Drilling with the Punch & Die set

Another small tip with a Punch & Die set. It can be used as an alternative for drilling, which is near impossible for the part below. The problem is always aligning the part with the set so that the punch is properly centered, but that can be easily solved

This series of pictures shows the in-progress platform of HMS Hood’s type 279 radar antenna. The platform is very small and is to be fitted to the mast. But as it is very small, it will show when it is off center making proper alignment more important. I use the Punch & Die set to punch off a part leaving the end of the platform circular, making it easier to position and glue to the mast. In stead of making a lot of platforms and keeping the one which worked out best, you can also first glue a disk (or rod) at the exact location where you want to punch out excess material. With styrene parts, you have some time before the glue sets and shift the disk to its proper location (top right). You can then—after the glue has set—use the disk to position the part with respect to the set simply by putting it in the correct hole. Just tap the punch gently and the part is done.

I use this trick quite often as it is easy to use and accurate. Drilling very small parts isn’t always possible, as you don’t have any space to hold them fast and they often tear when using larger drills. Very small parts can be destroyed during the punching as well, but less often than with drilling.