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Blowtorch capable of heating rivets?


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I have made a few things using mortise and tenon joints but when if comes to larger items it is a lot of work to move the whole, partially assembled, piece over to the coal forge and back to the vise just to set one rivet.

I have been looking at getting a torch to help with this and was looking for some guidance as to the capabilities of different types. I cant afford a large setup so was looking at a simple bernzomatic style of torch. Does anyone have any experience trying to set rivets with these smaller torches? I usually use 10mm round tenons as I have the tooling for it but I dont want to buy a torch, only to find it cant heat this up enough.

Thanks for any help. 

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By not using an oxy/fuel torch, you are limited in the amount of heat you will be able to use.  A Bernzomatic-type MAPP torch "may" heat your rivet but it won't work very effectively on 10mm (approx. 1/2" here).  It can be heated to probably red, by itself, but will take a few minutes.  The MAPP type torch will heat 1/4"-3/8" better.  I have used a MAPP to try to bend 1/2" rod, but didn't work well at all.  Possibly the small mass of the rivet will heat faster, but if it is in place with other steel components, they will act as a heat sink, therefore poor heating.  The small oxy/fuel torch kits used by air conditioning servicemen have small tanks and are quick to run out of components and are not very cost effective.

Possibly you could heat the rivets separately with another heat source (forge, induction, etc.) and insert into your workpiece?

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I don't know how many rivits you are setting per job. Considering time and material(gas) I don't think it would be very efficient. Are you setting just a few for your personal project or friend or for a payed commission?

So I agree with arkie and would suggest a small ox/acetl "b" bottle setup and a small torch to go with it.

I don't have experience with ox/propane, so can't help in that direction.

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anvil, you mentioned oxy/acetylene...for just heating I would not go with acetylene with the attendant risk and use concerns; that's a bit overkill for just heating rivets.  If using oxy/fuel, I would go with oxy/propane.  Much cheaper, safer and the propane can be run off of a BBQ style 20# cylinder.  Oxy/propane uses oxygen at a faster rate than does oxy/acetylene, but the propane route is much safer.

Irondragon's idea of oxy/MAPP is another option but those are usually in the small cylinder "kits" and don't last very long at all...not an economic option in my opinion. 

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I can't even begin to tell you how many rivits I've set with ox/acetl. A small tip and a gas saver are very efficient and certainly not dangerous.

An example below.

For me, the the cost to set up oxy/prop along with acetl had never been worth it. I've used it in other shops, so I have some experience for making my decision.  ;)

I don't believe cost is significant for setting rivits or other localized heat situations. I also believe acetl heats up a bit quicker than propane. 

For heating large or long pieces, cost is a factor. However, I use my coal forge for that which is far more cost and time efficient than any gas.

20171124_130208.jpg

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Thanks for the help, I think I'll have to head down the route of an Oxy/Propane torch at some point then. This seems to make the most sense as I am planning on making a propane forge too so saves having to buy more bottles than I need.

The items I'm riveting together are some heavy, sturdy looking log holders that I plan on selling if the demand is there just to fund my projects. Each needs 8 rivets setting but the issue is more that all 8 parts that make it up need to be held together so keeping it clamped up in the vise would be a major time saver and much less of a pain to assemble.

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Dear B3ndy,  I'm curious about your log holders.  We'd like to see pics of the items themselves or your design sketches.  Do you mean the sort of L shaped things on 3 or 4 legs that you put in a fireplace to hold the ends of the logs up?  If so, I have always known them as andirons or fire dogs.  Or do you mean the sort of basket or rack that holds the firewood before it goes into the fire?

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

 

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I recommend you look into the Harris oxy propane torch, since the patents held by All State lapsed the same system is being marketed by Harris. I've run an All States torch since the late 70s and have never hooked up one of the oxy acet rigs I owned. I don't gas weld and that's the one thing the All States oxy prop torch doesn't do much better than acet.

