This tool can be used to make holes in leather, thin plywood, paper, cardboard - for short, in any soft and thin material you can imagine. The tool has a reservoir, that allows the user to make multiple holes in a row. The reservoir can be easily emptied and the piercing part cleaned, using a wooden rod.
To make holes in material, the user can either turn the tool, while applying force on it, or tap it with a rubber hammer.
Making this tool costs exactly 0 dollars, because it's made 100% out of an empty CO2 cartridge.
So, let's get started!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Here's what you need:
- an empty CO2 cartridge
- a Drill
- a Step drill bit
So, yeah, that's everything you need.
In my first prototypes, I used also a piece of copper pipe to make the cutting part, but I found the Idea of making a whole tool out of only one CO2 cartridge so much cooler.
Step 2: Polishing the CO2 Cartridge
To give your piercing tool a more industrial look, you can polish it with sandpaper. It will not only remove the text that's pasted on the sides of the cartridge, but it will also make it look like industrial polished aliminum. You can use a drill, to make your life easier, or a lathe if you have one.
Note: I suggest you to use a low grit sandpaper, because it will add some deeper lines, that last longer. Thin lines tend to magically disappear, when they are have been rubbed against something non abrasive (like skin).
Also, if you plan to paint your cartridge instead of polishing it, be aware that the paint will come of very soon (personal experiences....)
Step 3: The Dirt Extraction Hole
Of course, because the cartridge is hollow inside, it can be used a tank for the pieces that were cut out, and throwen away when it's full. But if plan to use it much, I suggest you to drill a hole in the back of the cartridge.
If you have a steady hand, you can drill the hole right away, but because the bottom of the cartridge is rounded, and I'm not a CNC machine, I first made a punch-hole in the center of the bottom. It helps the drill bit to stay in the same spot, and so avoid accidents.
I drilled my hole with a 2 mm drill bit, that I then enlarged wirh a step drill bit. The final hole has a diameter of 0.5 cm.
If you want, you can also saw a oblong hole in the side of the cartridge. So, the bottom part can be used as hammer target, to pierce holes through tuffer materials while preventing crushing the bottom part of the tool.
Note: If the hole is drilled in the bottom part, I strongly suggest you to use a rubber hammer while using the tool. Metal hammers can flatten it very easily, so be aware!
Step 4: Making the Circle Cutting Part
So now when we finished drilling the hole from where the material can be taken out, let's drill the hole, from where the material can go in.
In my earlier prototypes, I glued a hollow thin metal tube in the front part of the cartridge, so that the edges of the tube cut the material. It works, but I found an easier method, that doesn't involve adding new parts, so the tool is made 100% out of an empty CO2 cartridge.
This method consists of first drilling a large hole in the front with a step drill bit, and then deepening it with a large drill bit. That gives you a clean hollow tube, so that the material doesn't get stuck in the front of the tool.
The edges of the hole can then be sharpened, to make the tool functional. I used some sandpaper, but don't hesitate to use a lathe if you have one, it will make a much cleaner job.
Step 5: Conclusion
This was a quite a fun and easy project. Even if there's some points that can be improved, the tool is functional and that's the most important about it!
One thing that could be improved is the dirt extraction part: it could be situated on the side of the cartridge. Also, I'm working right now on a system to put different sized cutting bits in the cartridge, that would be interchangeable.
If you liked it, please consider voting for me in the Build a Tool Contest.