(Topic ID: 127776)

Which Rivet Gun?


By QuarterGrabber

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 29 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by someoneelse
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 years ago

    I need a rivet gun that can rivet very small rivets for ramp flaps and other metal parts riveted to ramps. I looked at rivet guns and they all look too powerful and would crack the plastic ramps and the rivets look too big. Can someome please recommend me a rivet gun that would be good for riveting pinball ramps and plastics. If it removes rivets that would be a major plus. Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

    #2 4 years ago

    I have this one. Does 1/8th (3mm) inch rivot. Reasonably priced.

    amazon.com link »

    #3 4 years ago
    Quoted from Doostur:

    I have this one. Does 1/8th (3mm) inch rivot. Reasonably priced.
    amazon.com link ยป

    Thanks man! Have you used this gun on ramps? Is it gentle enough to not break the plastic? And are the rivets close to the same size used on pins? Will this gun remove rivets from a ramp? Thanks again!

    #4 4 years ago

    You need a special riveting tool that rolls over the back of the rivet not a pop riveter like the one above. The one you need is actually a rivet press with a male and female die. Just look at the back of any game plastic or ramp flap and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    #5 4 years ago

    Get this. Have one, love it.

    http://www.pinrestore.com/Riveting.html

    #6 4 years ago

    I have this press and I love it also. A lot of times my rivets come out pressed at an angle. Do you know how to avoid this?

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from DocRotCod:

    I have this press and I love it also. A lot of times my rivets come out pressed at an angle. Do you know how to avoid this?

    I don't have that problem with mine. Is something not aligned properly?

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from Ed209:

    I don't have that problem with mine. Is something not aligned properly?

    Not sure. I'll make a rivet and take a pic and show you. Maybe I got a bad die.

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Thanks man! Have you used this gun on ramps? Is it gentle enough to not break the plastic? And are the rivets close to the same size used on pins? Will this gun remove rivets from a ramp? Thanks again!

    I should have been more clear. I use the gun for other hobbies never pinball related. It is a spring loaded gun so it may be to violent for plastic ramps etc. Your best bet is to go to home depot or lowes and tale a look at them. I have used the gun on rc related plastic stuff with no issues.

    #10 4 years ago

    That press looks really cool! It looks like just what I need! Thanks! Is there a more portable version of this? There are ramps I need to rivet like stargate that have the rivets on the side of the ramp and I don't see how the ramp would fit in this press to rivet the side. Also I need to rivet the metal ball guide to the right sling on my WCS and it looks like it would have a hard time fitting in the press too. Unless the press is much bigger then the picture makes it look?

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    That press looks really cool! It looks like just what I need! Thanks! Is there a more portable version of this? There are ramps I need to rivet like Stargate that have the rivets on the side of the ramp and I don't see how the ramp would fit in this press to rivet the side. Also I need to rivet the metal ball guide to the right sling on my WCS and it looks like it would have a hard time fitting in the press too. Unless the press is much bigger then the picture makes it look?

    Check out the web site, they have different options for just what you described. Talk to them about your concerns.

    #12 4 years ago

    There is a cheaper way to go that will work just as well as the press. On the same Pin Restore site indicated above, if you scroll down below the rivet press, you will see a Rivet Roll Over punch ($25). You can support the rivet head with a block of wood ( I like to use the jaws on my vise) then just use this tool to hammer against the bottom of the rivet. I also have a rivet press, but there are times when the rivet press cannot reach a rivet... so in those cases I use this tool. Pin Restore also sells a nice rivet starter kit ($30).

    Note that when ever you rivet where the bottom of the rivet would roll over against plastic that you must use a rivet washer. The Pin Restore rivet kit also includes washers.

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from Freeplay40:

    There is a cheaper way to go that will work just as well as the press. On the same Pin Restore site indicated above, if you scroll down below the rivet press, you will see a Rivet Roll Over punch ($25). You can support the rivet head with a block of wood ( I like to use the jaws on my vise) then just use this tool to hammer against the bottom of the rivet. I also have a rivet press, but there are times when the rivet press cannot reach a rivet... so in those cases I use this tool. Pin Restore also sells a nice rivet starter kit ($30).
    Note that when ever you rivet where the bottom of the rivet would roll over against plastic that you must use a rivet washer. The Pin Restore rivet kit also includes washers.

    Thanks so much, this was a super valuable post to me! Thanks for all the advice Pinsiders, you guys are always so helpful, but I think this is what I will go with. I was contemplating this one which looks more portable:

    ebay.com link » Chain Breaker Cutter Master Link Removal Riveter Riveting Press Tool Hd

    But I think I will try what you advised. Thanks again!

    #14 4 years ago

    Someone discovered this a while back: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/riveting-targets-a-new-tool

    You will probably still need to get the appropriate dies.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from Freeplay40:

    There is a cheaper way to go that will work just as well as the press. On the same Pin Restore site indicated above, if you scroll down below the rivet press, you will see a Rivet Roll Over punch ($25). You can support the rivet head with a block of wood ( I like to use the jaws on my vise) then just use this tool to hammer against the bottom of the rivet. I also have a rivet press, but there are times when the rivet press cannot reach a rivet... so in those cases I use this tool. Pin Restore also sells a nice rivet starter kit ($30).
    Note that when ever you rivet where the bottom of the rivet would roll over against plastic that you must use a rivet washer. The Pin Restore rivet kit also includes washers.

