Hollow punches allow you to punch a hole anywhere on a sheet of material. Avoid using metal hammers to preserve the punch, use resin or nylon hammers. Do not purchase cheap punch guns as they have a tendency to twist on the thick materials we use in P&O. Keep a scrap piece of leather over the copper stopper to preserve the cutting edge and the copper stopper.
Hollow punches are hammer punches. Various sizes and shapes are available. Round holes are most commonly used in Prosthetics and Orthotics for making rivet holes in straps. It will be used with all types of leathers, Dacron webbing, cotton webbing and soft plastics. These are great for thick materials. Hollow punches are often easier to use than punch guns, but require 2 hands and more setup. Use a backing board to preserve your punch and keep the work table clean. High quality High-tensile Special Steel hollow punches can range from $50-100 depending on sizes and quantity of bits within the kit. Single punches can start at $20.
Oblong punches are hammer punches. Made in various sizes, these are used to make long cut outs for belt buckles or cable hangers. Mainly used on leathers, Dacron webbing, cotton webbing. These are great for thick materials. Use a backing board to preserve your punch and keep the work table clean. High quality High-tensile Special Steel oblong punch can range from $40-$50 depending on sizes.
Punch guns can be found in a few styles. Most common is the rotatable punch that offers various sizes on the fly. Best for light work on thin materials. When using a punch gun it is recommended to place a scrap strip of leather behind what you are punching. Doing this allows for the punch to cleanly pass through the material and preserves the punch bit and copper stopper. It is not recommended to use this this tool tool on thicker materials as it puts a great amount of strain on the hands. Commonly used with thin leathers, Dacron webbing, cotton webbing and thin soft plastics. A high quality punch will cost around $80
DO NOT BUY CHEAP PUNCH GUN, THEY WILL NOT LAST ONE DAY
Using hammer punches can damage the work surface, interfering with other projects. A backer board can prolong the life of the tool and protect work surfaces.
Backing Board Construction
- Find scrap 5-6mm plastic (Polypro or Copoly and good, nothing brittle like PETG!) Get some scrap leather, the thicker the better. Cut the board 4"x6" or to you preference.
- Shape the plastic to the size you want.
- Trace the plastic onto the back of leather
- Roughen up the plastic glue it to the leather.
- Use a shape knife to trim the extra leather.