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DIY Rivet Set for steel tubular rivets

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mrjbinok

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#1
I am trying to come up with rivet set tool that I can use with an manual chain breaker tool. I am using NOS stainless semi tubular type rivets for attaching a mounting bracket to a Harley fender. Using an arbor press won't work because of the bracket/fender placement and needed offset. The chain breaker has the needed offset clearance to fit inside the fender/bracket and I have roughed a pair of the set heads that should work, but when I tried my pieces, soon found that my pieces were to soft to spread the rivet.

I'm not sure I can explain what I am after or not, but my question is what type of steel should I use for my set heads to give me the best hardness advantage after surface hardening?
 
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magicniner

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#2
O1/Drill Rod/Silver Steel and oil quench from red heat should be close to what you need.
 

mrjbinok

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O1/Drill Rod/Silver Steel and oil quench from red heat should be close to what you need.
That is what I was coming up with as my best bet, from further reading online. Thank you for the reply.
 

RJSakowski

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#4
Heat the O1 until it no longer attracts a magnet. As a precaution against fracturing, I wuld polish the hardened steel to a bright finish and slowly heat it until I had a light straw color. You can also heat in an oven. I would think that 450 -500 ºF would do it.
 

mrjbinok

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Heat the O1 until it no longer attracts a magnet. As a precaution against fracturing, I wuld polish the hardened steel to a bright finish and slowly heat it until I had a light straw color. You can also heat in an oven. I would think that 450 -500 ºF would do it.
Since these are pretty small parts, how long should the temp be held at 450-500? and Should the finished pieces be left to air cool or quench? I'm still learning about heat/hardness. I bought an old Johnson gas forge a few months ago and have been working to refurbish and convert it to LP, but it isn't ready to use just yet. Lot's to learn and fun to have!!
 

RJSakowski

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#6
To harden O1, I take the work up to the point where t isn't attracted to a magnet and quickly quench in oil with rapid movement in the oil until it stops sizzliing. I then brighten enough of the surface to see the color run and heat to the color that I want. A light straw color will be fairly hard but with some brittleness. You will most likely want a slightly softer temper. Here is a chart that shows colors, temperature, and hardness for various steel alloys. http://www.anvilfire.com/article.php?bodyName=/FAQs/temper_colors_hardness.htm
If temperng with flame, I usually run the temper twice. If in an oven, I would think that fifteen to thirty minutes would be sufficient for small parts. If using a torch, it has been my experience that you can run the colors prematurely which would give you a harder and more brittle part than expected. The colors are due to surface oxidation and having an oxidizing flame can hasten them. I usually use a torch if I am running a differential temper as on a cold chisel. I would heat at the struck end and let the steel conduct the heat to the cutting end. For a small part, though that isn't possible.The heat gun would be more gentle in heating which is why I suggested it.
Another method of tempering small parts would be in a solder bath if you have a means of monitoring the temperature. It would ensure a uniform temperature.
If you Google "tempering colors of O1", you will find a wealth of information.
 

mrjbinok

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To harden O1, I take the work up to the point where t isn't attracted to a magnet and quickly quench in oil with rapid movement in the oil until it stops sizzliing. I then brighten enough of the surface to see the color run and heat to the color that I want. A light straw color will be fairly hard but with some brittleness. You will most likely want a slightly softer temper. Here is a chart that shows colors, temperature, and hardness for various steel alloys. http://www.anvilfire.com/article.php?bodyName=/FAQs/temper_colors_hardness.htm
If temperng with flame, I usually run the temper twice. If in an oven, I would think that fifteen to thirty minutes would be sufficient for small parts. If using a torch, it has been my experience that you can run the colors prematurely which would give you a harder and more brittle part than expected. The colors are due to surface oxidation and having an oxidizing flame can hasten them. I usually use a torch if I am running a differential temper as on a cold chisel. I would heat at the struck end and let the steel conduct the heat to the cutting end. For a small part, though that isn't possible.The heat gun would be more gentle in heating which is why I suggested it.
Another method of tempering small parts would be in a solder bath if you have a means of monitoring the temperature. It would ensure a uniform temperature.
If you Google "tempering colors of O1", you will find a wealth of information.
I will probably use my mapgas torch on these pieces...... easier to get set up! I ordered a couple of different sticks of O1 this afternoon so as soon as they come in (first of the week) I'll get started turning and polishing. In the meantime I'll be doing some additional reading. I worked my whole life in electronics and only in the last 5-6 years developed an interest in metalworking. It's really great to have a forum like this and the sharing of knowledge and experience to help guide others along. Thank You for your interest and suggestions.
 

