Better than filing the holes for the plate, would be to use a drift.
A drift is steel hammer drawn to a long gentle taper, about the same
taper as a ring mandrill, or even a longer taper. Make sure that
your drift is long enough to contain fit into the smallest and
largest anticipated hole. The drift will work best if it is of hot
working-steel such as one of the H types.
Drill (or punch, which is harder) a series of holes progressing from
small to large in the steel which will become your draw plate. Heat
the draw plate to a medium red, and drive the drift into each hole to
The drift will need to be quenched occasionally, more often if not
of one of the hot work types. File or grind the back of the draw
plate flat again, then reheat to a bright red, then quench as per the
specs of the type of tool steel it is made of.
If this sounds like something a blacksmith might do, it is! But it
is all metal. Gold, silver, bronze, steel – its all metal. See if
you can enlist the help of a local blacksmith. There is bound to be
You will enjoy making the tools yourself, with help as needed.
Remember, its all metal!
Many of the round final forming draw plates are made of a very hard
wood, such as rosewood, beech, rock male, etc. You might be able to
make one in wood.