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Old 08-07-2007, 06:07 PM
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punch to make speaker holes in vinyl

I am trying to punch multi-1/8" diameter holes in vinyl to make a 4 - 6" round pattern to hide my speakers behind the vinyl. My upholstry man does not have a means to do this nor know where to go to buy the punch or what ever is used.

Any help or ideas will be appreciated.

Don Meyer

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Old 08-07-2007, 08:25 PM
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You can look up leather working on the web..Tandy used to have those but they closed as far as I know so some specialty leather working store may have them..we use them on horse tack and such..

the ones I am thinking of are used with a hammer on a slab of marble or hardwood to punch the holes and one needs to make a pattern on cardboard or something so one gets a nice pattern..

Sam
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:48 PM
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Tandy is alive and well and will have an outlet somewhere near you. I just got one of their fliers two days ago. They also have really good hole punches, but you will pay the price for quality. Now this is a personal opinion, so don't everybody go for the jugular after I write it............All you really need, instead of a revolving punch which has 5 or 6 different sizes, is a really good 1/8" diameter arch punch (also called a saddle punch). If you take your time laying out the hole design, and take special care punching the holes with a good quality arch punch, you will get just what you want. I guarantee that 40 years from now your great grand kids will still be using a good quality arch punch, and a very good quality revolving punch will have been thrown away. A revolving punch is only as good as the area the different punches strike on, usually a 1/4" thick 3/8" diameter brass, steel, or copper striking plate. If you use more than one size punch, the striking plate turns to crap inside of a year. An arch punch, which does not strike a striking plate in the same place time after time, will last as long as you take good care of it. Besides that, if you are cutting holes for a 6 1/2" speaker, you will have to wad up the vinyl to get the revolving punch to work. You won't have to do that with an arch punch. Make sure you put a good clean piece of hardwood under the vinyl and buffer the punch with a piece of chipboard between the vinyl and the wood. You only need to hit the arch punch hard enough to go through the vinyl and the chipboard and just barely cut the wood. Do not hit the arch punch with a metal hammer! A plastic, weighted, dead-blow hammer is all you need. I'm sorry if I over-answered your question.

The picture shows a variety of punches. The revolving punch is an Al Stohlman brand punch I got from Tandy. The bottom right punch is an arch punch. The set of punches is from Harbor Freight and goes from 1/8" to 1/2". The other punch cuts holes for grommets and is part of a set of 5.
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:39 PM
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Thanks for the replies.......

I've tryed to drill holes in metal in a marked pattern & it is almost impossible to do. I need to take the material some place that can punch the holes all at once, but can not find such a place.

Any ideas?

Don Meyer
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:16 AM
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Go to a home center and get a piece of perforated aluminum sheeting like this: http://www.ametco.com/perforated_met...hp#18dia33Then draw a circle on the sheeting, using whichever holes you like to define the pattern, and use that for a template to cut the holes in your vinyl. Mark the holes with a Sharpie magic marker and punch out the pattern on the vinyl with a 1/8" punch.

Or........Draw a circle on the vinyl with washable marker. I did this with my Fisher washable silver ink pen that I use to mark leather and vinyl. Draw a straight line across the circle through the center, draw another line using a square horizontally through the center, and from there create whatever pattern you want and mark it out. Then just punch out the holes with a 1/8" punch. See the pics. (Yes, I know the center hole is off center, I did this in a hurry and slipped.) Good luck.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for the tip on where to find an arch punch set, Dan. I had no idea that Harbor Freight carried them. I know you can get a plastic dead-blow hammer there for about $5. (For those of you who don't know, a dead blow hammer looks like a plastic mallet, and the head is filled with lead shot. Shake it and listen - you'll see what I mean.)

Many years ago, I needed to punch about a dozen evenly spaced holes in about 15 pieces of vinyl. I didn't have a punch set, so I made my own punch out of steel tubing from some scrap brake lines. I cut a piece of tubing about 6 inches long, and used a file to bevel one end - to sharpen it. I then chucked it into a drill press, and put a piece of scrap hardwood on the drill press table. I didn't actually turn the drill press on, rather I just used the chuck to hold the punch, and press the punch through the vinyl.

I would put the vinyl on the hardwood scrap, then lower the punch to the point where it was almost touching the vinyl, make sure I was lined up correctly, then go ahead an push it right on through the vinyl. It worked like a champ, although I wouldn't want to do it this way on a regular basis.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:04 PM
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Some great ideas....Don Meyer
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:14 AM
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Don....I can make you a punch but it won't be until Monday when I go back to work if you can wait that long. It wil punch a single hole, but will cut clean. You will have to back it up with wood or a piece of plastic.. Or if you know someone that has a machine shop, and they know what a drill blank is, get one of the proper diameter and using a carbide center drill on a lathe, drill it until the hole meets the edge. A hardened drill blank makes and excellent hole punch. We make them all the time to cut out gaskets etc. So let me know and I can make you up a couple and send them to you.

Kevin
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:32 AM
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Kevin45..... I am absolutely amazed at the people on this Forum. Your offer to make a punch for me is entusiastically accepted.

Many thanks...Don Meyer
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:26 AM
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Don....I'm in and out at the moment and probably will be all day and tomorrow also, but drop me a PM with your address and I will get it out to you in the mail Monday evening.

Kevin
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:06 PM
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PM has been sent.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:32 PM
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Is there a Hobby Lobby near you? They sell kits to make belts and one of the tools makes small holes for the buckle stem to go through.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Meyer
Kevin45..... I am absolutely amazed at the people on this Forum. Your offer to make a punch for me is entusiastically accepted.
You won't find a better bunch of people anywhere.
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:00 PM
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Yes Yes Yes.....A great bunch of gearheads with the most knowledge of any group when it comes to cars.

Don Meyer......(a few pics) www.meyerbrosrods.com
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:32 PM
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HEY DON........PM back atcha.

Kevin
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