Rivets

I thought I would try to rivet some of my pieces. Efforts to make my own small (1/8") rivets were somewhat indifferent. Getting mild steel
rivets here is a bit of a problem but someone kindly sent me a couple of pounds of 1/8" - 1" rivets with round heads.
I spent some time looking at the various methods of setting the rivets and made a couple of rivet sets. I am, however, interested in the two methods I have never seen done in real life: using an air gun and a press.
There are some questions that I cannot find answers to:
1) How is a rivet air gun like this one:
http://www.rivetsonline.com/4x-pneumatic-rivet-gun-for-solid-semitubular-rivets.html
different from an air hammer, say like this one:
http://www.kmstools.com/chicago-pneumatic-heavy-duty-long-barrel-air-hammer-10822
??
It looks like they have similar profile for attaching pieces, gun head sets for the former and chisels for the latter, however, I cannot be sure.
2) I am assuming that the CFM required to run either is not going to be great as they operate in short bursts. Right?
3) How good are the squeezing tools or presses like this one:
http://www.rivetsonline.com/3-inch-reach-rivet-squeezer.html
I am puzzled that they need *two* sets rather than one like the air gun. Is one for each end of the rivet? The set numbers appear identical for the squeeze tool and the air gun but the pictures are different.
4) Has anyone adapted successfully a press like this one:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Arbor-Press-1-2-Ton/G4017
for riveting?
Would 1/2 ton be sufficient?
Thanks.
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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http://www.rivetsonline.com/4x-pneumatic-rivet-gun-for-solid-semitubular-rivets.html
http://www.kmstools.com/chicago-pneumatic-heavy-duty-long-barrel-air-hammer-10822
With a good rivet gun you can trigger it for one hit. Check the hit, change angle and hit it again. You don't want to miss...... especially if it is an aircraft wing! These rivet guns can really hit hard...
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On 5/21/2012 5:56 PM, Phil Kangas wrote:

snip
depending on what type of rivet you want to use, a squeezer may be more appropriate - see the example on my web site of riveting a hood hinge onto an older car - go to www.wbnoble.com, click hobbies/cars, and next to the 36 cad, choose the link for hood restoration and you can see a small squeezer in action - it worked great.
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wrote:

I will definitely get a squeezer if I see one in an auction/garage sale. Not sure I want to pay $170+ until I am convinced they do well with *solid* rivets (I note you were using tubular).
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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wrote:

more

next

soldering
In junior high school (mid-1960's), my best friend's father had a single box he'd picked up someplace. They were considered very precious, and we never experimented with them. I don't recall hearing that he had installed them on anything. He used to build all sorts of stuff, including a 24 foot sailing trimaran he got out one hull at a time. He was the one who introduced me to metal working & taught me a lot about electronics.
Doug White
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You might look into spinning rivets, such as is done to splice chain saw chains. There are simple bench tools and drill press accessories with two concave-rimmed bearings that roll the shank into a smooth round head. I didn't find a picture, but I ran one in a factory.
I used to file nail heads smooth in a drill press, cut them to length and set them with a ball pein hammer.
jsw
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On Tue, 22 May 2012 07:26:20 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

1) I tried to look up spinning rivets. It seems that it is a technique similar to but not identical to orbital riveting. I found more on the latter. It looks like a useful technique. One would have thought that an orbital attachment should be easy to make for a drill press. However, I found one description for a *spinning* tool and will have a look into it further. It seems also easy to make.
2) I have done the hammer method but not all the pieces are suitable for it. Thus the air gun and bucking bar option interest. Or a squeezer.
3) I tried improvising rivets from a welding rod but it seems too hard - the tails split. The rivets I got now seem much softer.
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Wed, 23 May 2012 21:23:03 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Greetings Michael, I have done enough riveting with steel, copper alloy, and aluminum alloy rivets to be able to offer a little advice regarding riveting and air guns. Once you learn how to use one they save lots of time but it takes a while to get the hang of using one. For small rivets even a cheap chinese air hammer will pound too fast and hard at full throttle. So a light touch on the trigger or using a throttling valve before the gun works well. I like the valve before the gun. Then the riveting is consistent. You can't be shy though about setting the rivet. Too many light hits will harden the rivet before it is properly set and the rivet head will start to crack. So practice on the rivets you are going to use on some scrap first. It's easy to make special rivet sets for making the rivet heads decorative heads if that's what you want. You can use a Dremel tool to carve out a cavity in a steel set and then case harden it or just use drill rod and harden and temper it. The holes for the rivets should be close to the rivet diameter. If the hole is too big the rivet shank will try to expand to fill the hole but won't be able to and will bend instead. This bent shank inside the hole will loosen much more easily than a shank that fills the hole completely and tight. So it's best if the rivet grips the part not just by the heads but also by swelling into the part. Pounding on the rivet heads too hard or long can also cause the metal under the head, the piece being riveted, to expand outward as it is compressed by the hammer blows. This can cause the metal to pull away from the metal below it a little distance away from the rivet. So then you end up with two pieces riveted together that only touch in the area immediately around the rivet and are a few thousandts of an inch apart in the areas between the rivets. Hope this helps. Eric
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On Thu, 24 May 2012 07:04:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com wrote:
[...]

