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Thread: Alternate to transfer punch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Alternate to transfer punch

    Working on mounting new rails on my General 350. Need to drill the angle iron to match existing threaded holes in the table top. Don't have a set of transfer punches but what I do have are lot's of short pieces of threaded rod so I made this (see photo), I'll call it a transfer screw. Just found a short piece of 3/8" threaded rod, chucked it in my cordless drill, ground one end to a point then cut a slot in the other end for a slotted screwdriver. Clamped the rail in place, fed the transfer screw into one of the threaded holes on the table top from the other side under the table, cranked it tight, repeated in the second hole. Crossed my fingers and success, the point left a clear mark on the channel. I'm sure I'm not the first to use this but I haven't seen it used before.
    Transfer screw.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    NE OH
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    Clever idea! Mentally filing away for future use.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
    Been using that principal for years when building router bases. I use pointed set screws, because I have them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Putney, Vermont
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    I have complete set of transfer screws from #6 to 1/2" threads I bought during my apprenticeship in the toolroom. They come in handy when you need them and were fairly expensive, being heat treated and with 6 screws per set in a steel case for each size, that was used as an install tool when using them.

    You got me curious so I went down to cellar to find them in my toolbox. Heimann Transfer Screws is what they are called. I am sure you can still get them from MSC or elsewhere.

    In a pinch I have made some from heat treated set screws in an odd size that I didn't have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    I have complete set of transfer screws from #6 to 1/2" threads I bought during my apprenticeship in the toolroom. They come in handy when you need them and were fairly expensive, being heat treated and with 6 screws per set in a steel case for each size, that was used as an install tool when using them.

    You got me curious so I went down to cellar to find them in my toolbox. Heimann Transfer Screws is what they are called. I am sure you can still get them from MSC or elsewhere.

    In a pinch I have made some from heat treated set screws in an odd size that I didn't have.
    I was sure I wasn't the first to think of this idea but I had not seen it before I tried it. For marking a few holes, a point ground into threaded rod (or a bolt with the head cut off) works fine, you can always rechuck it and sharpen the point if it gets dull. A set of heat treated screws would be the way to go if you are using them regularly. You could of course heat treat yourself since they are small. I made a second one with flats filed on the pointed end so I can screw it in until it is just proud of the surface using needle nose pliers, mark the mating piece and screw it back out. I used this on the back if my saw table since I couldn't install the screw from the inside without removing the table top. Do the purchased ones accommodate this?
    MK2.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    987
    Yes they do Doug.
    The transfer screw has a small hex machined on the tip of the screw, and then a point is ground from the hex. The hex is then driven by a female hex in the end of the steel case that the 6 transfer screws are kept in.
    The case is made to be bottomed out when you use it to screw the transfer screw into the threaded hole that is being transferred to the part you are making.
    When you bottom out the case while using it to screw in the transfer screws in, it sets the point of the screw at the correct height to give you a nice dimple in the new part being made.
    You still had a good idea even though it had already been done before. I have been in the same situation in the past as have countless others, thinking of something that had already been thought of before. Where would we be without imagination.

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