View Full Version : Rivets and hand tools

Mr Fixit
03-14-2017, 10:44 PM
Hello Group,

I got a box from an estate sale this past weekend, that has solid rivets and other misc hardware. In the bottom I found 2 Pexto rivet hand tools and was wondering if anyone has used them before.
They are a #2 and a #0 the latter being larger. They have 2 different sized concave cuts, the tool stamped #2- 5/16" cut with a 3/16" hole and #0- 7/16" cut with a 1/4" hole along side that goes through to a cross hole about 1" up the side of the tools. I understand that solid rivets need to be hammered on the back side​, so is this for the head side to hold it in place while you hit the back side, what's the hole for and the possible relief or removal hole for?
I would like to use some of the rivets, they are steel, aluminum, brass, copper. None as big as the 5/16" and 2 small boxes of what look like nail heads 1/4" long in Steel and aluminum. I assume this type is a special application done the same way, same tools?

Looking forward to your responses.

Mr fixit for the family
Chris. :)

03-14-2017, 11:17 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hvMbI_qkAA And a ton more just goodle youtube aircraft rivets

03-15-2017, 08:44 AM
The rivet sets I have used (Pexto) had a concave hole and a straight hole matching the rivet shank. You put the rivet in your material, back up the head side, place the straight hole over the rivet shank and strike it to make sure the rivet and material are tight together, then place the concave hole over the shank and strike it to set the rivet. The concave hole gives a nice round head to the rivet. Stu

03-15-2017, 08:45 AM
Fairly easy process, your pexto is our snap and set, the hole is used first to draw the plates then hammer with ball pein to dome, then bash the ugly out of it with the set hole in the punch, easy.
Actually I think a riveted fabrication has a certain aesthetic appeal only achieved with rivets, inside a plane wing is quite pleasing to look at.
I started work with hawker siddleys, they used rivets by the ton, interesting footnote, they were batch annealed and refrigerated to keep them soft, lowering the temperature delays age hardening, somthing I did not have a clue about, rivets were all color coded to see how old they were, at 7 days they got annealed again if unused.
Oh leave 3x the rivet diameter sticking out to form a head (that's from memory of 35-40 years ago, a check might be good, not that it matters unless your building a fast jet!)

03-15-2017, 11:27 AM
Back some years ago when Boeing was down-sizing, all manner of riveting tools were showing up on Ebay. I picked up about 30 different rivet sets and air tools on the cheap. Setting rivets by hand is not my cup of tea. Especially when they're 5/16" or 3/8" steel rivets in car frames. My air riveter will handle 1/8" brass rivets as well as 3/8" steel with the control sensitivity needed by a neural surgeon. I also made most of my own bucks to fit the job. Even made a couple of air riveter sets out of the cheap ones you can get for a few bucks. One in particular was a set for stepped rivets. (Part of the exposed rivet shank is used as a pin.) And others that needed special access clearance.

I have one of those Pexto sets that came with a auction lot but never used it except to draw panels together on one job. But there are collectors out there that cherish the Pexto name.

Mr Fixit
03-15-2017, 03:33 PM
Guys, thanks for the responses. I'm looking at light sheet metal work so I figure I will hand form the rivets unless I get real tired of hitting them. I might check out flea bay to see what's out there for power tools, but i'm just a home hobbiest not sure I need to do riveting of this type that often.

Mr fixit for the family
Chris :)

03-15-2017, 07:41 PM
Back in the early 1960's in a metalworking class we had to do some rivets. Steel round head rivets about 1/8 or 3/16 diameter. The first task was to polish the ball end of a ball pein hammer. This was to be used just for riveting. Then cut the rivet to length and file off the burrs. Next remove any burrs on the holes and insert the rivet. Use the rivet set to draw the parts together and then use the ball end of the hammer to form a domed head on the rivet. The first few were ugly and then it got to be a fun exercise to see how nice they could be. The goal is a nice finished head as well as swelling the rivet so the holes are filled solid.

03-15-2017, 08:29 PM
That's when the set gets used, after doming the rivet with the ball pein, put the rivet set on the peind lump and as my metalwork teacher said, beat the ugly out of it, I love that term, it just amuses me no end.