Thanks. Your advice definitely agrees with such experience as I have been able to gather so far. I have a box full of small scraps which have by now been riveted together :-) I am especially gratified that you confirm the need for the rivet holes to be snug: I found that for instance the usually prescribed #30 hole for 1/8" rivets was too big.
That last bit is something I have not seen mentioned anywhere else. Another proof if one needed one how useful this group is!
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes, there still useful info here. The signal/noise has gone way down, but the signal is still there. Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@whidbey.com writes:

Bit of digression
I got a regulator - female air-connector, short hose, regulator, another short hose, male air-connector (rule - make a portable air fitting so it can plug back into itself when not in use - keep it sealed so can carry it loose no probs). So wherever you can plug in a tool, you can have your own regulator. Good for very controlled air-powered angle-grinder - especially when working off someone else's shop air supply with pressure going up-and-down.
Wondered about throttling valve too. Would have different effect? Would limit "free" speed of tool while approaching full power as the speed fell under load?
What throttling valve do you use?
Richard S
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wrote:

I just use a valve similar to a ball valve. It is just before the air hammer. If using a throtlling valve in the line far from the tool then a regulator is the best way to go because it keeps the pressure constant. With just a valve the pressure downstream of the valve will rise to the pressure upstream of the valve when no air is being consumed by the tool. When the trigger is depressed the tool will run at high speed briefly and then slow down as the pressure drops. This high speed could cause the hammer to strike the rivet too hard a few times. Eric
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Pop rivets?
Bob Swinney
"Jim Wilkins" wrote in message

You might look into spinning rivets, such as is done to splice chain saw chains. There are simple bench tools and drill press accessories with two concave-rimmed bearings that roll the shank into a smooth round head. I didn't find a picture, but I ran one in a factory.
I used to file nail heads smooth in a drill press, cut them to length and set them with a ball pein hammer.
jsw
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On May 21, 6:17pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have used a regular HF air hammer, like is used for muffler cutting and such, the shanks are the same size. All you need to do is change the regular tooling out for the rivet set. You need a backing/bucking bar to support the head when doing this, these come in different sizes and shapes. Not a big task to make a special one, either. Check the aircraft building suppliers for both the set and the bucking bars, Aircraft Spruce is one place. Squeezers support the head and round over the rivet end, so need two parts to do the job, taking the place of set and bucking bar. If you want to use a hydraulic press, you need a set and a backer.
Stan
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On Thu, 24 May 2012 16:48:30 -0700 (PDT), Stanley Schaefer
[...]

That is encouraging. Eric makes a valid point about the trigger control but there is a great economic incentive to learn to use a regular air hammer particularly as the reason to use it is not the volume of riveting but the site of the rivets which would make it difficult to use the usual ball peen hammer method.
I am not sure if I missed something but I thought bucking bar is just a big chunk of steel which is flat at the business end and shaped in such a way that it can be held comfortably in place.
I was not really thinking about a hydraulic press but an arbor press as shown in the link. I assume based on the info gathered so far that a 1/2 ton press should be sufficient.
Michael Koblic, Campbell River, BC
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On Thu, 24 May 2012 19:38:30 -0700 snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
<big snip>

For what size rivets?
I have a HF 1/2 ton press and I don't think it would be up to the task myself (but haven't tried either). See:
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-ton-arbor-press-3551.html
Maybe for something small like 1/8 inch and maybe aluminum rivets it would be okay. It does a pretty nice job of cracking black walnuts and pressing small pins in/out of stuff. Works good for crimping on flat ribbon cable connectors too...
I've used a ball peen hammer though and for steel rivets around 1/4-5/16 inch diameter it has take numerous hits with a solid steel bench backing them up...
You might be able to apply pressure with the arbor press though and then whack the toothed bar/ram a couple times on top simultaneously. You should make some sort of cap for the top of the ram first so as not to damage it though.
If I had to do it over again I would get the 1 ton press. But I still have my doubts over how well it would form/crimp rivets of much size...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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On Fri, 25 May 2012 14:52:17 -0400
<snip>

One other thing I was going to mention...
The working end of the ram on my press is just a square piece of metal. No nothing to clamp or affix anything to it. No hole in the end, set screws... You would need to make something if you wish to attach some sort of die to it. I've seen other, more expensive presses that look the same as these from China and they have a hole in the end for affixing attachments.
I have considered boring a hole into mine for this but haven't needed to yet for anything...
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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Remember - PSI - pounds per square inch.
Use a focusing point to bring the force to the small spot.
Either way the spreader bars will.
And I have maybe a cubic foot of Mill Spec rivets but have lost all documentation. All sorts of sizes. Martin
On 5/26/2012 3:48 PM, Leon Fisk wrote:

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On 5/26/2012 9:46 PM, Martin Eastburn wrote:

Do you have any long 1/8" countersunk heads (An 426 style?)?
I need pound or two of those - various lengths to 1/2" (or longer).
need a few round head too, of course (AN 470 types)
And maybe some 5/32" C/S and round heads.
PM sent to the lair.
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    [ ... ]

    That would describe one used for setting flat-head (countersunk) rivets. However, for round-head, cone head, or other shapes, there needs to be a corresponding cavity, so the head is not distorted by the blows from the other end.

    Depends on the size of rivet you are trying to set, and how many you plan to set. A bigger arbor press makes it easier to get the needed forces, so you can keep working longer before you get tired.
BTW    With aluminum rivets -- they harden over time, so if you get a     batch of old rivets, take time to anneal them first. (Just heat     them up to the right point, and then let them cool.)
    This site:
        <http://www.mlevel3.com/BCIT/heat%20treat.htm
give useful information about this -- with the only problem that I see (with my OS and browser) is that in the tables the degrees sign shows up as a curly-armed 'Y' instead. Just read around that. :-) Based on this, it is important to quench them in water below 30 degrees C.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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