Apparently there is a worldwide shortage of long arm, long throat, long reach paper hole punch gizmos for the paper crafts industry.
So the research department here at the International Handyman Headquarters developed a couple of prototypes in the shop just to see what it would take to make a workable device.
After some fits and starts and a little by-guess and by-golly I came up with two models made from wood scraps and commonly available hardware store parts.
It all began with a simple question: How to punch a hole in the middle of a three foot paper poster?
The most obvious answer is to use either a homemade or commercially purchased handheld tubular punch and mallet.
The next most obvious answer is to find some expensive commercial or industrial cast metal device, but the price point for that is far outside the realm of casual use.
So the third option is to develop some version of either a long arm device similar to a stapler or a flat pad device similar to a paper cutter.
My first attempt at the third option was to attach two boards together with a hinge and fasten the top and bottom of an ordinary $2.00 drug store punch to the end.
While this worked, it was more of a proof-of-concept design like the Wright Brothers first plane at Kitty Hawk.
The Wright Brothers demonstrated it was possible to make a manmade flying machine that could travel a few hundred yards for a couple of minutes. Not much demand for that expensive, limited capacity.
So back to the drawing board.
Again, is it possible to make something relatively inexpensive-say out of wood-that can maintain the precision a paper punch demands?
Much to my surprise an 18 inch wooden arm punch is not nearly as sensitive as I originally thought. It can be quirky, but for the most part it will deliver results in the hands of a careful operator.
But truthfully, it is still a clunky apparatus in a Victorian, Steampunk sort of way.
So, one more time, with a sleeker, low profile, modernistic version made from hardware store aluminum parts.
The video tells the complete story…..