There is another approach I haven't seen mentioned. If you if bought or made a shallow high temp ceramic bowl you can lay a few burning coals in it and apply a targeted air blast through them. Jewelers aren't the only people who used this type "blow" torch. 

The big trick is NOT using too much blast and blowing hot coals around the shop. Another trick would be to mount an anvil next to or on the forge so small stock like rivets remain hot long enough to set without having to move like a scalded cat yourself.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'll go on the oxy-propane side of things.    I don't know how strict the UK laws on acetylene are; but propane doesn't have a lot of the same safety issues that acetylene does.  On this side of the pond propane is cheaper and easily available too---one reason propane forges are so popular!

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There is a picture of the holders below, as you can see its not impossible to rivet it together as I have already done it both at the anvil and in a vise but It would seem using a torch and the vise would make the job much easier and faster in the future. Trying to hold all the parts together when im setting the first few rivets while keeping everything tight and straights is just such a pain and I think the time saved would be worth it if I'm trying to make a few at a time.

Thanks for all the suggestions, may have to wait untill i've sold a few more items but I think spending the extra cash on a good oxy/propane torch is the way to go!

IMG_20200730_135652.jpg

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Nice wood holder, I like it. I assume the legs are connected with tenons from cross pieces under the cradle. Yes?

I'm seeing enough mass to pein the tenons over without anvil or vise. I'd experiment with a couple clamp on jigs to maintain alignment and do one end at a time. By end I mean, the end we're looking at in the pic is the close "end". Without an assigned orientation I use the longest straight lines or members to differentiate length, vs. width. I'm not arguing in favor, I'm just specifying my terms.

There are also clamps designed to hold stock tightly in  perpendicular alignment.

Oh yeah, I'd have my torch out were I peining tenons like this. Even if I could cold pein them, hot is faster and easier. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes you'd be correct,  probably should have used this picture without logs to give a better view. Appreciate the compliment, only been doing this for a couple of summers in between uni and with my little shed its hard to get set up for production, very surprising how different it is from general experimantal and one off items.

I've seen F-clamps used for larger spans but I don't know if they can be too flimsy for heavy clamping? Is it best to stick with the G-clamp style?

Cheers

IMG_20200730_135129.jpg

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OK, I may not be a very sharp tool, but am I incorrect in my observation, that there are no rivets at all in this assembly? Certainly, we pien tenons, but that does not make them rivets?

Very pretty work, by the way, B3NDY, I would be happy to have one of those at my hearth.

Robert Taylor

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Thank you, and yes when I say rivets I mean tenons, is it correct to say you rivet a piece together when setting tenons or is there another word for it?

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Nice job!

Words,, lol. The only difference between a rivits and a tenon is the length of material at the other end.  ;)

However, if you want people to know more about your joinery than you specify which is what. Head or peen over a rivit. Head or peen over a tenon whichever is applicable.

I'd prolly assemble on my table with the tenon's facing up and a bolster block underneath the bottom tenon. But my rivit setup includes a gas saver. This is a unit that I can hang my torch on and it shuts off the flame. There is a pilot to relight the torch. Do a Google search if interested. It means I don't have to manually turn off my torch, or set it down with a live flame running around, or relight and adjust ox and gas flow for the next tenon/rivit. I have no clue if a gas saver works with propane. It adds safety and saves a lot of time and gas.

One last thought. I'd clamp it with pipe/furniture clamps using 1" black pipe.

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I love a gas saver. My All States Oxy Prop torch has a thumb valve so you only adjust the flame once then it's on/off. I attach my trickle charger to the torch body and the bench so I can thumb the torch on and brush the bench to light it. The electronic lighters are expensive and from what I've seen work the same way. 

Pipe clamps are primo, no shop is complete with out a few. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Pipe clamps and good make C clamps are on my "buy whenever found cheap" list.  I still remember when I was working in a custom wood shop and we did a glue up that required over 100 clamps---all of our shop's and all of a friend's shop's clamps.  (Making curved hardwood moldings to go over Palladian windows in a very high end house. The shop looked like it was infested with sea urchins for a while...)

