Now lightly tap it in place to registers its position. Often the punch will stay put when you remove your hand – if not it is easy to relocate.
Now, using a bit that is 3/64″ under the size of the square hole (3/8″ square hole – use 21/64″ bit), drill out the center. Use an ordinary twist bit for this and not a brad point. The leading sharp corners of the brad bit will catch on the inside of the chisel and damage themselves.
As a furnituremaker, working in the style of Greene & Greene, I have chopped out more than a few square holes for ebony plugs. The accepted method for this has been to drill a round hole and use the chisel from a hollow chisel mortiser (hand held) to square up the holes. This has worked to some degree, but with limitations. One of those limitations being that a 3/16” hollow chisel was not available. Since I employ quite a few 3/16” square ebony plugs in my designs, this meant chopping out those holes by hand, with a lot of patience (and time).
This prompted me to design my own hollow square punch – not only because I needed a 3/16” size, but also one that is specifically designed to be hand held.
My early attempts did not meet expectations, but after a few tries, the new tool was actually outperforming expectations. Dozens of these were machined and made for me, by my friend Bob Hadley. Thanks BOB!
Once I had a working tool in hand, I submitted the idea to Lee Valley Tools. They liked it and turned it over to their R&D department. The Lee Valley folks made improvements and sent me the prototypes for testing. My friend George Knutson helped me run the punches through their paces. I then returned them along with comments and suggestions. We went through this process twice. I was greatly impressed with the Lee Valley R&D people – they really brought the tool to perfection!
Later this month Lee Valley Tools will have available for purchase the hollow square punches in six sizes -3/16” – ¼” – 5/16” – 3/8” 7/16” – ½”.
Use the product code 50K5920 to check on the punches availability.
I will follow up soon with a blog that details the use of the punches.
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The Peart Push Stick
Interested in making your own Peart Push Stick? Click here to download the PDF and DXF! Free for your personal use (with credit to Darrell), but not for commercial resale.