An ongoing frustration is finding a suitable material for the backing plate that allows a clean cut.
Steel obviously will ruin your punches. Brass is pricey and getting hard to come by... wood varies in density and doesn't give a clean cut...
Well, I found a quick and easy way to punch holes in gaskets, leather, etc. using an item almost everyone has in their tool box--- a dead blow hammer.
I scored a couple rolls of gasket material at a 2nd Hand Store a couple years back, at it serves me well.
When I pulled my Case 444 out of hibernation last week, I discovered there wasn't a gasket between the carburetor and the air cleaner plate.
I pulled out a gasket punch and a pair of curved scissor that are just the Cat's Meow for cutting large holes, curves, etc. and went to work.
While trying to once again decide what to use for a backer, the thought occurred to use the face of a dead blow hammer.
Yes, you'll get little circular cuts in your hammer, but all of my hammers are well used, so a few more cuts won't matter.
I grabbed my 1 1/2 lb hammer and put it in a vise. I placed the gasket material on the face of the hammer, and used my round punch and a small hammer to cut out the screw mounting holes....
Worked like a charm!! I got nice, cleanly cut holes, and the hammer doesn't appear any the worse for the wear.
Hope this helps,
MH81, bgkid2966, Copperhead300 and 5 others have said thanks