Author Topic: Surprise Great Tool  (Read 2132 times)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3417
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Surprise Great Tool
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:20 AM »
I saw a set of transfer punches on a YouTube machinist video. He was marking holes to mount an enormous vise onto a metal table. The holes had to be exactly located.

I did some research and settled on a full set. The trick is that the transfer punches fit perfectly in to the hole. They have a hardened point on one end. You give the transfer punch a light hit and you get a dimple where you start drilling. Repeat for each hole.

The cheap sets have soft steel and the point goes away after a couple of hits. Some cheap sets have the point not exactly on center and that throws the hole pattern off.

I mostly use the transfer punches on wood, but sometimes on metal.

Neat tool.
Birdhunter

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Offline Chris Cianci

  • Posts: 108
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2021, 07:54 AM »
Hi Birdhunter,
I agree they are a great addition .......I bought a set of 20 ......for around $25 ......primarily used on wood so far they work and hold up great........also a great choice if you don’t have multiple sizes of Vix bits but need a starting point dead center on a hinge or other hardware
 Best

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 461
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2021, 08:01 AM »
I saw a set of transfer punches on a YouTube machinist video. He was marking holes to mount an enormous vise onto a metal table. The holes had to be exactly located.

I did some research and settled on a full set. The trick is that the transfer punches fit perfectly in to the hole. They have a hardened point on one end. You give the transfer punch a light hit and you get a dimple where you start drilling. Repeat for each hole.

The cheap sets have soft steel and the point goes away after a couple of hits. Some cheap sets have the point not exactly on center and that throws the hole pattern off.

I mostly use the transfer punches on wood, but sometimes on metal.

Neat tool.

Any pointers to a picture, links to the ones you got, etc ?

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1412
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2021, 08:29 AM »
@Rick Herrick if you’re a machinist the go to brand for transfer punches is Spellmaco (Spellman Manufacturing Company)

https://www.travers.com/transfer-punch-set-spotters/p/71-600-000/

For what we do especially in wood or aluminum the ones from Harbor Freight are adaquate.

https://www.harborfreight.com/28-piece-transfer-punch-set-3577.html

The thing to remember is even the best ones are not really designed to be pounded into a piece of metal. You just need to make a slight mark.

Ron

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 461
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2021, 09:24 AM »
@Rick Herrick if you’re a machinist the go to brand for transfer punches is Spellmaco (Spellman Manufacturing Company)

https://www.travers.com/transfer-punch-set-spotters/p/71-600-000/

For what we do especially in wood or aluminum the ones from Harbor Freight are adaquate.

https://www.harborfreight.com/28-piece-transfer-punch-set-3577.html

The thing to remember is even the best ones are not really designed to be pounded into a piece of metal. You just need to make a slight mark.

Ron

Thanks Ron, appreciate the pointers.  I have wanted a set of these but would not use them often. Nice to have these suggestions.

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 727
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2021, 09:48 AM »
I've seen expanding ones too but they are expensive. Thanks for the reminder - I want to make a router base plate and need to use these.

Mike

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 727
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2021, 10:54 AM »
I've seen expanding ones too but they are expensive. Thanks for the reminder - I want to make a router base plate and need to use these.

Mike

Found  these but don't know what shipping is:

https://www.kbctools.com/itemdetail/8-408-058

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5132
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2021, 11:49 AM »
I've seen expanding ones too but they are expensive. Thanks for the reminder - I want to make a router base plate and need to use these.

Mike

Found  these but don't know what shipping is:

https://www.kbctools.com/itemdetail/8-408-058

$11.

Without actually holding one in my hands, this is what it looks like to me...

This kind of expandable transfer “punch” has very limited application, especially in woodworking.

First, it isn’t really a punch. The center pin is spring loaded so it can only make a mark by scratching through layout ink. It won’t make a dent in wood.

Second, when expanded the sides are not parallel (flared) so more care needs to be used to aim the “punch” straight.

Third, the pin projects pretty far so you need a deep hole to transfer from.


Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3417
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2021, 02:58 PM »
Spellmaco set
Birdhunter

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2021, 03:59 PM »
I bought a set recently.  I was only marking plywood, so I never checked to see if it were hard (the Amazon description said it was.

I was making several base cabinets of the same design (side panels).  I made a template from masonite.   I marked the location for cuts, and cross member mounting, drawer tracks, etc.  I then drilled 3/8" diameter holes in the masonite. 

Clamp the masonite to the 3/4" ply and use the center marking punches to make a sharp mark. 

I used a square to extend the lines were required. 

