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RFI: holepunch?

Anyone know where I can get a decent holepunch? Of the sort used for fabric. I had one I got from Home Despot, and while it was okay for putting new holes in leather belts, when I was using it to punch holes in denim for my utility belt, I sheared the metal in the wheel mechanism and it blew up. I have this thoery that somewhere there are more heavy duty holepunching tools, perhaps intended for use on heavy leather or something, that can handle going through a couple layers of denim.

Of course, I eventually also need to get myself stuff for working with leather, too, but that's another expenditure.

Also on the RFI subject; one of these days, I really want to learn basic wiring so I can build stuff with LEDs. I own a soldering iron, but have only a vague idea of how to use one.

I also need a month off to work on my various random projects.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 14th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
For the hole punch, you don't want the wheel and squeeze kind, you want the sharpened round tube and hammer kind. They're commonly used for setting grommets. They're not stunningly cheap, and you need to buy a different punch for each size hole, but if you take care of them (read, use a wooden backing block with punching holes, for starters), they'll last a long time and go through most flexible materials.

For LED stuff, hacklab.to. You've got lots of other options, and depending on what you want to do, a copy of Horowitz and Hill will get you a long way in terms of understanding how to think about electronics, but it's not the best place to start. Getting an arduino and messing around with stuff at a level that's basically still software will be easier, and you'll know when you're looking for more.
May. 14th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
"They're commonly used for setting grommets."

uuuhhh I'm assuming you just typed that in a hurry... they're used for punching the holes to set the grommets in... there is a different tool for the actual setting of the grommets.
May. 14th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. :-)

And really, it also depends on the size of the hole -- for leather work, as noted below, an awl may be the right thing if you want a small hole.
May. 14th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
ummm can be... but seeing as that desire is actually for canvass hole cutting I have to assume the old needle idea ain't gonna fly.

the hammer driven punches are the best things for heavy duty uses and frankly canvas is surprisingly tough so they are very much the tool for the job. The image of a third party getting the wrong idea from this and actually trying to set grommets with one just hurt. I make stuff for a living and the amount of tool abuse I have witnessed would make you give up all faith in humanity... or drink.... no, both.
May. 16th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
I tired this, and it did work, but took 15 minutes to cut a single hole. Hammering with it proved fairly ineffective, while turning it worked, albeit slowly. I wonder if it'll fit in my power drill...
May. 17th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Weird. Those must be fairly crappy punches, then -- with the ones I'm used to, a couple of whacks with a rubber mallet on a properly braced backing board (this usually means on the floor -- tables bounce too much) will cut through most things very cleanly.
May. 14th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Seconded on the tube and hammer idea. I use a leather awl type tool with a regular old hammer to punch holes through leather belts. I suspect using a rubber mallet would mean that my awl would still have paint on the end that you bang on. :)

And I also need a month off to work on my various random projects.

I know exactly what you mean.
May. 14th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
May. 16th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome!
May. 15th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
talk to me about leatherworking tools before you buy anything; i have a lot of gear from two decades in the SCA that isn't currently being used, and may be convinced into a long-term loan :)

(BTW, a wheeled hole punch will work just fine and last indefinitely if you learn how to use it properly, ie as a circular *cutting blade* and not as a punch. i can show you the difference and the rationale behind the styles of usage the next time i see you.)
May. 15th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
A Japanese screw punch from Lee Valley is terrific - cuts cleanly and easily, and can be used well away from edges. It has interchangeable punches for different sized holes. Den can get you replacement punches too.

I aspire to LED knowledge as well - we should talk sometime!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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