Heromount Rivet Making Tool
Safety Please: Please wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Safety goggles should be worn due to hazards that may be encountered while using this tool. Do not use this tool around flammable liquids or substances. Sparks produced by iron and steel hand tools can be a dangerous ignition source.
Copper Rivet Making 101: The Rivet tool is designed to help you make rivets from solid copper wire. This type of wire is typically used as electrical grounding wire and comes with or without insulation. If your wire is insulated, the insulation can be easily removed. Be sure to use solid, not stranded, wire. It is readily available at hardware stores and building centers everywhere.
The Rivet tool should always be tightly closed when in use. Tighten screws securely before making rivets.
Place the tool on a smooth solid surface such as a sturdy workbench. Weak surfaces will absorb much of the hammering energy and will make forming rivets difficult. It is also important that the working surface be smooth to evenly distribute the hammering force. Damage to the tool may result from use on uneven surfaces.
Firmly insert bare copper wire into the tool. Twist it to make sure it is seated against the bottom of the hole.
Using wire cutters, cut the wire to length. Allow extra wire to protrude from the top of the tool to provide enough material to form the head. The extra wire length is determined by the size and style of rivet head you want to form. A good starting place is about 2x the diameter of the wire you are using. Experiment and then once you determine the length you want for a batch or rivets, a gauge may be made from scrap material to help quickly pre-cut wire.
The rivet head is formed by hammering the copper wire with a ball peen hammer. This must be done with care to make a nicely formed head. This is a metal forming operation; you are not driving a nail into a board. Begin by using the flat side of the hammer, striking the rivet with gentle to moderate force several times. You want to strike it hard enough to cause the wire to swell. Work around the rivet head to keep it centered on the guide circle as the head forms. The ball end of the hammer will cause the head to spread out more quickly. Care must be exercised when using the ball side of the hammer or the rivet head may become too thin. It is important to leave the rivet head thick enough so it will not distort while setting the other end of the rivet in your work piece.
Finishing off with the ball side of the hammer will make dimpled rivet heads and the flat side of the hammer will make smooth heads. Round head rivets can be made by finishing the head with your rivet setting tool. A wide variety of rivet head designs can be made using different shaped hammers, punches, even letter or number punches.
The completed rivet can be removed from the tool by opening the screws a little bit and then gently tapping them with your hammer to open the tool slightly. There is no need to completely remove the screws from the tool. Also, lightly oiling the tool from time to time can help prevent rust.
Washers or burs can be made from pennies or scrap copper pipe by hammering it flat, cutting out the shape you want and then drilling a hole that is slightly smaller than the rivet you are using it with.
Please feel free to email any questions by using the contact form at heromount.com. Thanks and Enjoy.