Discussion in 'New members' started by Peter Hooper, 13 September 2021.

  1. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper New Member

    Hi All,
    What tools are used to reproduce an accurate representation of rivets, without distorting the piece.

  2. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad


    There is a wide variety of tools used by different modellers, from simple drop tools and blunt compass point all the way through to using milling machines and presses. Most of us have acquired suitable tools over the years many of which are no longer in production.

    Available today probably the best one and recommended by many is the GW Tool.

    GW-models - 1.jpeg
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  3. Michael Osborne

    Michael Osborne Western Thunderer

    20210815_212213.jpg You didn't say what scale you are modelling in. I only have experience in 7mm scale so the tools I use are the Reynalds rivet tool and the G.W rivet machine. Both do the job of punching out the rivets on metal, plastic and card. The difference is the method of spacing the rivets out equally. I don't believe the Reynalds tool is still available but the G.W one is still on the market.

    I also use proper scale rivets which are made from resin that are glued in pre drilled holes. They are available in many different sizes so could be used for other scales.

    Each have a place in my workshop, so it just depends on what you require and if you have the patience or the skill to use any of the above.
    As I get older ( I am 70 ) I find I struggle to punch out long straight lines of rivets without making a mistake which in metal are hard to rectify. When using the proper scale rivets I can easily replace or modify any undue errors.

    I am aware of rivets that can be applied like tranfers but I haven't any knowledge of them.
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  4. Michael Osborne

    Michael Osborne Western Thunderer

    20210915_162500.jpg Here is an example of a loco with rivets punched out using the Reynalds tool. I must get around to completing it. 20210915_162500.jpg
  5. Michael Osborne

    Michael Osborne Western Thunderer

    20210915_153621.jpg I forgot to post an image of the resin rivets as well as the tools and 20210915_152852.jpg 20210915_152754.jpg posting the same image twice by mistake of the loco. I putting it down to looking after 2 little grandsons while posting. 20210915_153621.jpg
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  6. Oz7mm

    Oz7mm Western Thunderer

    Just to add to the various options outlined by Mike, I have used the transfer rivets on one model where the spacing to too small to successfully use a rivet tool.

    On the tender in the picture, the rivets on the tank sides were transfers and those on the chassis were pressed using a GW press.

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  7. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I use a Double L (Leakey Lee) riveter which I bought in the 90s with 4 sizes of die. Nice and simple, and it doesn't distort the metal, even right on the edge. Worth acquiring if you can find one.
    rivet ll.jpg


    Nothing like a Beyer Peacock designed tender for riveting practice. I could have placed the rivets even closer together but that would have resulted in more rivets than the prototype. This is 1:48 scale.
    rivet t.jpg
  8. AndyB

    AndyB Western Thunderer

    As all of the riveting tools shown above (GW, Reynolds / Metalsmith and LL) work in essentially the same way (pushing a stake into a die), is it the tool that makes a difference on how much the metal distorts?
    I can see potentially 2 variables in the tools - how fast the stake is lowered and with what force (but this is highly influenced by the user), and the detail shapes of the stakes & dies.
    The choice of material will clearly be a significant factor.
    Has anyone done any side-by-side tests to see if the tool makes a difference, and if so, how & why?

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  9. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    I'd be interested in any details - when my Dad was making his rivet tool the punch was a simple taper with a slightly rounded tip, the die had a simple U shape drilled in to using a rounded centre drill. Looking at the the Leaky and other riveters the shape is a little more complex. Often wondered if drilling a hole in the die would work better so the rivet is formed from the shape of the punch rather than the shape of the die.

    I do find on my riveter using a hammer to tap out the rivets, so if you give 'em a quick short, sharp, shock, they tend to be cleaner than pressing out by hand on a lever.
  10. Daddyman

    Daddyman Member

    I've been pretty disappointed with the GW riveter. While it's fine when used to press out pre-marked rivets, it's supposed to have an indexing system which allows you to set out rivets wherever you want them. However, after struggling for years trying to work out why I couldn't get lines of rivets parallel to an edge or at right angles to each other using the indexing, I found that this is a well-known flaw in the design; turns out the clamp/ head unit on some is not at right angles to the longitudinal indexing spindle (if that makes sense!). While it's relatively easy to correct (can't remember what the hack was, but it's detailed on one of Mike Edge's threads on RMW), it's still annoying that you have to resort to that on an expensive bit of kit.
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  11. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    Yes, can confirm that Adrian. A plain hole is all that is required for the die, with very little rounding of the punch point.

    Cabside rivets_3736.jpg

    To avoid sheet distortion, where rivet heads are closely spaced, I've placed a small piece of slightly soft UHMWPE plastic (cut from the wife's kitchen chopping board :) ) over the punch - with the punch point protruding only slightly. This presses down on the sheet, keeping it flat, while the punch does its business.

    Can be seen here in use with my machine riveting process, but I'm sure its equally applicable to the various manual tools.