A: Keep the end of your punch square, flat and sharp. I suggest using Jon Atkinson’s Tool Compound to keep the punch cool and prevent deformation. It seems to let the punch just slide right through a lot easier.
— Travis Morgan, Augusta, Kan.
A: I use two different methods for punching stud holes. In both methods, I use a center punch to mark where I want the stud hole to be.
One method is to use a stud punch. I like the steel to be bright red in color. I set the heel of the shoe on the face of the anvil and drive my stud punch until I just feel it lightly touch the anvil. I like to use lubricants on my stud punch to keep it clean and smooth. Lubricants can be beeswax, soap or sole packing material. This will help keep your punch from sticking in the hole. Then I turn the shoe over and back punch the eye out.
The other method I use is drilling the hole. Use the same method to prep your steel with a center punch to mark the stock. For this method, the steel is cold. Make sure it is secure in your vise and use WD-40, 3-In-1 Oil or cutting oil to help reduce friction.