Has anyone else had this problem?
Your punch is fine, Fred. Don’t modify it.
Your problem is trying to produce a bezel from a solid flat disk.
That will tear just about every time. Not how it’s done. Start with a
washer shape, a disk with a clean, centered, smooth hole in the
middle such that the remaining rim is as wide as you wish your bezel
to be tall. Making a bezel this way tends to produce one with a
thicker upper edge and a thinner base, which is not always what you
might wish, but if it is, that’s how to get there.
Or, alternatively (and this is how I most frequently use these),
make a straight sided bezel, that drops down a bit into the desired
hole (ie, a short, thick walled tube). Use the punch to flare it to
the clean tapered shape. You can even start with a tube shape as wide
as your desired bezel will be on top, but then, instead of using the
punch to flare it, you have to press it down into the appropriate
hole. This compresses the base of the bezel, thickening it, while
leaving the top edge the same thickness. You get it "about there"
this way, then clean it up with the punch. You can press it down into
the hole with an actual press, a vise if you hold the whole thing
vertically (clumsy, but it works) or with a hammer (use a flat block
on top of the bezel to keep things level, and hammer the block down)
I most commonly use a small arbor press for this, myself.
Instead of thinking of bezel blocks as neato quickie tools that do
the whole job for you, of making a beze or the preform for making a
crown headl, instead think of them as forming dies who’s main role is
to take a preshaped bit of metal and refine that shape into a
perfectly uniform one. You have to start with something closer to the
end result than just a flat disk.
Hope that helps