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Confined space riveting


Joel OF

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Hi folks,

I was working on an idea for joining 3 pieces of steel together in a gate with rivets when I realised it would be a very tight space because of an obstruction, meaning I wouldn't be able to get by body behind the rivet head in a way that would offer a decent amount of resistance.

I've changed the overall design of the gate so the rivets are now redundant, but the curiosity of how to rivet in a confined space lingered. Do you have any special gizmos that you use in a confined space to offer resistance and maintain the rivet head shape? I doodled this idea this morning, I think it could work on small rivets (like 6mm or 8mm) that don't require much whacking, but I doubt this would work on bigger diameter rivets.

Note - I've designed this so it can be gripped / clamped on as quickly as possible so the rivet can be done in 1 heat from the fire. I originally invisaged a more universal / adjustable bracket with nuts and bolts to grip it againt the work and then I'd heat the rivet with the oxy torch, but whenever possible I like to leave the oxy torch as a last resort as I like the buzz of having to do things in 1 heat.

Rivet.jpg

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I think it's a great idea for a bucking bar, but I'm not seeing any way to get it into place before you lose the heat.  Riveting like that has always been a problem for me, so I usually resort to welding the back end and grinding/filing it smooth.  

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This dolly or rivet snap (Frosty and I discussed the terminology some months ago)...can be gripped in a loose leg vice lying across the top of a gate or panel and the "L" shape can get into difficult spots. 

The main requirement is to get some mass in line behind to resist the riveting blows. The trouble with your small bar Joel is that you are relying on the workpiece to provide the mass rather than having a dolly which supports the rivet and keeps the joint tight with no shock going into the job, apart from into the rivet head.

Alan

image.thumb.jpg.1a3da488bf5a5d04ef39e000

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oops, forgot I started this topic!

Cheers for the replies. Yep I see what you mean, Alan. I think at the time of posting I'd only imagined doing this whilst the gate was stood/leaning upright. Greater possibilities when it's laying down. I like the picture in Peter Parkinson's book "Forged Architectural Metalwork" of a smith (who's name is on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember at the minute) riveting a gate together in the way you just described, but he'd also roped his son into pushing against the back of the vise.

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David Tucker I think, good bloke and fine artist blacksmith. They use the leg vice trick in the COSIRA books as well. The advantage of the leg vice is that you can readily make a variety of straight (with the dimple on the side) or cranked snaps to suit the job. Shipyards and such use dedicated dollies of course….a gert lump of metal of the appropriate shape with a dimple on the end. 

Just dropping a sledge hammer head in to the gap and your assistant (or the wall) supporting the end of the handle has been effective for me on occasion. 

The key is to support the rivet head independently and  take the shock out of the workpiece, especially if it is a bit delicate.

Alan

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The key is to support the rivet head independently and  take the shock out of the workpiece, especially if it is a bit delicate.

 

This is the case like Alan says - why a lot of jobs looks so simply made but actually are a bear to do because of the extra time it takes to work with a delicate design during the assembly. Simple looking is sometimes the more time consuming things to make.

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David Tucker I think, good bloke and fine artist blacksmith.

Bullseye. I liked his tip in the BABA mag a few issues ago - keep 1mm cutting discs that are worn right down to use as shims, I don't think I've chucked one away since. I reckon I've got enough now to shim the leaning tower of Pisa back up to straight.

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From memory Gary Huston posted a very interesting video called (I think) Riveting Tips on his Youtube channel a little while ago.  He had made a park bench that was fully riveted (no welds).  It had some tricky positions to get to and he made various snap tools to accommodate the riveting.

I haven't gone back to find the video but it should be easy enough to find.  As is usual from Gary, in my opinion, the video is first class and very informative.

Ray

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