Making your own riveting tool

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Garrattfan, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Garrattfan

    Garrattfan just trying...

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    Etched kits often require small etched holes to be pressed out as a rivet. One option is to press the rivets out by hand. No matter how accurately you work the etch will bend and the rivets will be irregular. Professional rivet tools cost over $150. There is no doubt in my mind that these tools deliver superior quality. They'd better, for that price!! But such prices inspire me to find a solution of my own that will do better than hand riveting but will cost much less than a stock riveter.
    The good news is: I found just that solution.


    Basically I took a pair of long nose pliers, drilled a hole, installed the cut off head of household pin, countersunk another hole and that's it. Costs €4,95 plus one hour of work and works great. See the whole story on the tools section of my site http://www.modelrailroading.nl

    Attached Files:

  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Though I doubt I'll ever need/use one of these tools, I find your solution to be top-notch..!! Good job...!!!:thumb:
  3. Garrattfan

    Garrattfan just trying...

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  4. mojoman

    mojoman New Member

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    Great idea - well done!
  5. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    Great idea & I enjoyed your web site as well. Can't beat those old Steamers!
  6. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    Great work! Three basic questions:

    1. What scale is this in?

    2. Can it be done in N-scale?

    3. Will it work equally well on materials other than brwass, such as styrene?
  7. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

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    I had a question: what do you use to attach the pin to the pliers? Epoxy?
  8. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    He soldered it in place. :cool:
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    Hmmm...I guess I stumped the "expert". No response after one whole month. :cry:
  10. architecturalmodelmaker

    architecturalmodelmaker New Member

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    I have this old tweezers with pin and little hole in the middle. It would be very easy, just cut the excess 1/3 of it. Thanks for idea
  11. Garrattfan

    Garrattfan just trying...

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    Oops. Mountainman. Sorry I kept you waiting so long :lol: but honestly I didn't get a message from the forum that there was a post. I came to look for another post (which was mailed) and found yours, much to my surprise :x

    Well having said that. Mmmm N-scale. I originally made a countersunk hole with a 0.5 mm drill (0.196"). This resulted in pretty sturdy rivets for HO scale. Later I converted it with a 0.3 mm countersunk hole, resulting in far smaller and less protruding rivets. I think it is worth a try for N scale but I suspect the rivets will be relatively large. Drilling a 0.3 mm hole is tedious on the hard steel of the pliers, the drill head keeps running away. I don't think you can make the holes much smaller.

    And styrene: yes it will work on styrene, just be more careful not to exert too much pressure or you will punch right through the sheet, leaving a machine gun pattern rather than rivets.:v8:
  12. Garrattfan

    Garrattfan just trying...

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    Hm tweezers with a hole. Good idea. I'll try to get one as well and try it. My first hunch was that the tweezers flex too much to give accurate control and the hole give no support to stop the pin from going through the sheet. So it'll probably be difficult to get a regular pattern. But I'll give it a try.
  13. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    What a cool idea, I will have to play with this.


    Bill Nelson
  14. Garrattfan

    Garrattfan just trying...

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    Ok, have fun and if you come up with new ideas, let me know!!
  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    an idea!

    Here in the States we have a chain of stores called Harbor Freight, which specializes in selling cheap tools. most or all of these are imported from china, and the quality varies widely from extremely cheap junk to inexpensively priced functional tools.


    I'll have to go there and see if I can find a junky pair of pliers. Ideally I might find a suitibly shaped pair of pliers , made out of cheap steel that will drill much more easily than a good pair, but still be stout enough to press brass or styrene.

    Bill Nelson
  16. Garrattfan

    Garrattfan just trying...

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    I'm curious. I'd be obliged if you'd share the results with us by some photos