Riveting is a useful way of joining pieces of metal with another piece of metal, wood, or plastic. If a riveted joint is to be tight, the rivet should be placed directly through the pieces and spread at each end to give a tight fit. If you want the joint to have a degree of flexibility, you can fit washers between each layer before the rivet is spread.
The wire used to make a rivet should fit neatly into the hole. lithe diameter of a rivet is too small, the ends cannot be spread enough to hold it in the hole. In addition, the wire will be able to bend slightly inside the hole and will not, therefore, hold it properly.
A rivet should always be spread into a countersunk area around the top of a hole. If it is appropriate, the rivet can be soldered to the bottom piece and the other pieces placed over it, finishing with the top piece which has a countersunk hole.
To make a rivet, the wire is pushed through all the pieces. The wire should protrude by approximately 1/22 inch from the metal, and both ends should be filed straight. A pointed punch is then placed in the center of one end of the wire and hammered slightly, while the base is supported either on a small anvil or on the end of a flat punch, which is held in a vise. The piece is then turned over, and the other end of the wire is similarly hammered with a pointed punch.
If you need to remove a rivet, file off the head, place the other end over a hole or hold the piece in a vise, so that the rivet can be pushed through. Place the pointed punch in the center of the rivet and tap it gently until it comes through on the other side.
Using taps and dies
Very small taps and dies, similar to those used for fine jewelry work, need careful handling. A hole slightly smaller than the hole you wish to screw into should be drilled through the metal. The tap should be placed in a small hand drill and worked very slowly through the hole. Ideally, it should be given a quarter or at most a half turn and then reversed to remove the swarf that the cut has made. Lithe tap is forced through the metal; it is likely to break and to get stuck in the hole.
The wire to make the screw should be fractionally larger than the first hole that was drilled in the metal. It should be placed squarely in the die and the die then turned around the wire, taking it as far up as necessary. Either undoes the die to remove the wire or turn the die the other way and unscrew the wire.
If you need a head on the screw, it must be soldered on. This can be done before the wire is put in the die, with any excess solder around the head being filed away first. This does, however, mean that it will not be possible to take the thread all the way up the wire.
To put a head on a screw that has a thread all the way up, paint a paste of rouge powder to within 1/22 inch of one end of the screw and allow it to dry completely. Use a tiny paillon of easy solder to solder the head and screw together and file a groove across the head after it has been soldered.
Writer – Jinks McGrath