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Occasionally a set of transfer punches would be very handy for spotting a hole pattern from an existing part to a matching or similar part. In my situation it was locating, drilling and tapping four holes in a lathe backplate to mount a new 4-jaw chuck.

Not owning a set of transfer punches, I came up with this expedient for transferring the chuck mounting hole pattern to the backplate. (This concept was probably devised by about 3-1/2 trillion others before me, LOL.)  The method is useful only when the hole pattern to be transferred consists of through holes - not blind ones.

Turn down a center punch to a convenient diameter, smaller than the hole that you will use as a pilot. Or as I did, point a cheap Chinese drift after you make sure that it is fairly hard. The drift diameter must be smaller than the pilot hole:


Turn and drill a bushing that is a snug fit with the punch and a fairly snug fit with the pilot hole. In this photo, the tailstock chuck and center drill are moved near the bushing to catch it on the center drill as it is parted, preventing losing it in the chip pan mess.  Note that if desired, you could turn a "lip" on the bushing to aid in extracting from the pilot if it stuck for some reason (loose chip, etc).


The bushing slipped over the punch can now be used as a crude, but effective, transfer punch.





A spot of glue from a hot glue gun (or other temporary adhesive) can be used to tack the bushing to the punch if the bushing tends to stick in the pilot hole.  Or use the following tool, made from a "G" guitar string (or whatever size music wire is on hand, LOL).  This will pull the bushing right out:

For years I owned one 3/16 transfer punch, did the same thing, have a drawer full of bushings. Now have a few punches from a box of junk I bought.

These came in a gift packet from my uncle. They work if the mating part is threaded.

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The punches store in the handle, which acts as a socket to thread them in and out.
Those little kits are cool !  Three or four different thread sizes fit in a single drawer of the tool box.  As I recall, they sometimes can be finicky to set up so that all of the punches in a multiple hole pattern leave an impression.

There is a tool flea market here and I just know that a few of those UNC thread kits will eventually show up.  (Most folks likely won't even know what they are if the inserts are still stored in the handle.)

Great score, you owe your Uncle a beer or two !
I have a good selection of odd sizes of transfer punches I've made over the years. Normally I just use a piece of drill rod and turn the point and ring with a V shaped tool. Those transfer screws are very helpful as well, both the threaded and non threaded versions.

I have a bunch of those Heimann punch sets. I came across a box of them in an old hardware store, and picked them up cheap. I'll probably never use them, but if I need 'em, by god, I got 'em!
(08-30-2017, 01:30 PM)wawoodman Wrote: [ -> ]I have a bunch of those Heimann punch sets. I came across a box of them in an old hardware store, and picked them up cheap.

You Suck Happyyes
Thanks Randy, good idea.   

I bought a set off Amazon a year or two ago.  Chicrap - not the best to say the least.  Got to be prepared to sharpen them from time to time.

If I need a harder punch your idea is now in my hip pocket.  So thanks again.

I have that same set and a set with a plastic base. The one like yours came from
OK, I'll admit that I spent an hour of the rest of my life fooling around with this thing.  I'll admit that everyone else has something way better that was either free or cost fifty-nine cents per dozen.

But I'm retired.  And mentally impaired.  And cheap.  I'll do better next time.  Really.  Must be time to make the secret annual, never-to-be-disclosed, trip to HF.  Big Grin

P.S.  A "pouting" emotie is herewith requested.
If you're going to HF, wait till Monday. There's a one day 25% off coupon that's good Monday only.
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