90+% of the mistakes I make in woodworking are the result of sloppy measurements.  I try to transfer dimensions as often as possible and avoid rulers. 

This template made fast and accurate work of the process.  At some point I will have a collection of templates to use as required.  I won't have to think.  I will just pull the right template and transfer the dimensions.  Useful tools.

I could have drilled any size hole I wanted the set came with all the standard dimensions.  I just picked 3/8" because it seemed like a handy size.

Offline tomp

  • Posts: 116
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2021, 05:35 PM »
I've seen expanding ones too but they are expensive. Thanks for the reminder - I want to make a router base plate and need to use these.

Mike

Mike,

Buy some cone (pointed) setscrews in the thread size to match your router. Remove the baseplate and install the setscrews with the point out. Set the new baseplate on the ends of the setscrews - align the baseplate blank with the collet as required - and lightly tap on the upper face of the baseplate. You'll wind up with a nice pointed mark exactly on the center of the tapped holes. Drill and countersink/counterbore as required to suit the mounting bolts.


Offline tomp

  • Posts: 116
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2021, 07:19 PM »
I'm sure other vendors sell similar items but Eagle America is one that I've used. They sell kits - a centering guide used primarily for mounting the new baseplate when used with a guide bushing, the pointed setscrews and a set of longer mounting bolts - by router make/model (or by the actual size of the mounting bolts Router Plate Mounting Kit

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8353
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2021, 09:53 PM »
Transfer punches are one of those items that you never knew about and therefore never needed...until, of course, you did. For metal fabrication, they stand right next to the drill bits and end mills for functionality/usefulness. I consider woodworking to also be a very important part of their domain but unfortunately, they don't seem to have a lot of woodworking exposure.

Just remember, their function is to only leave a small witness mark and then it's your job to follow up with a center punch. Don't smack them like you're driving ground stakes, that will only shorten their life. 

For transfer screws, I just make my own by chucking them in a lathe and turning a point on them.

Here are some typical SAE threaded screws and some with wood screw threads that I needed to transfer hole/fastener locations.




These were used to transfer Domino positions to a face frame.


Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3417
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2021, 12:57 AM »
I would question the degree on concentricity of a screw point compared to a high quality transfer punch. One on the problems mentioned about the cheap transfer punches was the point not being centered.
Birdhunter

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8353
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2021, 01:54 AM »
If you’re machining transfer screws in a lathe, it’s virtually impossible to to turn them off center.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3417
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2021, 05:50 AM »
Is this a metal working lathe?
Birdhunter

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1412
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2021, 06:31 AM »
Nice job on the machining Cheese.

The thing I like about the commercial transfer screws is that they have a hex head under the point. The cap for the case has a mating hex socket. This allows you to easily fit the transfer screw so only the point is above the surface. IT also lets you get them out easily too.

I use an import set from HHIP.

Here's a pic.



@Birdhunter Transfer punches and transfer screws do the same thing but in different situations. Transfer punches locate your drill point on a mating surface to match a through hole. Transfer screws are used when that hole has been threaded. You just thread the transfer screw in and the use it to mark the spot.

I use a lot of blind tapped holes to mate metal pieces to the wood parts. Using the transfer screws makes it possible.

Ron

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8353
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2021, 09:26 AM »
Is this a metal working lathe?

Ya, it's a small Atlas metal lathe.

Ron, I really like the hex head idea. [big grin]  You'll notice that on those transfer screws with the wood threads, some of the zinc chromate finish is scratched off because I needed to install/remove them with a pliers.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 09:37 AM by Cheese »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5132
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2021, 09:36 AM »
Transfer screws are better for transferring threaded holes than straight sided punches, especially if the thickness of the master part is on the thin side, like a router base.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3417
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2021, 10:09 AM »
I am an old dog, but I learned something new today.... transfer screws.

I have owned a set of transfer inserts for years. They are mostly aluminum disks with a flange and a centered point. I drop them into a hole and tap the mating piece of wood down onto the point. I get a dimple showing where to drill. It’s the same idea as the transfer screws. Neat!
Birdhunter

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8353
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2021, 10:30 AM »
I have owned a set of transfer inserts for years. They are mostly aluminum disks with a flange and a centered point. I drop them into a hole and tap the mating piece of wood down onto the point. I get a dimple showing where to drill. It’s the same idea as the transfer screws. Neat!

That's exactly what I was referring to in one of my earlier statements. Every wood shop you enter promotes dowel centers but none promote transfer punches or transfer screws.  [sad]  They're all relatives that come from the same family. [smile]


Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Surprise Great Tool
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2021, 03:43 PM »
dowel centers are basically a size-specific short barrel dowel center.