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Are you using a wooden or plastic/resin mallet and a piece of end grain lumber under the leather?

 

Paradoxically, a steel hammer and a hard surface for an anvil do not do anything except blunt the punch.

 

Also, you should not need to hit it with the power of Thor. I once lent my punches and mallet to a friend and watched in horror as he hit the first blow so hard it shattered the head on my mallet.

 

I have sharpened punches with a Dremel tool and a small, straight sided grinding bit. There are probably better ways than this, maybe using a leather strop and honing compound.

 

If they are just a little dull, rather than blunted, then you might be able to bring them back by cutting through several layers of aluminium foil. Use a circular twisting motion and just screw the punch through the foil always screwing in the same direction - not back and forth. This trick can also work on Xacto knives and rotary blades. This is only good for restoring an edge, it does not sharpen a blunted blade.

 

Finally, see if using the punch in your hand in a screwing motion works for you instead of using a mallet. You still need the end grain lumber for an anvil.

Edited by Don Taylor
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I bought at set of punches on ebay, which struggle to cut through just one layer of thin leather, any tips on a suitable method of re-grinding / sharpening?

Unless they are hardened steel, they won''t hold an edge and any regrinding will be futile IMO; however, there are sharpening videos for circle punches on Youtube.

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Are you using a wooden or plastic/resin mallet and a piece of end grain lumber under the leather?

 

Paradoxically, a steel hammer and a hard surface for an anvil do not do anything except blunt the punch.

 

Also, you should not need to hit it with the power of Thor. I once lent my punches and mallet to a friend and watched in horror as he hit the first blow so hard it shattered the head on my mallet.

 

I have sharpened punches with a Dremel tool and a small, straight sided grinding bit. There are probably better ways than this, maybe using a leather strop and honing compound.

 

If they are just a little dull, rather than blunted, then you might be able to bring them back by cutting through several layers of aluminium foil. Use a circular twisting motion and just screw the punch through the foil always screwing in the same direction - not back and forth. This trick can also work on Xacto knives and rotary blades. This is only good for restoring an edge, it does not sharpen a blunted blade.

 

Finally, see if using the punch in your hand in a screwing motion works for you instead of using a mallet. You still need the end grain lumber for an anvil.

I use a rawhide mallet that reduces the noise level, a soft plastic cutting board, and a workbench with a 3 inch thick top to back up the blows. I cut with the card stock facing up. I also keep an eye out for dried adhesive that may be accumulating on the tool.

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