    Yup that's why I suggested that he look at the web site.

    #16 4 years ago

    Quarter Grabber,
    The chain breaker unit has a very narrow throat on it. I think you will not be happy with that. You will be limited to riveting right at the edge of the plastic.

    I have the pin-restore rivet press. It is great.

    #17 4 years ago

    You can use a regular $5 pop rivet gun from Harbor Freight, no problem.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-riveter-set-38353.html

    You only crack plastics and ramps when you forget that pop rivets need a backing washer when used in plastics

    https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/41451

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    You can use a regular $5 pop rivet gun from Harbor Freight, no problem.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-riveter-set-38353.html
    You only crack plastics and ramps when you forget that pop rivets need a backing washer when used in plastics
    https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/41451

    Thanks! Now how do you remove a rivet that is already there?

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Thanks! Now how do you remove a rivet that is already there?

    With a brand new drill bit you can drill them out from the peened side.

    Or you can file the lip off of the peened over side.

    Or if you have a die grinder, you can grind off the peened side.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    You can use a regular $5 pop rivet gun from Harbor Freight, no problem.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-riveter-set-38353.html
    You only crack plastics and ramps when you forget that pop rivets need a backing washer when used in plastics
    https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/41451

    I would guess that one uses blind rivets? Pinball machine always use semi tubular rivets, which look totally different than blind rivets, so while it works, the outcome will not be original.

    Just saying'...how often did i have to re-rivet complete machines because they were "messed up" with home-depot blind rivets.

    Removing rivets with a drill is very bad idea, the rivet will spin and get hot. The right and easy way to do it is shown here:

    #21 4 years ago

    The best guide that I have seen for pinball rivets is this blog:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~billg4me/pinball/rivet/

    Don't waste your time with the "pop rivet" guns from home depot. They won't look right and likely will not work well on things like ramp flaps where there is limit clearance on the back side of the parts. Using tubular rivets like the originals will give you a much better finished look and much more control over how much clamp load the rivet applies.

    I ended up placing an order for a hand setting tool and a couple tubular hundered rivets from Hanson rivet for around $60. This may sound like a lot for one game, but I will have enough hardware to repair multiple games over many years now.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from someoneelse:

    Removing rivets with a drill is very bad idea, the rivet will spin and get hot.

    You have to use a brand new bit.

    If the rivet was not cinched tight and does start to spin (about 1 out of 10 rivets), then switch to die grinder, much less chance of slipping off than a Dremel with disc.

    1 month later
    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    You have to use a brand new bit.
    If the rivet was not cinched tight and does start to spin (about 1 out of 10 rivets), then switch to die grinder, much less chance of slipping off than a Dremel with disc.

    With either method...drill or Dremel with cut-off wheel.... Take your time. This process generates a lot of heat which can melt or deform the plastic. Even in the video above, where the cut-off wheel was used, you see the washer has melted to the plastic.. Go slow to prevent heat build up.

    #24 4 years ago

    Use a drill bit that is as wide as the rolled over crown so the bit sits on top on it not in the tube. Two seconds to cut the rolled crown off.

    I agree, that video shows that the rivet heated the washer up enough to melt into the plastic. Not sure that's a go to diy video.

    #25 4 years ago

    I've used the Dremel method with good success. Also +1 for the rivet press from Pinrestore. They also sell a nice little kit with various length rivets and washers included. I have fixed so far with it : Magna Flip sign on TZ, Diverter in shooter lane on TZ, Ramp flaps on CV, Broken Shire plastic on LOTR, and many more!

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from Skins:

    I agree, that video shows that the rivet heated the washer up enough to melt into the plastic. Not sure that's a go to diy video.

    Not really my experience. I guess the washer just sticks to the ramp because of the normal gunk everywhere in the machine. At least you can immediately touch it with your fingers and it doesn't even get warm.

    Using the Dremel method since years - never slipped (It looks much scarier than it is, you hardly even touch the rivet and it already falls off), never took longer than 5 seconds (using a new cut off wheel, not a run down one like in the video) and never damaged anything.

    At least for me the drill method never really worked and it seemed to take ages/ was kind of a fuss.

    I use a grip on my dremel, no chance to slip with that:
    PastedGraphic-1.jpg

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from someoneelse:

    Not really my experience. I guess the washer just sticks to the ramp because of the normal gunk everywhere in the machine. At least you can immediately touch it with your fingers and it doesn't even get warm.
    Using the Dremel method since years - never slipped (It looks much scarier than it is, you hardly even touch the rivet and it already falls off), never took longer than 5 seconds (using a new cut off wheel, not a run down one like in the video) and never damaged anything.
    At least for me the drill method never really worked and it seemed to take ages/ was kind of a fuss.
    I use a grip on my dremel, no chance to slip with that:
    PastedGraphic-1.jpg

    Are you sure that's not really a Star Trek Phaser.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from MustangPaul:

    Are you sure that's not really a Star Trek Phaser.

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