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

infested with sea urchins

Wouldn't those have been C urchins? 

I never pass on reasonably priced clamps, even cheapos, I've had plenty of situations where I needed a sacrificial clamp. A few years ago I made a wonderful score at a yard sale, IIRC 30something C clamps a bunch of oddballs a hole punch, vise grips, etc. with a sign saying $1 ea.  I was ready to start pealing bills then but you gotta counter so I asked the guy at the sale. "How much for all of them?" He smiled and said, "$5 but you have to take everything, I'm tired." Turned out he meant EVERYTHING left in the sale it took 3 pickup loads to get it all out. 2 bench vises, several small grinders, disk grinder, conduit benders, just all kinds of tools and stuff. They were leaving the country and weren't getting many people at the sale. They hadn't made a dent in the furniture or household stuff. I gave a lot of stuff away. 

Their signs were note book paper and ball point pen.  I pointed at a street sign and asked if he could read it. Yes of course. Those letters are 4" high, the ones on a main road are 8". The 55 on the speed limit signs are 14" high. Make your signs from flourescent poster stock and use contrasting paint at LEAST 8" high. Keep it simple, moving sale, tools. and a BIG arrow and hang them so they face into traffic flow not facing. perpendicular to the road. Make sure the arrows are pointing the right direction and put them just BEFORE the road to turn down. After they make the first turn a small sheet of the same flourescent colored paper with a large arrow is all you need. 

The day after next we were driving the KGB and from about 1/4 mile away we see this big green Florescent safety green rectangle on a light pole, get closer and it says Moving from USA. All sale. with a black arrow that filled the bottom half. There were cars waiting to turn and as we passed we could see another big flourescent rectangle a couple blocks down. 

Sorry, that turned into a tips for yard, etc. sale signs ramble but it is a sweet memory. I got a deal I should've been arrested for and I was able to help some nice folks in return. 

If you're putting up signs you have to ask yourself, "Can a half blind person read this at 60mph?" A huge, what WERE you thinking about? mistake you see all the time is putting up an arrow AFTER the turn. Putting your address on the sign is useless. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,

You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how few people think of those sort of obvious things.  There was quite a good Greek restaurant in Ft. Morgan which put up it's sign in the colors of the Greek flag, light blue and white.  Cool idea but when my late wife and I talked to them about visibility and losing customers who don't see the sign it was like we were talking Lithuanian. Many people are smart in their particular area of expertise but are amazingly innocent and unknowing outside that area.

I have always aspired to be as broad as possible and am a bit embarrassed and and ashamed when I don't know something that I think I should.

"by hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I've got a bunch of 6" c clamps. 20+. Couldn't be without them. I sorta look at them as a replacement for apprentices.  ;)

A note about heating rivits/tenon's with acetl vs prop. It doesn't matter to me what you use, this is a tip for those who might be interested in acetl for "localized heating".

Since you can't weld with prop, you must use a rosebud to heat. I may be wrong,but I've never seen a acetl welding type tip for propane.

This gives me great fine control and a very concentrated heat from that very small flame. I place the flame parallel to the picket or whatever in order to put the least amount of heat around the hole and along the centerline of the tenon. I then rock the flame tip down into the hole along the centerline of the tenon. Then back up to the top of the tenon. With a little practice I can get a great white heat on the tenon down to about half the thickness of the hole, and all the way to the top, and the material around the hole remains black. I then head the tenon/rivit and the tenon upsets into the hole. It's a great way to get a tight tenon/rivit fit. When it shrinks, you can literally hear it snap as it cools. 

Unless a propane setup had a fine welding type tip like this, that big rosebud flame is just too big for this kind of control.

George, there used to be a great Greek restraunt on east Colfax in Denver. Fond memories of Uzo.  :)  

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