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I Forge Iron

Handmade rivets

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I took  chunk of 1x1", drilled different size holes in it, drop a piece of round stock in it with the allowance for the head (per Glenn above) and peen it as above. Obviously this got me 1" long headed rivets. For longer rivets use spacers etc. Same concept as a nail header. That will be a start, then you make a set and start doing decorative heads.


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For longer rivets, use longer stock. 

If you are riveting two pieces of metal together, make the rivet stock length the total thickness of the pieces of metal being put together (both pieces) plus 1-1/2 times the rivet stock diameter for one end of the rivet, and plus 1-1/2 the rivet stock diameter for the other end of the rivet. This will produce a rivet of the approximately the length you need with enough material for a rivet head on each end. 

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Advanced tooling for rivet heading

Start with 2 pieces of 3/8 x2x2 angle as long as your vice jaws. 

Drill a hole 1/64" smaller than your stock for 3/8 use 23/64".

Clamp the two angles together in a drill press vise and center the bit between them.  To really save time and aggravation drill only to the exact pre-determined depth to make your rivet the correct length.

After drilling clear (radius) edge of holes. 

To use, line up tools and stock in vise and clamp hard. Heat with torch. 

If you happen to have a foot operated vise, bolt fixtures to vise jaws.

In this case a forge may be used.

One set of said tools can make quite a few different rivets.

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