In the copying, printing & wide format industry, self-piercing grommets are used most often for vinyl banners and presentations or displays mounted to foam core boards.
In the quick video instruction (linked below) we’ll be demonstrating these with the Stimpson 405A Grommet Press.
Grommets are made up of two parts, the bottom washer and the self-piercing top portion – both made of brass. Sometimes nickel-plated grommets are used when a silver or chrome finish is desired. A clear advantage for self-piercing grommets is that there is no need to pre-punch the holes – they are applied in one simple operation.
To get started, place a washer in the press, rounded side down into the grooves of the bottom die of the press – you’ll feel it slide into place. Then simply place the top, self-piercing grommet onto the upper die – with its flange up and the sharp tube portion facing down.
Once positioned, press down firmly on the handle. You’ll feel one pop when the material is punched, then, while applying a bit more force on the handle, a second pop ensures the grommet properly crimps and finishes. Use something small to push the out the center of the grommet – and you’re done.
The 405 grommet press includes a depth adjustment screw for thicker items – like foam core board. To accommodate thicker materials, raise the depth adjustment screw to a higher position.
If it’s set too tight, your material will probably crater or dimple around the grommet, damaging your project. You may have to run several tests with scrap material until you get it right. Once you have the setting correct, lock it in place with the retaining nut.
Here’s a helpful bonus tip: a box of grommets tuned on its side makes a perfect support for foamcore board while you use the grommet press.
To change out the dies to a different size, push the handle all the way down so the upper and lower dies touch. Use an allen wrench to loosen the set screw in the upper die, then push the handle up while holding the die to remove it along with its spring.
For the bottom die: loosen its allen set screw and use a flat blade screw driver in the notch on the right hand side of the die to pry it up & out.
When inserting a bottom die, look for the flat edge and insert that into the press so that it aligns with the set screw. Then tighten the set screw.
For the top die, insert the spring first, and then the die: making sure the rounded end goes up into the press and against the spring. Again, be sure to align the flat notch with the set screw. Pull down on the handle to hold the upper die in place. It’s easy to tell when the dies are properly registered and aligned. Finally, tighten the set screw.
So that’s really all there is to using self-piercing grommets. The process is quick and easy as long as you keep the proper depth adjustment for your material thickness.
So what are some of the projects you are using grommets for?