longer rivets?

Alright, so I'm working on a new shield, but the rivets that secure the handle need to be quite long (about 34mm / 1  3⁄8inch). When I try to rivet a nail of that size it tends to bend before I can get a good rivet head going. So any help / advice on how to keep the nails straight or an alternative would be awesome!


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knutknackebröd (author) 2 years ago

Thank for all the input! The method I ended up using was a combination of a few tips.

To get the nails softened up I annealed them by making them red hot(couldnt get them up to orange / yellow with current tools:( ) and let them cool slowly, next I put them in a benchvise and only let the amount I wanted to mushroom out protrude and hammered it down.

Heat it red hot and beat it ?

knutknackebröd (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago

the problem is that nails arent really thick so if you heat it up the whole thing softens up, so riveting might be easier but is also bends faster:/

I wasn't thinking of heating the whole thing, just the head.

What about a copper rivet instead ?

knutknackebröd (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago

hmmmm might have a look at the hardware stores, but those kind of raw materials are kinda hard to find around here. I would prefer iron / steel to keep it looking a bit more authentic. I havent got my forge up and running yet else i'd make some medieval style nails

You probably want to use steel, but copper may do in a pinch. I have made many rivits out of various size solid copper ground wires. With a small amount of effort you'll be able to shape the ends quite satisfactorily once you determine the proper length to cut for the size and shape of the ends. Once done, they will darken over time and not really look like copper at all.

If you form one head on the nail first it should be possible to heat treat the rest.
Bring the nail to glowing orange and hold by the end you still need to form while dunking it into cold water.
If you leave the end out it will stay soft while the rest is slightly hardened.
Maybe that would be enough to give you the stiffness required to finnish the other side of the rivet.

knutknackebröd (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

thanks for the input, ill try it out soon!

iceng2 years ago

What metal are the rivets made of ?

And do you .... you are teasing ... just saw your super armor ibles.

You know what to do ... don't you ?

knutknackebröd (author)  iceng2 years ago

according to this picture they would be common nails, 4mm in diameter and about 90mm long so I guess they probably are cold rolled steel.

And to clarify, I have no idea, yes I've made a shield before using the same nails but last time I junked like 15 nails just to get 4 rivets.

sixsmith2 years ago

is the material you are working with about 30mm thick? if not you might be running into problems of too much unsupported stock. shortening the nails might help in that case. also as mentioned earlier annealing the head might be a good way to go. Last time I made rivets I was using 3/8 inch stock, about hmm 9mm diameter I think, I had great success cutting it maybe 2 or 3 mm longer than the thickness of the stock.

Threaded rod and nuts won't work?

knutknackebröd (author)  mpilchfamily2 years ago

structurally yes, aesthetically no. It needs to look the part as wel as function correctly. I might be able to find some endcaps that look like rivets, thnx for the input I'll look into that!