Create a Handy Jewelry-Making Hole-Punch Reference for Punching Holes in Metal or Leather

Create a Handy Hole-Punch Guide for Your Jewelry-Making Tool Box

Recently I taught a jewelry-making class where we assembled leather and metal pieces. We had to punch holes in the metal and leather in order to layer them, then assemble with cold connections.

Leather and Metal bracelets

We used rivets and eyelets, which seem pretty straightforward – punch a hole, layer the pieces, set the rivet. Repeat, setting an eyelet. If only it were that easy!

The techniques themselves are actually easy, but the tools needed for each are different and that part can get tricky, especially if you’re new to punching holes.

Each type of material (metal and leather in this case) requires a different size and type of hole punch and each cold connection a different tool for the setting portion. Another example of punching holes in different materials using different tools is Garden Cuff by Heather Lawrenz, from the Step by Step Wire Jewelry, August/September 2016 issue (with all the materials needed to make this fabulous design available in a kit!).

Garden Cuff by Heather Lawrenz, from the Step by Step Wire Jewelry, August/September 2016

Garden Cuff by Heather Lawrenz, from the Step by Step Wire Jewelry, August/September 2016

The leather is punched using a hand-held hole punch, operated by pressing the handles together, like a pair of pliers.

Garden Cuff by Heather Lawrenz, from the Step by Step Wire Jewelry, August/September 2016Holes are punched in the metal cuff using a hole punch, which is operated by twisting the hole punch toward the metal.

Both of these tools are easy to operate, but sometimes it’s hard to know which tool makes which size hole and which size hole works for which finding, or wire gauge (as we see used in the Garden Cuff project). To help, I keep a “hole-punch guide” on hand.

holes_guide

As you can see, this doesn’t need to be complicated or fancy, however, if you’re into fancy, by all means, go for it!

For the basics, here is what I would suggest. For each hole punch tool you have, punch a hole in a piece of metal (I used copper washers). Using permanent marker, write onto the metal, the hole size and the type of punch used.

You can do the same with leather so you always have an idea of the size hole the punches you have will make.
leather_punches
Make up one of these handy hole-punch guides so when you need to set a rivet, eyelet, or need to know what gauge wire will fit through which size hole, you’ll know which tool to use for the job – no guessing!

Have a handy tool idea or a fun project made using a hole punch? Please leave a comment at BeadingDaily.com!

Yours creatively,

blue_tammy

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