Mikey's make believe punch
I needed some 3/8" x .035" slugs to fill some holes in a set of splash pans.
I know I could have backed up the holes with aluminum or copper and pounded some mig welder wire in it but I have to do things the slow stupid way.
So I made a punch.
I take a piece of steel 1/2 thick and put it in the vise on the mill. drill a hole 3/8" diameter.
I get a piece of 3/8"drill rod and sharpen it with a slightly angled concave end. I just hold it at a right angle to my bench grinding wheel, slightly above center. Put the drill rod in an end mill holder and install it in the spindle.
Lay a piece of sheet metal on the metal in the vise and punch away. A quick jab with the spindle works well.
I have used a setup like this to punch up to 7/16 dia in .035 steel. It works well on other materials like rubber and sheet teflon and plastics. I have been doing this for a few years and have not noticed any adverse effects to my mill downfeed mechanism or spindle bearings. I don't think I would use it to punch holes all day every day though. I'd buy a real punch. I never tried it in a drill press, but I'd imagine it would work. I'd add some weight to the quill to make it more hammer-like.
BTW- if anyone knows that this will mess up a mill, please post it and I will erase this thread. I talked to a couple of guys who didn't seem to think it would, but they are no final authority on anything.
I mainly use it to get the slugs for filling drilled holes in firewalls and other sheetmetal. I usually make a slug slightly oversize and ream the hole to fit the slug real tight. That way I only have to fuse the metal with my tig. Makes the bodywork a little less afterwards
Heres what I do with them.
I find it is easier to fit the hole tightly to the slug with a tapered ream and fuse the slug in with the TIG. Very little filler rod is needed. A couple of taps with a hammer and dolly then some grinding and very little bondo is needed to finish.
The weld on that 3/8" plug in the pic was done with a .040 tungsten with about 30 amps.
Sometimes for the bigger holes like in firewalls and radiator supports I go to the sheetmetal shop and fish around in their slug bin. .
Hard way? Not at all, in fact it's a good idea as it will make this job a lot easier to do with out warping the panel from all those plug welds :thumbup:
Thanks kevin-I was hoping you would see this :thumbup:
My mill is an '85 Sharp TMV. It is an import, but seems fairly stout. It doesn't have a knee like the newer tmv's do, but the head does turn 45* either way. I actually do check the tram before I do anything that requires some degree of precision. Also I check it whenever I return the head to a vertical position after using it on an angle. The tapered pin that is supposed to register the head is all wallowed out and doesn't work anymore. I have an old Alina .0-.015" test indicator that I use with a 6" extension.
I was concerned that I was going to mess up the spindle bearings or gears in the downfeed mechanism from the shock of punching. I wouldn't want to tell folks to do something that would tear up their machinery, just because I didn't know better. :smash:
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