Home Grown Rivet Machine

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Dave Harris, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    This is not exactly a tip , but there seems to be no forum for home made tools ?
    All of us would like to have every tool that comes down the Pike , I think?
    However some of the tools out there are pretty pricey-- NSWL makes a great riveter , but it's over 165.00 $ today & is not something many of us use all that often.
    Here is one I built out of cheap ? stuff & odds & ends. I think most anyone of you halfway compenent ( you ALL ARE) modelers could easily put something similar together if you wanted.
    Take a look & I'll try to explain some of the components -- at least those I can remember! :confused:

    I would guess that the whole machine cost less than 20.00$ because most of it came from a metal salvage yard, ALL the aluminum did AND in THIS case the precision ball bearig drawer slide that is one of the main ingredients.
    They had some U.S. surplus electronic cabinets that were being scrapped & I bought about 20 sets of slides for a buck a set! However. even having to buy one new would most likely add only about 20.00 or so to the cost.

    The Rest is Hardware store stuff that is nickel & dime-- the gears are from an R.C car & only 3-4 bucks.
    The drive screw is a 1/4 & 20 threaded rod, giving a .050 advance per revolution to control spacing accurately. It is turned down on the ends & fitted into drilled out coupeling nuts with a piece of brass tubing soldered on the rod to act as a stop to maintain the screws position & gear mesh, the rod itself roates in the drilled out nut as a bearing.
    The rivet punch is a piece of 3/8th cold roll fitted thru some brass plumbing fitting, I think a pipe nipple? The retractor spring & the two big upright support bolts came from home depot! A couple of grooves in the cold roll for E clips to retain it, the Male die made of drill rod, the female of cold roll, both removable.
    The Bed is drilled & tapped & scribed for alignment of the parts & has the small 1/4 inch hold down clamps.
    I would suggest adding a lock nut ( wing nut if one small enough can be found) to the screw on the knob to push to form the rivet, if it turns you end up with different sized rivets .
    I am at the limit of pictures on this post ,I'll put up a few more.
    I do hope this will help someone .

    Attached Files:

  2. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Here are a few more pictures to help if anyone is inspired to build one themselves.
    If you like this, how about a 3 -or 4 inch rotary drilling or milling table made out of a car window motor & scrap yard aluminum? I built one of those as well.

    If any body wants to try one of these & I can help , just drop me a note, I'll help if I can.

    Attached Files:

  3. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Thanks for posting this. I've occasionally rolled this same problem around in my head 0 it's good to see at least one way of accomplishing it!

  4. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    It was not really that difficult Matt. The most critical part is the precision drawer glide. Look close at the second photo & you can see the 2 halfround cavities where the Ball bearings ride in the glide-- there is NO side to side slop in them. I don't know the make of them but I'll bet it would not be too hard to find a source for them & they can't be ALL that much.
    as for the other materials , if there is a metal salvage yard close to you a trip or two & a bit of poking about will turn up just what you need -- betcha!

    The almunium angles that are used for feet, the main channel & the bed I found EXACTLY as they were used except for the scribing & drilling. Found a whole box of the angles all cut the same size --scraps I suppose!
    Now that I think of it the sleeve for the 3/8ths Cold roll was a table lamp nipple --- a plumbing nipple would have a tapered thread & not take a nut well--- probably came from Home depot or a lamp store.
    Give one a shot!
  5. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    OK . just to help make it a bit easier to engineer if any one is thinking of it the shaft & housing for the advance mechanism( the pinion gear) was done by cutting the head off a 5/16 bolt, drilling a 1/4 inch hole thru its length , screwing it into the frame & the pinion shaft is a 1/4 drill rod with 2 grooves for E ( C?) clips to hold it in place.

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