me with a 50% off coupon. I figured that since it also set eyelets and snaps, I would probably be able to use it.


The problem now is..... I still do not have what I was looking for. Do any of you out there have any suggestions? I do not want to spend lots of money, but I also do not want to waste money on junk. I would also like a variety of sizes for punches.  Here are the three that I have considered. The following got pretty good reviews:

This first one is from Northern Tool and goes for $21.99.


This next one I found on Amazon and is currently on sale for $29.99 (regular $79.99).


And this last one is $86 and also sold on Amazon. The description says that it is made in the USA.


Do any of you have anything like these?

 If so, what are your thoughts? I would like to make my decision today, so I hope I get some helpful advice :o)

Thanks a bunch!

And.......

As always, thank-you for supporting those who create handmade with handmade.

MaryAnn

23 comments:

Dale said...

Honestly my suggestion is getting and learning how to use a drill/flex shaft, with an awl. With Christmas sales and such, I am certain you could find exactly what you need. In that fashion, you can teach yourself valuable metal smithing skills, and with different drill bits you can make holes of various sizes at any location on metal.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thank-you! I just watched a YouTube video on that. Do you drill into wood? It looks like the guy is holding the piece down with some sort of wedge that is made of wood. I will have to keep looking....... Now, I'm heading in a different direction .... lol! I want what is going to be the easiest and most efficient way of doing this.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Here is the YouTube link if anyone wants to see it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edrdOtbK1v8

mairedodd said...

hi, mary ann - i own the neiko and i really love it -
if i need smaller holes and do not use a hole punch, i drill -

Its All About Creating said...

I use the one you have in the first photo. I bought it years ago and think it was somewhere around $28. I bought it at the Tucson Bead Show, but believe Rio Grande sells them. I have seen it used in jewelry DIY videos and on a Jewelry making television show. It is sturdy, well made and does the trick. Good luck.

stacilouise said...

I looked at those hole punches too, and I knew I would never use them, because they look big and uncomfortable. I got a small drill press, and drill into wood. I love it!!!! I bought a variety of bits so I can match my wire gauges. It was only $50 or $60 at harbor freight- doesn't take up too much space, I love it (and its great for drilling straight holes in my polymer beads once they are baked).

Juliette Williams said...

I have the Neiko and really like it. Otherwise a flex shaft should do the trick? Or sawing? Good luck in choosing just the right solution! :)

Juliette Williams said...

Hi Maryann, the 'wedge' he is using is part of a ring clamp. Really handy when sawing! Here's a picture of a nylon one (LOVE my wood one):

https://www.jewelrysupply.com/Ring-Clamp-Nylon_p_11432.html

xo Juliette

Rosalynn said...

Eurotool makes a handheld one as well. I do not have one so cannot attest to the visibility issue but I like the idea of the portability as I am likely to be making punches in metal most anywhere.

Julie Holmes said...

I have the Roper Whitney...it's an antique one that my son found for me at an auto show. It cost him $30. They are about $140 new I think. It makes making holes in copper a piece of cake.

riv said...

I second the recommendation for a flexshaft! I have the $90 "economy" model from Contenti and it's served me just fine.

I drill on top of a scrap of 2x4. The reason is so that there's not a huge change in pressure when you get through the metal (which could make your hand jerk and and possibly break the drill bit or something). I don't use a wedge to hold my metal down, just my hands, though I'm sure that using a wedge (or pliers or at least wearing leather gloves or something) would be the safer option!

The thing in favor of flexshafts is that they're not just for drilling--you can also use them to polish (I use the 3M radial bristles SO much!) and to texture.

ciaolucia said...

MaryAnn, you can buy the hand punch or drill press at Harbor Freight in North Syracuse. They carry many tools and supplies used in jewelry making. The quality is not high end but many items work great. HF has a 20% coupon in the paper occasionally.

The hand punch is cumbersome, requires a lot of hand strength and changing out the punches. The drill press seems like the way to go.
Hope this helps! Lu

Thoughtfulhands said...

I purchased one of the punches pictured and they are heavy and bend your metal. So, I normally use my hand drill with a punch over wood. I see a couple of you referring to a Neiko is that a shaft type drill?

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thanks, everyone! I do drill holes, but my problem is that I do not have a way to hold the disc in place to do center holes. I'm not sure I want to spend the time clamping them each time. I drilled holes and then tried to center before cutting with my disc cutter, but I was always off a bit!

maryharding said...

I have a drill press and love it too. I drill into wood and have a clamp that hold what I am drilling into. Just make the divet where you want the hole and away you go.

ciaolucia said...

MaryAnn, I thought I left a comment but maybe I only hit preview and not post...

Harbor Freight in North Syracuse carries the hand held punch and drill press. They carry many tools and some supplies for jewelry making. Although they are not of high quality, I have had great luck with may items. HF also has ads in the paper with a 20% coupon.

I find the hand punch cumbersome and it requires a lot of muscle to work, not to mention changing the punches. The drill press seems to be a much better choice, the flex shaft even better!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I do have a drill press and use my dremel in it. Before I decide I think I will try the bit that I purchase for my dremel and see if an awl and a piece of wood work. Thanks again for so many reviews on what works for all of you!

Christine said...

I have a generic form of the one by Euro-tool, and I ADORE it. Punches cleanly and very easily, and is not too bulky or difficult to use in my hands. I like it better than drilling or the screw type punches.

Kalaya Steede said...

My mentor used this from Contenti...It's The Power Punch Kit. From what you described this is what I thought of. It was used to make holes deep into a piece of work. And now it is $26. Used to be more! Here's the link...
http://www.contenti.com/products/punches-stamps/380-951.html

Hope this helps.

Kalaya Steede said...

MaryAnn...I just realized it's what you pictured above. Anyway it works real well!

Libby Leuchtman said...

Can't help but love all the info! Making sure I write all this down.

Stacie said...

I use my riveting tool for all hole punches...mount it on my vise so its hands free...and I can always use it for 1/16 rivets and eyelets...works like a charm.

Jamie said...

I have the second one for $29.99 and use it all the time. I love it! Changing the dies just takes a minute. I rarely use my small hole punch any more.

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