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Cell Punches & Cell Punching

Cell Punch Parts
The brass tube of the Stanley cell punch is placed with it's sharpened end on the comb face so as to completely encircle the selected cell. The tube is then pushed right through the comb and out of the other side. The perspex collar is placed on to the blunt end of the tube and the punched cell is pushed along the tube until it's mouth is flush with the rim of the collar (use the 8 mm diameter wooden stick).

Cell cutting dowel There is a variation to this method, which I prefer, and that is to push the cell further out so that half of it is exposed, then using the tapered, 10 mm diameter, hardwood dowel shown right, the excess cell is cut off by pressing the taper into the end of the cell. By using a rolling action rather than a twisting motion the cut is made against the edge of the perspex collar, this rolling action also seals the wax to the plastic.

Cell Frame for punches
Block to take cellpunches
Whichever method is used, the sharpened end of the brass tube is inserted in a carrier of some sort (this may be a special frame or wooden block).

Cell Punch made from a 5 ml Syringe
A simple but effective punch can be made from a disposable plastic syringe.

The front end of the barrel is cut off using, a fine hacksaw, and the edges of the tube are sharpened, to a knife edge, using a fine toothed file.
I have tried 2 ml, 5 ml & 10 ml syringes... All of these work, they just produce different sized plugs of cells.

In use the plug is cut from the front of the comb, without the plunger fitted, the plunger is then inserted and used to push the plug out by air presssure.

Plug in block I use a block similar to the plywood block on the
Cell Plug Blocks page, that is intended to take the yellow Jenter plug. But I use one with a smaller tapered hole so that when the plug is pressed into it, all of the outer cells are damaged leaving one central one to produce a queen from.

The syringe punch illustrated produces a plug 12.5 mm in diameter which fits into a plywood block as shown left.
prepared comb for insetion into Perret Maisonneuve cup
The Perret Maisonneuve cup can be used with circular chunks of comb, similar to the illustration at right. The circular chunks are cut with a tinplate tube and trimmed with a scalpel. Which amounts to a cell punching method and deserves mention here.

In fact the syringe punching method above, is merely a scaled down version of it.

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Written... Autumn 2000
Revised... 27 May 2001
Latest revision... 01 February 2002