I'm looking for cheapish tooling for attaching semi-tubular rivets.
They're to be used to join spring steel to polycarbonate or similar
clear sheet, and will usually be 1/8 diameter with a nickel plated
The obvious source (for both rivets and tooling) is an aircraft
supply place, but most of the interesting ones seem to be based
in the US. Is there somewhere here that would have them,preferably
second-hand or cheap ? I know cheap and aircraft don't usually go
together - is there some other area of use where lower quality is
Quantities are small - a hand tool would be fine.
Adrian, my background is aircraft and for setting these and solid
rivets we sometimes used "hand rivet squeezers". A good suplier is
not cheap though and I have been out of the
business for a few years. I think you will find the squeezer is about
=A3200 and you will need to buy a couple of "sets" at about =A325 each all
plus VAT of course if that matters to you. Of course you could just
buy a couple of hand sets and put one in the vice for the rivet head
and attack the other end with the second set and a hammer but this
always seems to need at least three hands.
If you are in the "make do and mend" mould and the reach (distance
from edge of material to rivet) you require is only small, our guys
used to make special "tools" for attaching fabric and other soft
materials to sheet metal or clear plastic sheet with tubular or semi-
tubular stainless rivets (up to 1/8" dia). These "specials" were
nothing more than a good hefty pair of mole grips with a couple of
short sets welded to the jaws. Once "set" for a particular job
thickness the adjustment screw was locked with a blob of weld and
anyone could put the rivets in. Without the adjustment locked we had
lots of cracked clear sheets as they seemed to want to get the rivet
just a little too tight. It does take a bit of trial and error to set
these up but for setting a couple of rivets a day these would last
quite a while. We were lucky that we could machine suitable sets for
the jaw and harden as necessary but for low volume work mild steel
will work for a bit. Try to crush one of the rivets you use in the
jaws of a mole grip first before you bother making a tool though as
you will be surprised at just how much force is required to set some
small diameter stainless rivets. Please remember though that these
were not production tools and the rivets were relatively soft. Still
I'll give a full refund of the amount I charged for this advice if it
doesn't work for you. :-)
I'm concerned that there's no 'stop' and I'll crush the plastic. The plastic
parts are vacuum-formed and will already have a fair bit of work on them
before adding the metal parts, so I don't want many failures.
On 22 Jan, 09:37, Adrian Godwin wrote:.
Hi Adrian, yes you don't need the locking nut at all really; we just
used the weld to stop the "non technical types" from adjusting the
closing distance and cracking the clear sheet. A spot of locktight or
something similar would do just as well and also allow for some
adjustment if the jaws spread a little. I don't know if they are
strong enough to close rivets but some of the welding clamps that are
available have a longer reach than normal mole grips but they appear
to be designed for lower closing forces. Still might be worth a look
if normal moles won't do. How about a hefty G clamp modified in the
same way with a stop on the thread to stop it being closed too far?
Make your own rivets. Turn them with a shoulder the same length as the
parts they have to hold together plus an allowance for clearance using a
washer with the same bore as the diameter of the rivet up to the shoulder
riveting all three (plus) parts together.
Hello Adrian this type of rivet used to be called burfacated rivets
and they used to be used on brake shoes for holding the linings on
they used to spin rivet them using a high speed rotary tool with
pressure applied downwards such as on a drill press I have used these
many years ago but you need to try different sections on the rotary
tool but in principal in section the tool looked like a inverted 'W'
hope you get the job sorted Cheers Colin