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This is a drawing and instructions along with a photo of my rivet tool used in the construction of the brass tender of my locomotive. I found by making and using this tool, there were no bashed fingers or dented tank sheets.
Full size scan of the tool
Instructions for the use of this tool:-
For reference, I used a 3/32" diameter brass rivet with a 3/16" diameter head. The shank was 1/4" long and most of the riveting was done through .040" brass and 1/8" thick angle totalling .165". I drilled the holes with a 3/32" drill which produced a .094"-.095" diameter hole. When squeezed, the rivets expanded to completely fill the hole and provide a "semi" head on the expanded end. The user should compensate for different material thicknesses.
Basic riveting procedure that I used with good results.
Drill all of the holes in the tank sheets before bending to shape. Mount all of the bottom angle stock to the tender floor with brass screws. After forming the corners, clamp the sheets to the angles using small "C" clamps. Using the holes in the sheet for a guide, drill every fourth hole. Then use #3-48 screws and nuts through these holes to hold the tank sheets in position. Start at one end of a row of holes and put the screws in as you go along. Now go back and drill and rivet every other hole. Then drill and rivet the holes in between. Finally, remove the screws and rivet these remaining holes. This will prevent the sheets from warping as you expand the rivets. Repeat this procedure for all vertical rows of rivets. Mount top angle pieces and repeat procedure once again. After riveting, all seams should be soft soldered to prevent leaks.
Enlarged sample end view of formed rivet
The finished tender tank
This article first appeared on the web site www.geocities.com/trainhead391/rivet-tool.html (now defunct)
[Updated: 27 Jan 2013]
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