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Eric Fick




Location: California
Joined: 16 Sep 2009

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 11:41 pm    Post subject: Question: Rivets and tools??         Reply with quote

So I went down to the old Home depot looking to find riveting tools. However, all they seem to carry is pop rivet tools and some dome head rivets but no tools for them. Does anyone know a source for the old style rivet tools? I remember doing basic metal working in grade school and using a set of rivet tools that look like a steel handle with a dome shape cut out in the base combined with a base.

anyway, any suggestions, advise, or links?

Cheers,

Eric Fick
Davenriche European Martial Artes Schoole
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes you are right in that those are 'rivet sets' i.e. the setting tools. Assuming that you are aftera period look they are not really correct anyway, but you can get a very good mechanical fix and with some practice a neat fix using the dome of a dome headed (peening in the UK) hammer.

Give it a try, it really is quite easy and just tap around the perimeter of the rivet and it will spead out.

Regards


Tod

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just use steel roofing nails. I snip off the tip to my desired length - typically a 1/4" inch, then peen the top down into a dome with a ball-peen hammer. After, I finish off the surface accordingly. These are technically the same thing as arming nails and are much more authentic than using a riveting type device with premade rivets. It's easy, quick, and cheap - not to mention somewhat accurate in context.

Best of luck in your search! Happy

J.E. Sarge
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"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pop rivets are an abomination Mad

I use copper rivets, but I have used domed and flat brass rivets, and nails as JE Sarge suggested. Rivet set tools are a waste of coin IMO. as you can set the burr just as easily with a pair of lineman's pliers and a hammer.

In the States, copper rivets can be had at Tandy leather shops or online, thought they don't sell the small ones anymore. You might also try a horse tackle shop.

If you go with brass be sure to have a torch for annealing. If you don't, you'll live to regret it. if you are using domed rivets, try backing the rivet with a block of hardwood rather than your anvil; the anvil will ruin the dome. Better yet use a countersink bit on the block to avoid the domed head skipping around on you.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 5:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just about any hammer with a flat face and a rounded (or cross pein) face will work for riveting; the flat end of a ball pein hammer or a heavier chasing hammer works fine. I usually get my tools from Otto Frei.

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1100

You could also probably make your own riveting block by getting a bit of scrap steel or square stock and drilling into it with a drill the size of your rivet head. You could also probably use a dapping block or a leather sandbag.

www.addisondelisle.com
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave!

I made a riveting tool from a piece of brass door handle:

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/rivtools1.jpg

It sits in the hardy hole of my anvil, but will also work just clamped in a vise. The brass strip with the V-cut is what I use to hold a washer in place on the shank while I start peening, keeps sensitive fingertips out of the way!

Mind you, I'm using rivets that come with domed heads, so my tool just keeps the head round while I peen the shank.

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/armrhnts.html#Rivets

That page has links to a couple other nice riveting tutorials out there.

Yeah, most modern hardware stores won't have the rivets you want! And most of them will just look at you funny when you ask... Try these:

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/supplrs.html#rivets

McMaster-Carr probably has them, too.

You can also buy flat-head rivets, or use various nails like other folks mention. Not sure which is more cost-efficient if you need a lot, though. There are over 300 rivets in a Roman lorica segmentata, so it made sense for us to buy in bulk! Now some of us are just making our own rivets from heavy copper wire. Why pay more?

Good luck and Vale,

Matthew
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pop rivets are an "abomination" Gavin? Wink Well, certainly compared to period, hot-peened rivets, but I've been using them for many years--especially making pennyplate and splinted pieces over leather--precisely because as a modern cheat I find them closer to period, at least in principle.

I use steel ones with small washers. One end is always fugly after using the pop rivet gun so I hammer it on the small anvil to cold peen it--which also peens the other side. End result actually avoids the over-symmetric look that modern machined rivets have--set by hand or no.

(If full authenticity of materials isn't required, aluminum rivets work great too. Peened down they not only hold plates to backing just fine, even under a beating, but are easier to peen.)

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

Rivets can also be had from R.J. Leahy - an online supplier. I prefer them to cutting nails as it is both cheaper and faster.

I like using a block of tin for my peening. I happen to have a cast chunk of tin solder that's attached to a handle (Its' from something else that broke). A block of lead works well, too. The point is that a soft metal won't deform the rivet head, and will in fact form a divot for the rivet automatically.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
the over-symmetric look that modern machined rivets have


I have a fairly decent collection of original armour pieces and have piened my fair share of rivets and am not familiar with the phenominon you're talking about. The rivets on these pieces http://www.merctailor.com/originals.php?original_pk=18 http://www.merctailor.com/originals.php?original_pk=127 http://www.merctailor.com/originals.php?original_pk=112 for example are quite clean and even. Can you please explain what you mean?
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The leather working folks still do rivets the old fashioned way for the most part. I get my rivets from Tandy Leather. They usually have mild steel and copper and brass in various sizes available at the local store here. tr
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
[Can you please explain what you mean?


The rivets in all the pieces you posted are indeed clean, but they DO often enough have tiny hammer marks when examined closely enough. Those bought and set, for example, with a Tandy rivet setter have absolutely nothing--brigandine in particular when done that way, with absolutely all of the tiny heads pristine, for my tastes has always looked off.

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The rivets in all the pieces you posted are indeed clean, but they DO often enough have tiny hammer marks when examined closely enough.


