When it comes to woodworks, a few tools matter as the center punch. Just from the early 19th century, these tools have been at the centre of most construction works that require “stamping” or engraving of metallic surfaces for precise and accurate drilling or driving of nails and screws.
Though the tools have undergone several advancements in terms of their designs, the scope of their functions has not yet changed. Depending on whether you choose a manual or automatic centre punch, their applications are still more or less the same. One reason for this is the fact that previous models act as parents when coming with modern designs.
What is the centre punch?
A center punch is a drilling tool with a sharp tapered end, which marks the center of a hole, preparing the hole ready for drilling. There are different types of center punch. The common ones include Rennsteig Automatic, Horusdy spring-loaded center punch, forge industrial brass center punch and Mayhew Punch Kit.
A centre punch is a hand tool that features a sturdy metallic body consisting of a sharp tip end and a blunt butt end. The device services different purposes including;
1. Marking the centre point
Center punch derives its name from its primary function; marking or labeling the centre points on metallic objects. When you try to force an object such as nails through them, the pin will either skid hence miss the preferred mark.
A centre punch comes with a ball-point tip that acts as a firing pin. When you hit its blunt butt end with a hammer, the firing pin makes a precise and accurate “dimple” on the metallic surface you are working. The mark prevents other secondary objects you intend to drive inside the metallic exterior from skidding for precise, hustle-free and accurate.
2. Making scribing lines
A particular type of paper punch called a prick punch is highly efficient in marking where the lines cross in metals. It comes with a tiny tip that makes scribing like a pro.
3. Impact tool for testing hardness
You can know how sturdy an object is by impacting some pressure on its grain. However, objects such as glass can easily break into pieces when you use irregular surfaced objects on them. Center punch test uses a ball-point pin punch to determine the sturdiness in toughened glass and other delicate objects.
4. Making holes
Automatic punches move back and forth while at the same time “pricking” the centre hole frequently until a hole develops. You can then go ahead to stick secondary construction objects such as nails into the hole with a lot of ease.
Benefits of the best centre punch
Depending on the type of construction work you are doing, a centre punch may not be a necessity. However, it is nice to have the best punch beforehand. Some of the benefits you will enjoy when from best punch include:
1. Reduced number of strikes
Better centre punches come with very sharp heads and sturdy bodies. They guarantee precise dimples and quality-sized holes with just two tensions. If at all you need more than three strikes to make a hole, then, there is no doubt that you need to upgrade or update your tool.
Whether you are looking for a wood punch or hard punch, how sturdy the tool is matters a lot when it comes to value for money. Most hard knocks come in aluminum or iron alloys for durability. Ask your store owner about the materiality before hitting the road.
You don’t need various types of punches for different surfaces. Only one properly-designed tool should get you covered. These drillers can effectively work on surfaces such as wood, aluminum, steel, and other durable metallic alloys without bending, shuttering or chipping.
4. Appropriate size
When working with a small-sized punch, you risk smacking your hand more so when starting. So, you will need to keep the butt end in good shape to avoid such occurrences. Otherwise, sizable drillers come in appropriate sized butts-ends with proportional bodies and heads for ultra-efficiency when making strikes.
How does a centre punch work?
The design and purpose of a centre punch matter a lot in defining how it works. Generally, any type of punch out there falls under:
1. Standard manual centre punch
Just like its name goes, a manual centre punch relies on an external force to make a dimple. You must hit their butt-ends with a hammer. When you tap the punch’s butt-end, the power transmits to the tip hence resulting in pressure injection on the contact surface. It is this pressure that results in a hollow on the wood, glass or metallic object you are working out.
2. Automatic centre punch
Once you become a pro in punching, you will need something that can indent your working surfaces faster without compromising in the quality of the holes it makes. It is here that an automatic punch creeps in.
An automatic centre punch comes with a small firing pin that also spins to make holes. They include the tumbler, hammer and the punching head. Additionally, the tool comes with a secure cap that helps in adjusting the resulting force of the punch.
When you press the punch, the force triggers the tumbler, which will, in turn, move further back. Once the glass reaches the tapered midsection, it touches on the guide hole.
Upon reaching the very centre of the hole, the tumbler touches on the hammer mass’s receiving hole. The pressure then transmits into the hammer, which in turns charges. The tool is features elements that the tumbler aligns on the punch’s vertical axis. Once it starts to move backwards, it only stops once it has bottomed out on the hammers receive hole.
Eventually, the force travels from the hammer to the punch, which in turn meets the surface of your worksheet.
Design and price
Center punches come with a wide range of application. Depending on your crafting prowess, you can use the tools for printmaking, goldsmithing, armour making, bookbinding and many more. Printmaking centre punches are probably the smallest in design.
Your centre punch’s design determines its overall price. For example, the super-modern automatic plans that depend on the effects of a tumbler and built-in hammer cost more than the manual centre punch.
However, knowing how the tool works will help you with achieving excellent efficiency. Additionally, you can create a management plan to deliver better value for money. Remember, almost all punches feature tempered materials in the form of metal alloys. To keep the tools in shape, you will need to sharpen their tips and keep them stainless. All these features cut directly on understanding how the tools work.