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retarded question about rivets

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When you guys say rivets, what kind of device is required to actually rivet things together? I'm only aware of the kind that hold gutters together that are flimsy as paper and the kind of that need large hyrdaulic devices......I guess I'm looking for riveting guns 101. Any info would be beyond outstanding




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Depends on where they are, rivets are soft steel but require a fair amount of force to mushroom. The cheapest way is a simple punch and a deadblow. Next up are modified bolt cutters. And finally a jig on a hydraulic press (like the Plinker jig, or a homemade copy). This is generally required for any rivets that are inset and require a bucking bar to reach.


I just riveted a guard to my S-12, the rear rivet can be set with a punch and a backer. The two on the front are offset under the center support. I had to use some steel plate as a bucking bar to reach them, and put the ram right on the plates. They aren't perfect but set just fine. Note that you will definitely need to support these from the bottom really well. I already had a trigger jig, so used that.


Most guys just use screws, you could even weld in the holes. I wouldn't pop rivet or use anything else, if you're going to rivet then do it right.

Edited by rob-cubed
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I have installed trigger guard rivets with a big hammer and a homemade punch. First I dimpled the top of my bench vise to conform to the head of the rivet on the bottom, then used my custom homemade punch to hammer the tops down onto it. From the outside it looks factory, inside the rivets aren't as nice but they work fine.


I have access to a lathe but not to a press :/

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The modified bolt cutters are a good option if you don't have a press or want to spend much. Or you could even use a ball peen hammer (after all they are made to peen rivets). If you don't mind spending some money get a decent press. Also the rivet tool from AK builder is specifically built for riveting AKs.. I've built at least 15 AKs using his jigs & rivet tools. http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29972

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Or you could buy a no-joke rivet gun and a couple heads, but you'll need a big air compressor. Doing that runs the risk of getting a kiss on your receiver, though. It also takes a lot of practice to beat rivets with an airhammer. If you know an aircraft mechanic, he should be pretty good at riveting, or some sheetmetal workers.


For pretty rivets, use a squeezer of some kind, whether overgrown bolt-cutters, air powered or hydraulic. It's almost impossible to screw up rivets using a squeezer.

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