Today I made another piece for the Illusionist's Heart Locket. Now that classes are over I have free time to work on personal projects, which is a relaxing way to end the school year. The purpose of this piece is to punch the pictures that will go into the locket at the correct size. A regular hole punch can't be used as it is much too small. Instead I made a custom hole punch to get the correct size photo.
The die is a block of 6061 aluminum with a hole drilled and reamed to .376" and a slot cut with a slitting saw at a 15 degree angle. The angle allows the punch to cut through the paper gradually rather than all at once, reducing the force required by the user.
The punch is a cylindrical piece of tool steel turned to .375" on one side and .50" on the other. The .375" side cuts the photo, while the other side is larger to stop the punch from going all the way through and also for the user to grip. Now that I know this works, I can harden the steel. The sharp edge from turning is already starting to degrade even though I've only been cutting paper...