(Topic ID: 225148)

Riveting Playfield Plastics w/ Solid Rivets


By wolfemaaan

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by wolfemaaan
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“Solid or Holy Rivets”

  • Solid 3 votes
    60%
  • Holy 2 votes
    40%
  • F this, hire somebody 0 votes

(5 votes)

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#1 7 months ago

I’m replacing the plastics in my DESW a notice the original rivets are solid instead of the ones you punch with a gun that has a hole in the center after being punched.

I got some solid rivets and the only way I’m aware of getting them set is with a hammer and punch.

The dilemma for me is I’m inevitably going to damage the plastic trying to hammer these in so while the solid is original and looks better, I can live with the holy rivets.

Curious though what everyone else is doing. I’ll post pics later as well

#2 7 months ago

I dealt with this recently on my custom build. I used a combination of a rivet clamp from Marco (which worked well, but only near edges where the tool could fit) and the hammer and punch you mentioned. This method is okay with some preparation and self-control. Place the plastics upside-down (so the round rivet heads face downwards) on top of something very hard and rigid; mostly I used the anvil surface of a benchtop vise. MAKE SURE to put down something protective, such as a rag, so the plastic doesn't get scratched by that surface. Place your center punch on the backside of each rivet, and give it a few taps with the hammer. You will be able to see the rivet being flared out as it happens (assuming you are using similar sized rivets/punch as I did), so vary your hammering strength so that you fill the gap between plastic and rivet, but don't overdo it or you will squeeze the plastic and make spiderweb cracks.

In contrast, pop rivets - the type with a hole after assembly - require a lot of force to apply, and are very likely to damage the plastic in the process.

You may want to wait for others to chime in about this before proceeding, but this method worked very well for me.

#3 7 months ago

Not solid, but tubular. (Definitely don't use pop-rivets)
Search pinside for HT-174 and you'll find posts about hand rivet clinchers & sqeezer dies from Hanson.

Or build a die press from a Harbor Freight arbor press.

Or send/give your stuff to someone local to do the work. (best option for 1-off)

#4 7 months ago
Quoted from Timerider:

Not solid, but tubular. (Definitely don't use pop-rivets)
Search pinside for HT-174 and you'll find posts about hand rivet clinchers & sqeezer dies from Hanson.
Or build a die press from a Harbor Freight arbor press.
Or send/give your stuff to someone local to do the work. (best option for 1-off)

Ok, I see the HT-174 seems to be it. Do you also get a squeezer die to go below it? I notice the first time I hammered rivets the nice dome cap went flat because of the flat surface I pounded it on vs a concaved die

#5 7 months ago
Quoted from wolfemaaan:

Ok, I see the HT-174 seems to be it. Do you also get a squeezer die to go below it? I notice the first time I hammered rivets the nice dome cap went flat because of the flat surface I pounded it on vs a concaved die

Yes... before I built my press, I mounted the squeezer die in a block of (hard) wood. Or put in a vise.
Sometimes you need to be creative depending on where the rivet is, in relation to ramp/plastics curves, edges, switches, etc.

#6 7 months ago
Quoted from wolfemaaan:

Ok, I see the HT-174 seems to be it. Do you also get a squeezer die to go below it? I notice the first time I hammered rivets the nice dome cap went flat because of the flat surface I pounded it on vs a concaved die

You dont really need the domed die.
Hammer it on a piece of oak or maple. It will preserve the surface.

I use a piece off an old oak pallet.

I have also used the endgrain cut of a piece of 2x4 in my vice.

Good results.

If you want you can make the domed die out of a 1/2" lag screw or hex bolt by grinding out the center a little with a demel, drill bit or grinding wheel and put it in a vise or piece of wood.

#7 7 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

You dont really need the domed die.
Hammer it on a piece of oak or maple. It will preserve the surface.
I use a piece off an old oak pallet.
I have also used the endgrain cut of a piece of 2x4 in my vice.
Good results.
If you want you can make the domed die out of a 1/2" lag screw or hex bolt by grinding out the center a little with a demel, drill bit or grinding wheel and put it in a vise or piece of wood.

Well I guess lucky for me Hanson Rivet is driving distance from me so guess I’ll be stopping by there to get some parts.

Thanks for the info, very helpful

#8 7 months ago
Quoted from Gornkleschnitzer:

I dealt with this recently on my custom build. I used a combination of a rivet clamp from Marco (which worked well, but only near edges where the tool could fit) and the hammer and punch you mentioned. This method is okay with some preparation and self-control. Place the plastics upside-down (so the round rivet heads face downwards) on top of something very hard and rigid; mostly I used the anvil surface of a benchtop vise. MAKE SURE to put down something protective, such as a rag, so the plastic doesn't get scratched by that surface. Place your center punch on the backside of each rivet, and give it a few taps with the hammer. You will be able to see the rivet being flared out as it happens (assuming you are using similar sized rivets/punch as I did), so vary your hammering strength so that you fill the gap between plastic and rivet, but don't overdo it or you will squeeze the plastic and make spiderweb cracks.
In contrast, pop rivets - the type with a hole after assembly - require a lot of force to apply, and are very likely to damage the plastic in the process.
You may want to wait for others to chime in about this before proceeding, but this method worked very well for me.

I was having a look at what you did with your homebrew. I like it. I've been mulling over different ramp options. I fully welded mine out of steel, but I like your plastic metal rivots combo... Then there's vac forming, dont think I will be good at that one

#9 7 months ago
Quoted from Spinape:

Then there's vac forming, dont think I will be good at that one

I sure wasn't! I finally settled on the hybrid design because it looks at least half modern, definitely a bit industrial, doesn't require ramp protectors but does let you see through it, etc. Definitely use rivets instead of screws for mounting, or else you'll have a lot of screws falling out.

#10 7 months ago

So drove down to Hanson Rivet, and let’s just say they do Rivets. So forget about the HT-174, Enter the HS-30E

9D6ABCD5-8B7F-4CFD-B310-80181A2B0ED5 (resized).jpeg

#11 7 months ago

Here is my X-Wing plastic with the perfect rivet set. The rear fold is perfect with the die. This tool pretty much guarantees you won’t jack up your $150+ playfield plastics

1DF37488-E743-46D0-8245-86E34E616B88 (resized).jpeg308084CB-486F-496D-9998-9C6CD2F70756 (resized).jpegC7950702-F086-477E-BADB-060B14DDC163 (resized).jpegCC4962F1-EF48-454F-9643-213201D6B65F (resized).jpeg
#12 7 months ago

That thing looks awesome...I need one.

#13 7 months ago
Quoted from wolfemaaan:

Here is my X-Wing plastic with the perfect rivet set. The rear fold is perfect with the die. This tool pretty much guarantees you won’t jack up your $150+ playfield plastics
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

nice tool !

#14 7 months ago

Yeah I was pretty sketched out on ruining my plastics but this tool is a sure shot.

They have a load of different types and presses if you have a good bench

The HT-30E and others like it are found here:

https://www.hansonrivet.com/tools-machines/tubular-rivet-tools-machines/hand-rivet-squeezers/

You can also call them, I spoke to a guy named Ross Winn and he was very helpful. His email is ross@hansonrivet.com - dude knows his sh*t

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