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Idiot proof pin punches

MilGunsmith

Active member
We have had a large amount of 1/16" pin punches broken lately by heavy handed techs. I have tried to get them to use a starter punch first, but they don't listen. We are currently buying the Starret brand punches by the dozen. Any suggestions on a tougher punch? We have tried the replaceable pin punches from Brownells BROWNELLS GUNSMITH REPLACEABLE PIN PUNCH SET | Brownells in the hopes that these would hold up better. It seems that they can break anything we give them.
 

jz79

Member
smaller hammer? so they can get a better feel for how much energy they are trying to use

and what is the application? can't an assembly press be used with a fixture instead of punch and hammer?
 

michiganbuck

Active member
Any suggestions on a tougher punch?
If the new guys are wasting a lot more than you would ..then tougher rules.

Perhaps they break them on purpose because they don't have a repair process or talent.
 

AD Design

New member
The above suggestions of smaller hammer and cut rod seem worth trying. I would also add that a shorter punch takes a bit more effort to break. Changing work habits is hard to instill if the first "Ooops" doesn't register.

If purchased replacements are done then there's no incentive to be more careful. Forcing them to cut/make their own punch may offer some incentive to exercise more caution. That may produce more hours spent on punch machining than actual work intended. I always liked S-7 (heat treated) for a drift/punch.
 
What are they punching with them? Just about every 1/16" punch I have ever seen sitting in someones tool box has been bent or broken, those tiny ones are for delicate work. You can also try shortening the punch, if you don't need the full length.
 

MilGunsmith

Active member
They are being used at a weapons test facility. The test techs have the BFH mentality; "If all else fails, use a hammer. If that doesn't work, use a bigger hammer. If you cant fix it with a hammer, you must have an electrical problem."
My Gunsmith shop gets the work after the techs have attempted and failed to fix it. They are supposed to only be doing basic parts replacement as per the TM, which means job must be able to be done by an Army PFC using a Small Arms Repairman's Tool Box. Their boss is more concerned about finishing tests instead of the quality of the worker that is hired. They need training in the basics, but it is not deemed to be a necessary expense.
I usually take the broken punches and grind them square again if there is still any usable diameter left.
 

jz79

Member
Here's a thought - grind a slight convex radius at the end of the 1/16 punch, so if they try to use it instead of the starter punch it will tend to slide off, making it usable when really needed - to push the pin through the hole
not ideal of course, because it may tend to expand the head of the pin, but then again, if it expands enough to be a problem, there might be something wrong with the whole assembly

And make sure they don't have anything to make it flat! :D
 

Mark Rand

Active member
The only reliable solution is training if trained/competent staff aren't hired to start with.

If the pins start off proud, then a larger punch should be used until the pin is flush. If the pins start off flush then the staff are either not clamping the work or not striking the punch straight. Both are fixable with a good talking to and a slap upside the head.
 

L Vanice

Active member
I have a lifetime supply of Craftsman 1/16 pin punches, a few used and most straight from trading in the broken ones. No more to be had, of course, but they really did sell decent USA-made tools for many years before they went under.

MAC tools have a similar warranty, and I just checked and see I have three unused MAC 1/16 pin punches. But I also looked at their website and see they now sell only 3/32 and larger pin punches. Probably too many warranty claims.

Snap-On still sells a 1/16 pin punch with their lifetime warranty. Here is a short 1/16 pin punch that should resist failure better than a regular length punch:
Snap-on Store

Larry
 

kenton

Member
How long do they need to be? Mcmaster has 1.5mm 52100 dowel pins 24mm long. One could make a handle to accept the pins and still have over .5" to act as a punch. Surely you could get longer dowels if you looked elsewhere. If you retained the pins with grease the pins could be replaced if they didn't f-up the handle.

It seems that this is the bosses, or the Army's, problem. If they don't seem interested in fixing it then you get the extra work I guess. Maybe raise your rates?
 

neilho

Active member
Idiot proof? No such thing.

Us dumb designers and supervisors couldn't possibly think of all the ways to break a punch. The idiots will win every time cause they're too damn smart.

Weapons testing facility? Get a bigger hammer mentality? Time for turnover. Maybe unemployment benefits would be more attractive to them than work.
 

kustomizer

Active member
Idiot proof? No such thing.

Us dumb designers and supervisors couldn't possibly think of all the ways to break a punch. The idiots will win every time cause they're too damn smart.

Weapons testing facility? Get a bigger hammer mentality? Time for turnover. Maybe unemployment benefits would be more attractive to them than work.

It's not that they are smart, but like locusts , they are destructive in large numbers
 








 
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