Tool Tip #29: Alternative use for Transfer Punches

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 07-12-2017 01:47 AM 1481 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: Jointing timber using a bandsaw. Part 29 of Tool Tip series Part 30: Tool air cooler »

I know everybody possibly has a set of transfer punches they use for aligning dowels and all sorts of other holes in our woodworking activities.

However I found a alternative use for them as precision gauges.

I was busy making some boxes with dividers for somebody you all know when I began fitting the dividers.
It was then that I found I needed to resaw some of the dividers 1mm narrower to ensure a precise fit.

As I only have a fairly crude setup on my crosscut sled I found trying to adjust the stop by less than 1mm was proving very unreliable in regards to repeatability.

So I decided to use my Transfer punches to set the resaw width.
I started with the 2mm one next to the tape flag on it and worked my way down to the smallest on I have and have (and never used before) until I found the required exact fit. (The tape was to stop the punches rolling away on me as I deternined the correct width)

All I did was place the transfer Punch between the divider and the stop and then resawed it, checked it for fit then cut away on the rest, bingo a perfect precise fit

Thats all from me today.

-- Regards Rob

4 comments so far

View Tony Slattery's profile

Tony Slattery

88 posts in 1699 days

#1 posted 07-12-2017 05:59 AM

Thanks for the tip. Learn something every day.

I was wondering what a transfer punch is, where I come from originally, it’s called a drift punch – don’t ask me why. Maybe to do with the idea that it’s used to punch out metal pins in metalwork?

Never had a reason to use one in woodworking (yet).

-- Tony, Australia,

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2454 days

#2 posted 07-12-2017 02:53 PM

Transfer punches are different than drift punches. Transfer punches have a small nib perfectly centered on them so that when you tap on the opposite end, it imprints a small dimple onto the work surface somewhat like a center punch does. A drift punch does not have a nib on its end and is mostly used to drive out dowel and roll pins.

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1763 days

#3 posted 07-13-2017 01:46 PM

I’ve never seen any that long before, would come in quite handy me thinks.
Many times I could have made my model building much easier with them.

Harbor freight has a set for $11, need I say I will be getting a set. LOL
Thanks Robscastle

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11996 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 07-13-2017 01:56 PM

Great idea!
Thanks, Rob.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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