I had another post about soft iron rivets here. If I anneal the zinc
plated rivets I have, will that make them easier to peen? I can do it
in my soldering furnace. I know about zinc fumes and have proper
ventilation. As I recall, heat the metal red hot and let it air cool,
right? Thanks, Ron
Oh, yeah. But it makes the heads soft, too. Try it. You may prefer to work
with them that way for your application.
Just keep in mind that cold rivets are *supposed* to get strength from
having a cold-worked "factory" head (the one put on them by a cold-heading
machine at the rivet-making plant) and a cold-worked "shop" head (the one
you put on by peening the other end over). When you anneal your rivets, you
lose much of that strength.
I often make rivets, in a pinch, from nails or wire. I make "factory" heads
by means of a rivet set, which I have in about six sizes. If the wire is too
hard to begin with, I anneal them.
The only problem I have with hard, un-annealed wire is that the shop heads
crack up from overworking if the wire is too hard.
That should be enough. Try 800 deg. F as a starting point, if you have some
way to measure it (a streak of Tempilstick will do it). If that isn't
enough, move up to dull red.
Mostly I repair garden tools. However, the fighting chair on my uncle's
boat was framed in stainless steel that he fabricated, and which we riveted
together 100% with rivets I made from stainless wire, 3/16" thick. That was
around 150 rivets.
Why make it with rivets? Because we didn't have an electric welding rig, for
starters, and welding stainless with O/A is a PITA.
I riveted together a set of wall sconces that I made years ago. And other
little odds and ends around the shop that I mostly forget.
In aluminum, I've riveted up a cold-air box for my old racing Alfa Romeo and
other bits and pieces for my cars, with homemade flush rivets.
I don't think you'd approach the original strength. Much of it comes from
drawing the wire. The cold-heading adds some to it, but how much it gets
from each, I can only guess.
In any case, most steel rivet applications today don't require the greatest
achievable strength. We don't use rivets much to build things out of
structural steel that are going to be heavily loaded. Even there, they often
used hot rivets in the old days, which were more or less annealed from the
heating. You just have to design around the strength of the fasteners you
Anneal the suckers. I've held armor together with soft copper rivets.
I'd venture that most of the jobs that hobbyist types use rivets for
don't require a lot of strength. (Those of you making boilers for
model steam locomotives excepted.)
If I weren't interested in gardening and Ireland,
I'd automatically killfile any messages mentioning
'bush' or 'Kerry'
The people that really know rivets are the boilermakers. Think Steam Engines.
Is there a steam engine service yard - tourist area - near you ? the engines
have boilers that are locked together with long rivets.