RJSakowski

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#8
I will probably use my mapgas torch on these pieces...... easier to get set up! I ordered a couple of different sticks of O1 this afternoon so as soon as they come in (first of the week) I'll get started turning and polishing. In the meantime I'll be doing some additional reading. I worked my whole life in electronics and only in the last 5-6 years developed an interest in metalworking. It's really great to have a forum like this and the sharing of knowledge and experience to help guide others along. Thank You for your interest and suggestions.
If using a torch, I will set up firebricks to make up an impromptu oven. It provides for heat retention and more uniform heating. If firebricks aren't available, regular bricks can be used.
 

Silverbullet

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#9
You may be able to use an old vise grip for welding . The three inch would give the room you need . Plus if you weld a foot on one leg your arbor press can squeeze the rivet much better. Hand spinners work but are hard to get straight. Ask me how I knowwwwww.
 

mrjbinok

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The rivet I will be using are stainless.... therefore pretty stiff to mash down. I have tried squeezing with vice grips and I didn't have enough grip in my boney old hands to do any good. I've thought about trying to find a similar aluminum rivet, but I would like to stick with original parts for the bike.... as much as possible.

My idea is for something fairly cheap and manageable for one person. I have an 1/2 ton arbor press but will have to re-tool the rivet sets for it too, and change how I have it bench mounted. The chain breaker idea requires the least amount of work for me right now with my health problems. (Google "chain breaker" and look at the one that comes up on Harbor Freight to see what I am modifying) I am replacing the contact points of the breaker with more substantial pieces that will self guide straight into the rivet and the ends will actually hold the rivet in place as the tool is tightened. I have one side ready for hardening and as soon as I can get the other piece made on the lathe I'll post pic's

Here is a picture of the fender bracket that I am wanting to rivet and the rivet tool I am trying to modify. the two center rivets (near the fork) are hard to fit any tooling into the space, and even more of a placement problem to do the second bracket.
 

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Silverbullet

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#11
I didn't mean squeeze them with the vise grips. I ment use the in your arbor press to make it easier . Why I said weld a foot on one leg of the grips .that way it reaches in under and around the fender. But it's up to you.
 

mrjbinok

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I didn't mean squeeze them with the vise grips. I ment use the in your arbor press to make it easier . Why I said weld a foot on one leg of the grips .that way it reaches in under and around the fender. But it's up to you.
Okay, thanks.

This gives me something else to try. Hopefully I will know if my idea works or not either today or tomorrow.

BTW Hoping you and all our friends on HM the very best Christmas and Happy/Healthy New Year!!
 

mrjbinok

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Well the pieces are made to fit and ready for heat hardening. Tried a couple of things I hadn't done before..... metric thread, and knurling. A learning experience that didn't turn out the best, but for this project it will serve the purpose.

Here are a few pictures of the modified chain breaker that I plan to use for a rivet set.

IMG_0264.JPG IMG_0269.JPG IMG_0275.JPG IMG_0275.JPG IMG_0276.JPG
 

mrjbinok

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#14
Finally got my modified chain breaker finished up and the rivet set heads hardened. The tool worked as planned with the exception of the amount of hand torque required to tighten it down. I'll have to use a breaker bar when I actually start attaching the fender bracket. the rivets are actually stainless so they are pretty stout. With the tool, the rivet expanded to fill any gap in the holes and flared perfectly to form a good tight connection.

IMG_0325.JPG IMG_0327.JPG IMG_0326.JPG
 

Downunder Bob

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#15
When using a torch fo hardening and tempering of small parts, the first heat for the hardening is fairly straightforward just heat directly in the flame ensure the flame is non oxidising and don't burn the surface, when the part is at the desirable shade of red, drop it in acontainer of oil. when coled polish the part up, at least enough of it to see the colour run.

For the tempering try to avoid direct contact of the flame onto the part. A good trick is to set the part, thickest part to contact the copper, on a small piece of copper plate secured by grips in a vice or somewhere stable. (Steel plate may be used but will be slower), Heating with the torch from under the copper plate, watch for the colour change as it climbs up the part, when at the desired colour dunk in cooled, not cold, 70 to 100c, oil.
 
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