Huh. I have about 15 other pieces and none seem to exhibit that. Interesting. Where do you theorize the little hammer markes come from, since the heads are formed by upsetting and using a rivet header?
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.merctailor.com/originals.php?original_pk=83

Case in point. Are you telling me that rivet is as smooth and homogeneous as a modern machined one? "Hammer marks" might be a misnomer if the tool in direct contact prevents the hammer from making direct contact, but with the naked eye I can see something. If you're telling me that looks machined, please give a magnified view to clarify.

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.merctailor.com/originals.php?original_pk=126

Another case in point, unless it's a trick of the light. The upper rivet is almost but not quite hemispherical. Very slight differences, to be sure, but there.

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Note these other examples--again the evidence of handworking is slight, but definitely distinguishes it from the level of symmetry of machined rivets:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17024607@N08/2482084339

http://medieval.mrugala.net/Armures/Images/Br...alides.jpg

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert, thats the underside of the rivet with a washer, i'm not sure i'm following you here. I was under the impression we were talking about the head of the rivet. Hammer marking on the shank is an unavoidable by product of piening with a hammer. The second and third pictures are fairly corroded pieces ( honestly the second pick doesn't allow for close up so i'm not sure what the rivets look like with the corrosion around them at that resolution for the pic ) so theres no telling what the rivets looked like when new. Are we talking about the head or the piened side of the rivet as you've pointed out both? It probably worth noting that in some surviving inventories there is a distinction made between rivets and arming nails, Ffoulkes and some others believe that arming nails may be for use in making brigandine and as such are probably different that the rivets used for assembling plate armour.
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am speaking of both, of course, though the peened side will invariably show more evidence of handworking. But even when striking the peened side, force is transferred to the head and it's not uncommon to have a mark there because of it. When using a "modern" tool (again, Tandy example) this force does not have to be anywhere near as significant. The material is also more homogeneous, and especially in the case of steel will resist deformation.

Whether a rivet is cold-peened with force, or whether it is hot peened and the metal is more malleable, the effect will not be {i}exactly{/i} the same on each and every rivet--even on the heads, and even with a domed setter. I see so many reproduction examples (especially do-it-yourselfers) where each and every rivet head looks absolutely unblemished, on top of being absolutely symmetric. (It's like comparing, say, a pommel that's been done traditionally to one turned on a modern lathe. Small differences, but noticeable under close examination.)

Even the first piece I pointed out--look closely and the rivet head itself (not the washer) appears to have very tiny dents, and certainly does not look like a machined perfect hemisphere. This one at the least has been flattened; and if that was done all around I'd be astonished that small differences didn't show up on its neighbors. By the time you get to the last two examples to which I gave links, when there are hundreds of rivets, the cumulative effect is even more clearly noticeable--and, I hope you will acknowledge, quite obvious.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Again, my main point is that using a modern leatherworking rivet setting tool like Tandy's and double-cap rivets --where the set of the rivet is by the tail expanding within the back cap, don't forget--HARDLY analagous to historical riveting!-- is even more of a "cheat" than cold-peening with pop rivets.)

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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Eric Fick




Location: California
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you all for your input as it is much needed.

However, I am not bent on producing museum quality replicas of armour to be displayed in glass cases. I am simply looking to be able to replace/repair items that have rivets without it looking like it was done by a monkey with a hangover. That being said, the tandy leather tools look like a good deal. As for the nail-snip-peen option that was posted, i have used this method already with pretty good results (i need work on my peen'n skills)

with the option that used an old brass handle, did you simply use a drill to make the counter sink?

Cheers,

Eric Fick
Davenriche European Martial Artes Schoole
www.swordfightingschool.com
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The rivets in all the pieces you posted are indeed clean, but they DO often enough have tiny hammer marks when examined closely enough.


Please see the above statement regarding arming nails.


Quote:
Even the first piece I pointed out--look closely and the rivet head itself (not the washer) appears to have very tiny dents, and certainly does not look like a machined perfect hemisphere. This one at the least has been flattened; and if that was done all around I'd be astonished that small differences didn't show up on its neighbors


I can look really closely at it as I own it, and the rivets are not flattened. Medieval/renaissance rivets had a much shallower head than most rivets do today, what used to be called " pan head " back when these were still made in years gone by. They're tough to find today and all the rivets in the original pieces are of the traditional shallow head, they have not been flattened/crushed by piening but were made that way to begin with. My rivet heads look piened when i'm done with them not crushed , I don't use a set tool.

Forgive me, i'm doing a poor job of following why medieval rivets look more like pop rivets. Can you somehow simplify this a bit for me?
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





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PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, they don't look like pop rivets! Perhaps that's where the confusion is coming from. I was implying that in principle what I was doing with pop rivets--peening the back rather than "setting" them in a double cap as the Tandy tool does--is in spirit more in keeping with medieval rivets.

The comparison about the pristine-ness of machined rivets was a separate issue--though I still think it's apparent if you look up close at your original handworked rivets (or take and post some macro photo shots) and compare them. At first glance, not up close, machined rivets might look closer--but still not quite "right" (to me).

So ... if already conceding that a repro piece isn't going to look quite perfect (or not look perfect because a little too "perfect"), I prefer to go with a simple method that is easy to do, perfectly functional and (to me) more in keeping with the spirit of peened ones anyway.

Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself "Why?" and the only echo is "damned fool!...the Devil drives...
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