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Hot Riveting

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by truckee4x4, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Aug 5, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Yesterday I did a trial run with two buddies towards eventually hot riveting my frame cross members back together. We had some success but ultimately stopped because we weren't sure that the rivets from KW have long enough shank material to correctly "mushroomed" out enough with the air chisel rivet setter I bought from McMaster.

    We first heated the rivets up in a Forgemaster propane powered two-burner forge until they were poker hot (this pic shows us unloading them when we stopped, I don't have a pic of them hot unfortunately)
    20190804_GK_untitled shoot.jpg

    The KW rivets are 0.663" across the head, 0.75" from the bottom of the head to the end of the shank, and 0.372" diameter shank. The rivet setter I have came from McMaster is for 3/8" domed head rivets: (McMaster-Carr).
    20190805_GK_untitled shoot-3.jpg
    20190805_GK_untitled shoot-4.jpg
    Here is the top domed surface that was backed up with a bucking bar (McMaster-Carr)
    20190805_GK_untitled shoot-2.jpg
    Bottom surface (end of shank) that was hit with the air hammer/domed rivet setting die.
    20190805_GK_untitled shoot.jpg
    This rivet was put into the front cross member bottom frame horn. You can see where the die skated slightly off the domed head as it wasn't quite held perpendicular to the frame and it indented the cross member.

    After some consideration, we think that we might get better results next attempt if A) we use slightly longer rivets, B) fabricate a new backing bar with a cup milled into it to match the rivet dome, and C) position the new backing cup in place with a port-a-power against the floor or other side of the frame.

    Does anyone have experience doing this that could advise or chime in? It seems like information on hot riveting isn't that plentiful and it's hard around where I live to find folks that are have knowledge. I'd love to hear what folks think that have tried this before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    jeep2003 likes this.
  2. Aug 5, 2019
    Lee Bennett

    Lee Bennett Banned

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    I worked with bucking rivets on a job several years ago. We had to work the head die in a circular motion around the head as we bucked. Sort of "waller" the die to shove material out and not downward Leaves a rounded head without flat spot. Takes some practice. Carefully not to let the rim of the head die contact the frame around the perimeter of the peened head. Some riveters use an orbital head that is set at a preset angle to push the material around and form a nice round top as it presses.
     
  3. Aug 5, 2019
    Beach66Bum

    Beach66Bum 1966 Tuxedo Park Mark IV 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Big Island on...
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    If you do FaceBook, look up David Delight, Quick Draw Jeep Restorations. They do full restorations and have many pics of hot riveting. They have been featured many times for their incredible work restoring vintage jeeps. Just stunning seeing their skills.
     
    Lee Bennett and truckee4x4 like this.
  4. Aug 5, 2019
    Cap-n-Cray

    Cap-n-Cray I want to do this again.. Staff Member

    Bainbridge...
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    Now that's cool (hot)... :clap:
     
  5. Aug 5, 2019
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
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    Looks like you could use a little longer rivet, but it should work. (y)
     
  6. Aug 7, 2019
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    In 1964 I got a job in Great Lakes Steel, I went into the Riggers Apprenticeship. A lot of the equipment was Riveted, we would repair broken framework, and re-rivet back together. It was a real education for a young apprentice, those old Riggers knew exactly what they were doing. The length was most important, too long would make a ring under the head, too short would not make a button head. They used a gas fired forge, that was lined with Fire brick, then a bed of coke was made on the bottom so the hot steel would not stick to the brick. They would lay the rivets in the forge and turn the air up, then keep moving them around so they didn't get too hot. If they started sparking they were too hot and were not used. The Heater was the boss, when they were just right, he would start tossing them to me. I would catch them in the Catch Can, take them out with tongs, slam them on the iron, to slag them, and stick them in the hole. The Bucker would buck them up, and the Driver would hammer them with a 90 air hammer with the right die for size of the rivet. As the head got formed he would rotate the 90 in circles to correctly form the button head, it takes a lot of practice to get it right, we had to burn out the bad ones and re-do them. I can't imagine how they ever built bridges and building that way in the 20's and 30's. I have seen a lot of pictures of Ironworkers building bridges and buildings that way, but when I got into the Ironworkers they were fazed out in favor of High Strength Bolts. When rivets went into the holes hot and driven, they would shrink when they cooled an make the joint tighter. Todays bolts are a lot stronger than hot formed rivets. Thanks for bringing back some old memories from my youth. Good Luck
     
  7. Aug 7, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

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    What a great story. Thanks for writing it all down.
     
    Beach66Bum and ITLKSEZ like this.
  8. Aug 7, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    I've had a try at hot riveting about 30 yesrs ago on my Jeep frame, with similar success as you had. I got my rivets from an old Jeep dealer years before, and they worked well. A couple rivets had to be put in backwards because I couldn't get a straight enough shot with the setting tool. My bucking tool is a very short piece of small gauge railroad rail, which I still have today. My work didn't look as pretty as the factory rivets, but structurally was solid and strong.
    Have you found a source of the flat-head rivets as used on the face of the rear crossmember? All mine were the round-headed style you are using. I was thinking I could just flatten the round headed ones nearly flat, but they are clearly a different rivet.
    -Donny
     
  9. Aug 7, 2019
    truckee4x4

    truckee4x4 Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Truckee CA
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    Wow Rick that's awesome! Love to hear more stories if you got 'em, do you have any pictures from back then?

    I know some folks that own a forge/blacksmithing business in town - a very cool business called Mountain Forge. My friend came by with two of his apprentice blacksmiths who are here from Germany and Switzerland for the summer. They have extensive riveting experience and know metal very well, and we had a few cold beers and chatted about how to better approach this task the next time. Anyway they suggested that I come by their shop and grab some slightly longer rivets, and also that I fabricate a new bucking bar with a cup milled into it.

    Donny that's funny you suggested a piece of rail, that's exactly what I'm planning on doing. May be a few weeks but I will post results here for the fun of it. I know I could just use bolts and move on but I love trying to learn how to do things in the old ways.

    Oh the KW rear crossmember kit comes with 6 flat head 3/8 dia. rivets and 4 domed head ones.
     
  10. Aug 8, 2019
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    Thanks Guys for all the likes, I am now 74 and have a lot of time to reflect on my experiences in and around Detroit. Being an Ironworker in and around South East Michigan was a great job around here, we got to do a lot of work in Industries related to Auto plants, and the City. There was three steel mills , and countless Auto assembly plants, plus the City, it was always fun to work in the area. Thanks again.
     
    dozerjim likes this.

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