Author Options:

How would one go about making very small square holes a thin piece of metal? Answered

I'm trying to modify a bracelet that's made out of some very, very thin metal, and I need to make several small square holes all over it. By small, I'm talking 2mm x 2mm small, and they have to be noticeably square shaped. Is there any cleaner way to do this than trying to drill a small hole and using a super small file (if such a thing exists, haha)?


Poke it with a nail have you noticed the end of a nail is square?

Personally I would do one of three things:

1 drill and file with a jewellers square file


2. Drill and cut with a jewellers saw


3. Punch, Possibly distort a round hole with a square punch, put a support under with a suitable hole to support the material.

Try looking at a large nail that has a square pointed tip. A whack with a hammer and your done.


5 years ago

A laser can produce o.1mm dia holes.

A plasma torch could do very small holes.

The very best is EDM  Electro-Discharge-Machining
which is a simple carbon shape ( 2mm x 2mm rod ) arcing and
cutting  a well to become a square hole through your metal in an oil bath



A square punch, as Frollard said, is the correct solution. In order for the punch to work, you must have the underside of the bracelet fully supported across the surface where you're applying the punch.

You can do this by making the die in the form of a receiving plate. Mill a crowned (possibly double-crowned) slot in a block of steel to match the exact shape of the inner surface of the bracelet. You would then anchor the block to your workbench, with the bracelet hanging just over the edge, and strike the punch through to the receiving plate.

An alternative would be to modify a hand-held punch or vise-grip, putting the punch on one side and a small receiving die on the other. In this case, the receiving die should have a square hole milled out, and aligned to exactly match the punch when the tool is closed. Use it like a hole-punch for paper.

You could use a square punch with a square die underneath to support the material, but it generally only works for flat pieces.