Introduction: Belt Hole Punch

Picture of Belt Hole Punch

Good for you! Losing weight and now you need some new holes in your belt? It may seem obvious to put a hole in your belt with a drill, but that does a terrible job on leather. A friend came to me with 11 belts that needed two new holes each. I agreed to do the job and immediately set out to create the right tool for the job. Thanks to my trusty Dremel and a small copper tube, I was able to add holes to all 11 belts in just a few minutes.

Step 1: Get a Small Metal Tube

Picture of Get a Small Metal Tube

I found a copper tube in my garage. It was about the size of a belt loop hole, so it was perfect. Find a nail that fits inside the tube and then cut the tube with a hacksaw or Dremel tool so the tube is slightly shorter than the nail.

Step 2: Shape the Inside of the Tube

Picture of Shape the Inside of the Tube

Make sure to clamp the tube securely in a bench top vise, but be careful not to crush the tube. I then used one of my Dremel bits to grind a cone shape on the inside of one end of the tube. Be careful not to press too hard and risk breaking your bit. Start the speed on a lower setting and slowly increase to higher speeds without losing control.

Step 3: Sharpen the Hole Punch

Picture of Sharpen the Hole Punch

Switch to a larger cone-shaped bit and grind around the outside of the end that you are sharpening. Steadily guide the grinding bit around the tube in order to keep the cutting side even. Your goal is to create a sharp edge, so grind the outside until you create a sharp edge. You can use the tip of the cone bit to resharpen the inside of the tube. Remember, be gentle and careful when grinding the inside.

Step 4: Put a Cardboard Backing Under the Belt

Picture of Put a Cardboard Backing Under the Belt

In order to prevent your sharp edge from getting prematurely dull, make sure to use some sturdy cardboard under the belt before hammering your hole. Make sure that the metal tube does not get driven into a hard work surface.

Step 5: Hammer the Holes

Picture of Hammer the Holes

Now, with the sharp side down, carefully line up the location for you new belt hole. You should have selected a metal tube that can withstand the hammering without breaking or bending. To be extra careful, you can hold the tube with some pliers to make sure you don't risk injury if the tube can't withstand the hammering…or if you have bad aim. :) When hammering, make sure your work table is sturdy and start hammering lightly with increasing force until you break through the tough leather. Make sure the hole punch goes all the way through the belt.

Step 6: Remove the Leather After Each Hole

Picture of Remove the Leather After Each Hole

Remember that nail that fit into your tube? You'll need that after each hole to remove the leather from the tube. The leather will be packed in there pretty tight, so you may need to push the nail in the tube and then push the tube down on the nail until the leather piece pops out. Once you've removed the piece, proceed to the next hole. Refer to the earlier steps if you need to resharpen your new tool.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New "skinny" Belts

Picture of Enjoy Your New "skinny" Belts

I was able to complete these 11 belts in just a matter of minutes with this handy tool. I only resharpened it once along the way. I hope you have success with your new belt hole punch and success with keeping the weight off.

Comments

bobzjr (author)2015-11-02

Excellent - I really like the idea of using the nail in concert with the pipe. I never thought of that. It would really help make sure you "hit the mark". Also how you sharpened the inside of the pipe with the cone bit. One thought, you might consider using a tool rest and rotating the pipe against the given abrasive surface.

I have been wondering how I might sharpen a pipe INSIDE only and this is an easy answer. I'm hoping to punch some clean holes in material. All the punches I've seen have an external bevel which is really not ideal for getting a precise clean hole. I can't wait to try it out tonight...

Glad you posted this. Easy, clear and effective. :)

3366carlos (author)2015-01-01

wow

annrrr (author)2014-12-02

Love this idea!

rldkfl (author)2014-09-03

If you don't plan gaining weight again :) better dismantle other end and just cut some piece.

Almost all belts i buy have some kind of screw holding the buckle. You still need the punch tool to make hole for the screw(s) :)

cleverlike (author)rldkfl2014-09-03

Good point...and some of those can be adjusted by hand. Permanently shortening the belts with removable buckles could be an option for the strong-willed. Lots of those removable buckles typically tuck the excess belt underneath the belt, so the extra would be hidden anyway. In the case of belts that are riveted at the buckle end, adding holes is the way to go.

seamster (author)2014-09-01

Nice work! Someday I plan on needing this... :)

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Bio: Owner of Deep Space in Parker, CO. Coworking, Art Gallery, Event Center, Technology Classes for Kids and Makerspace!
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