In my last post I mentioned a cool new tool I bought myself a couple months ago known as a book drill or Japanese hole punch, it works by turning a round bit (I have them in 1mm, 2mm and 3mm sizes) every time you push down on the spring-action handle. You can buy the more inexpensive version on Amazon: Martha Stewart Paper Punch.
It makes cutting perfectly round holes through book board, leather and paper easy as pie. It takes a few passes to get through board, but it makes a really nice clean hole for coptic binding, and also for sewing a long-stitch binding on leather.
The barrel is made of brass, and the handle of a pale solid hardwood. The bit is hardened steel and it screws into the end of the punch.
This is what the bit looks like before you attach it to the barrel – 2mm is my most frequently used size.
Here are the directions that came with it – straight from Japan!
this picture gives a good look at the size – relatively small. It probably takes 4 or 5 rotations to make it through board, one to make it through paper and two to make it through leather.
All of the paper bits come out of a hole on the side of the barrel, so sometimes I use the punch to make little tiny paper circles.
Always use a self-healing cutting mat or piece of scrap board under what you’re cutting! The drills are very sharp and can cut into your table easily.
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