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I want to start making tongs and such for different applications. Right now all I have are my set of German Wolfjaw tongs. Tongs are usually riveted together. Now, the most common I have seen is the flathead rivet. I like the look of the button head. Doesn't really matter, I know, they both work the same. It's more of just a personal preference. I wanted to know, if I just drill a shallow hole into a block of mild steel and just use that to upset a small piece of bar stock into, would I get the desired result I want, for the most part, or would my time and energy be better spent on a different method?

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On 13/01/2018 at 12:32 AM, 19Branden86 said:

if I just drill a shallow hole into a block of mild steel and just use that to upset a small piece of bar stock into, would I get the desired result I want?

You don't say whether this tool you're looking to make it for use whilst you're riveting a plain piece of round bar, or if it's a tool for pre-shaping a button head on a short length of round bar for it to then be used as a rivet.

There's lots of riveting info on the site, but nevertheless, in either case ask yourself - if the tool you're looking to make gives you a button head on the underside, what gives you the same size smoothe button head on top?

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Greetings 1986,

         You can use the same procedure to make a button head rivet in the bolster just like a flat head . All you have to do is make a rivet header and upset the head round flush with the bolster. I make mine when I only need a few at a demo in the vise. The best is just buy some ready made they are cheap and readily accessible. Just my 2c

 Another suggestion,

         You can use a flairing tool holder ( lots available at junk stores) to hold a rivet when cutting it to size also works great for short pieces of round stock that are hard to hold in the vise.. Have fun. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

DE4402F3-BCF6-44F3-820C-C9B3317E6271.jpeg

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I never recommend making your own rivets unless you need something specific and need it "right now".  Otherwise, the proper rivet is already mass-produced and dirt cheap -- so why not stock up on a few dozen just to have around?  

To support the head while you're peening the other end, you need to make a header block and top tool.  These are really simple to make so no problems there.

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I buy my rivets as much as possible. If I understand your question I think you would be better off to drill a hole the length rivet you want then upset the head that is not enclosed by the hole you could make  a heading tool to make your upset domed if that is your desire, however if you are going to the trouble to make your own rivets I would think you should make them more special than the cheap ones you could buy. That heading tool should have a custom design that is yours......if you keep the heading process while the rivet is hot it should drop out after it cools, much like making a hardy tool.

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I make my rivets as I need them as it is almost impossible to buy steel rivets here in Australia, sometimes they show up on ebay as old new stock, but no one sells or stocks them new these days. I am told there are a couple of specialty stores that will make them for you down south,  but they do not sell online, and I am not in the market for a minimum 1000 order anyway.

Yes your process will work, Your block needs to be about the right depth for the length of rivet you need. Likely they will deform slightly so you might have to hit them out from the bottom, try cooling all of the metal except the very end you wish to deform. Some people make a split block that comes apart to release the rivet easily.

My biggest bug bear is getting the head even remotely centred over the shaft. I have been thinking about making a set of dies to make rivets to go in one of those "smithing machines" , but I don't need that many rivets, it is just an idle thought I have on the rare occasions I might need to make half a dozen or so.

If it is not particularly load bearing and will be visible, I have been experimenting with using copper and brass rivets. Gives a nice visual effect, and those you can buy here! recently bought a lot of aluminium ones to experiment with as well, not tried them yet though.

IMG_20171210_110658588.jpg

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I make my rivets as I need them as it is almost impossible to buy steel rivets here in Australia,

Hi Jack ... Solid rivets are still available. You can of course try ebay but the postage from UK or US is a bit heavy. We have a supplier in Sydney that has been around for a long time.

David 0296444777

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3 hours ago, Jackdawg said:

My biggest bug bear is getting the head even remotely centered over the shaft.

Try using a smaller hammer and hitting along the circumference of the rivet as you circle the rivet. Use quick light hammer blows. This leaves the top of the rivet standing higher than the sides until it starts to form the rivet head.

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A lot of Sickle bar mowers still use them for their replaceable teeth here in the USA; have you tried a good old fashioned farming implement place?

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21 hours ago, Glenn said:

Try using a smaller hammer and hitting along the circumference of the rivet as you circle the rivet. Use quick light hammer blows. This leaves the top of the rivet standing higher than the sides until it starts to form the rivet head.

thanks for the tip, will give it a go.

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Making a header and bucking plate is pretty easy. You can start with a drilled hole and finish the shape and size with a Bob punch.   You can also use a ball bearing to get the size and shape, but you have less choice on the shape.   I'll see if I can remember to take a photo of one of my sets. In the meantime, here's a photo of ½” rivets with a large flat dome.   In this case, I forged the rivet head with a bolster plate and the header.  Then protected and supported the head with the bucking plate, while heading the other side.  I made my bucking plate to fit in the hardy.  You can see examples of these at Blacksmith Depot's rivet section.

 

Picture 883 Large Web view.jpg

Picture 884 Large Web view.jpg

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Take 2 pieces of half inch flat bar, weld angle iron on one side of each piece, clamp them in the vise, drill holes for the size rivets you want to make. Drill the holes to the length of rivets you want, clamp the viced pieces together, insert your stock then hammer down the first side of your rivet, then you can open the vise to easily remove the rivet. I will look for a picture and post it.

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