If you want to make punches that last, I suggest that you buy
"Silver steel" which is sold in all diameters and can be hardened
by heating to cherry red and quenching in water, then polishing and
tempering to dark straw colour and re quenching.
I think in the States we call this type of steel W-1…or water
hardening… It’s also known as drill rod in the round form, usually
sold in 3 foot lengths…
O-1 drill rod will also work for this… One quenches in oil or
transmission fluid and follows the same procedure in terms of
In both cases the material is supplied annealed, so shaping, if
needed, is easily done…
A triblet is a tapered round hardened steel tool that is marked off
in ring sizes and used to make rings perfectly round with a hide
hammer or a steel one if you wish to enlarge the ring size or to
impart a hammered finish. In the UK we can also buy oval triblets
that are used to fashion bezels for setting cabs. If they have them
in America I would like to know what you call them?
Sam, we call them mandrels… Ring mandrels, bezel mandrels…etc.
To confuse the issue there are a large number of other tools that
are referred to as mandels also…and usually the qualifier in front
of “mandrel” helps one figure out what’s being referred to…
Gary W. Bourbonais