Punch per­fect metal holes

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Popular Mechanics -

A funny thing hap­pens when you use a Roper Whit­ney hand punch. One click of its mighty han­dle and sud­denly you feel like a metal crafts­man, as you de­liver an as­ton­ish­ing 1,2 tons of punch­ing force with its die. The re­sult is a flaw­lessly round hole with­out a trace of dis­tor­tion or even the slight­est hint of a burr around its edge. Use this tool once, and you’re hooked. You find your­self walk­ing around the house and shop look­ing for metal that could be im­proved with a few holes in it.

This cast-iron beauty has hard­ened steel die parts in 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, ¼, and 9/32 inch sizes. It can reach up to 1¾ inches in from the edge of the work and, thanks to the ad­justable stop, you’re as­sured of uni­form spac­ing from the edge at ev­ery hole. If you’ve ever won­dered how hot rod­ders, air­craft me­chan­ics and sheet-metal magicians get that per­fect line of rivet, bolt and screw holes per­fectly aligned along the edge of a con­trol panel, this is the tool that does it.

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