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Optical Center Punch ?

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bobdog

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#1

mikey

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#2
I own the Veritas one and like it ... sort of. The problem with these things is parallax. You have to align your eye just right to get the punch on center and that is made more difficult if your lighting isn't just right. If everything is just right then yes, it is accurate. How accurate? Within a few thou I would guess.

For me, a sharp prick punch and your feel is more accurate. If you lay out your hole location with two lines you can run the punch down one line and feel when it hits the intersection and hit it gently with a hammer. You do have to get the prick punch vertical for this to be accurate but that is easily learned. The vast majority of the time I am dead on center this way, or at least more so than if I used the optical punch.

On the other hand, maybe my eyeballs are junk. I am getting older so ...
 

Uglydog

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#3
I have an Optical Center Punch. It does reasonable work.
But like mikey says seeing it might be difficult. Sometimes hands and a prick punch work better.
You don't need to buy a fancy punch. I use an old broken pin punch ground her at approx 40degrees then case harden.
Use your layout bluing, scribe your lines at a cross hair.
Move the steel away from your inspection plate! Never pound on your inspection plate.
Slide the sharp point of your prick punch across the lines. Feel and look at where the point is.
Then hit the prick punch firmly one time.
Assess your work. Did your prick punch slide/skate? If so come at the crosshairs from an angle and move the center of the hole until you have it where you need it.
Then enlarge the mark with a center punch.

Daryl
MN
 
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chips&more

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#4
Hi and welcome to the HM, putting a center punch mark on the money can been done. But then what? Going over to the drill press and making a hole where that punch mark exactly is, is anybody’s guess. I have one of those things somewhere? Have not used it in decades. When I’m concerned with hole location. I go my Bridgeport mill. When I just want a hole. I go to the drill press.
When I’m doing lay-out work sometimes I use an eye loupe, sharp scribe and or razer blade and good lighting...Dave
 

buffdan

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#5
I have the flexbar version. It works well, and is accurate
 

cathead

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#6
I use a small 3 to 4 power magnifier. It works well enough for what I do. Also it gets used to inspect
end mill cutters for damage or sharpness and to sharpen small drill bits.
 

rwm

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#7
I got a Mitutoyo for Christmas. I love it! I don't know how I got along without one. I have yet to have any parallax issues or off center punches.
Robert
 

Hawkeye

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#8
I made one some years ago. It works fine, but, as Daryl says, a prick punch is just as good. On the other hand, 'cool' is enough reason to get a new tool. :eagerness:
 

Rick Berk

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#9
I bought a dozen "Ice Picks" years ago for doing accurate model making work, pulled the square wooden handles off and there is a hardened ground point that will stay where you put it and is easily tapped on the end for a great punch mark. I'm sure they are not $10 a dozen any more but I have two new ones STILL after 40 plus years.
 

JohnG

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#10
I have had the Flexbar type for years and would not be without it. If you have a lot of holes to locate, the consistency becomes obvious. Reading Uglydogs post, it would be more correct to call it an Optical Prick Punch. A light tap, struck square on, puts a fine dimple right on the money; but it's too small to use as is. I always enlarge it with a center punch, hit at an angle if need be just as he describes, and then use the magnifying lens to see that the layout lines run true to the exact center of the punch.

I took my first one into the plant one day. The maintenance guys saw me use it and dubbed it "the bombsight". I never saw it again. The maintenance manager bought 2 the next day and gave me one to replace it.
 

EmilioG

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#11
I own a Skidmore OCP. Very well made. I like it ok, except that the magnet, obviously, won't work with non ferrous metals, so I may make a new base for the punch and optic. The prick punch with intersecting scribed lines works well enough..with my magnifying eye glasses. I rarely use the OCP.
 
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KBeitz

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#12
Check out spring loaded prick punch's....
 
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