I absolutely did NOT come up with this modification idea. I located the instructions on the Internet.
I purchased the Arbor Press at Harbor Freight. The keyless chuck was purchased from Lowes. I took the instructions and the keyless chuck to a local machine shop. They understood the instruction and charged me $25. Here is a link to the instructions at Reddit.
The machine shop only drilled out the ram rod—-I did all the other modifications.
I used an angle grinder with a metal cut off blade to cut down the tools for the chuck.
Arbor Press Modification
Pic 1. Bolted down to pressure treated lumber. Chuck is removable if you still want to use the ram rod.
Pic 2 These 2 screw bolts are for adjusting the ram rod. You do not want the ram rod moving forward or backwards when you have a punch in the chuck. Only a slight adjustment is required. Attached a door handle for easy moving.
Pic 3 Half circle punch
Pic 4 I always align the punch on a ruler.
Pic 5. When I punch the leather I tape long pieces of scrap leather to the back of the leather I am punching. This is absolutely necessary or you will destroy your tool.
Pic 6 This is what it would look like. Scrap leather taped to underside and heavy thick door hinge underneath Scrap leather.
Pic 7 You want the Arbor Press arm all the way forward. This is absolutely necessary if you were working with thick leather.
You will be using both of your hands when you punch leather . Your left hand will hold down the leather as you punch . Keep pressing down on the leather with your left hand when you bring the Arbor Press arm up .
If you do not do this you will be constantly fighting with your leather still being attached to the punch and then you have to pull it off .
Various tools that can be used in the chuck. I purchased a heavy duty door hinge that is used for the base.