Are you familiar with rivets sets, Dave? They're the tool made for the job.
They aren't very common these days, except among old farts who still do
things in old-fashioned ways. For example, I have six of them in different
They have a shank made to fit in a hardy-hole in your anvil. I don't have an
anvil, so I put them in the jaws of my 60-pound vise, which works very well.
I'm sure you can still get them. If you use plain rivets much, you need
them. A good craftsman can round over a rivet with just a ball-peen hammer,
but the rivet sets are better if you're going to do more than two or three.
A 12-in.-square piece of 1/2-in. steel plate is really nice for bucking
small rivets, too, although you don't really need it.
Make your own out of a chunk of steel with an indentation in one end
made by pressing a ball bearing into the annealed surface. Harden,
temper and Bob's your uncle.
(Or you can cheat and buy them.)
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells
'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets
fly with a club.
-- John W. Cambell Jr.
You need a rivet set, Here is a neat page I found on riveting
aluminum rivets it will not be very hard to make up your own rivet
set, A small ballnose endmill or a round grinding stone will make the
dimple in the rivet set. If you want the head rounded on both sides you
will need a bucking bar with the same dimple as the manufactured head.
Go to ebay and look for rivet guns and/or dies, or in aviation tools.
Note that rivet guns, while taking the same size tooling and looking
similar, are _not_ the same as an air hammer and it is entirely too
difficult to make an air hammer do what a rivet gun will, and vice versa.
There's hundreds of bucking bar styles, depending on your industry and
situation, and dies to fit darn near any configuration you will find your
gun and body in. For those who are into specific applications and less
effort, but more money, go look for rivet squeezes. Love 'em, but each tool
has their best applications, of course.
I assume that you are using soft aluminum rivets, in which case you will
see dies and guns that state they drive "A" or "D" rivets, while "AD" and
"KE" material is a lot harder, progressively. Your size will be #2, which
is very rare/small in many industries, so dies may be hard to find. Look
for a very small gun, like a 100 or so. 200 might be too big for a #2
rivet, unless you have a very soft touch and a well oiled and operating gun,
which is unlikely from ebay. A Jiffy gun is a good start, but you need dies
made for a Jiffy or a little adapter made to adapt standard dies into a
I offer all this because you used the word "nicely" which I take to mean
you want them to look like they were made professionally, rather than
clinched over like a nail! Being paid to do this on occasion, mine do look
"nice" to a much higher standard than my garage would demand.
| I need to peen over some 1/16" aluminum rivets, and was just wondering if
| there is an ideal tool for this to get the shank to "mushroom" nicely?
| Thanks for any advice,
Ed is right on, but if you only have a few to do you might consider making a
tool for the job. You can take a piece of rod, 1/4 to 3/8 would do, and make a
hemispherical depression in the end of it. You could put it in a lathe and
use a 1/8 ball end mill to make the depression for a 1/16 rivet. Don't go too
deep, make it a hemisphere. As Ed said, I would start with a ball peen hammer
just to get the edges slightly rolled over, then go with your home made rivet
set. This isn't going to last long, it isn't hardened, but it should last for
a hand full of rivets. Good Luck!
One thing Carl didn't point out: aviation rivet practice
involves the rivet snap, driven by the gun, against the HEAD of the
rivet, and a flat bucking bar against the end to be mushroomed. This
makes the rivet pull the sheets together tightly. Peening aircraft
rivets in the old-fashioned way by upsetting the end with a hammer or
set is unacceptable.
Rivet setter, page 3108, part numbers 6663A11 to 6663a21 at
$18.60 or a bit more for larger sizes.
It has a hole the right size for the rivet body and a dimple to make the
nice rounded head. Set the rivet in the material, put the hole over the
rivet, give it a good smack to set the 2 sheets together, move over to
the dimple and finish the job.
Dave > I need to peen over some 1/16" aluminum rivets, and was just wondering if