View Full Version : Rivet press

14th June 2006, 01:33 PM
Hi folks. Just wondering what everyone uses to press rivets onto pinball ramps? There are a number of devices available but some of these are very expensive. Does anyone have a cheap solution for removing and refitting rivets? Cheers.

14th June 2006, 02:05 PM
You drill the rivets out with a power drill (after removing item from playfield ;) )


I bought a rivet gun (like a strange set of pliers) from Bunnings and just practised with some rivets and scrap till I thought I was ready enough to takle my brand new NOS plastics .

rivet guns are quite cheap..

14th June 2006, 02:35 PM
I used to install aircon with my brother and those rivet guns are about as cheap and easy as it gets.

14th June 2006, 02:39 PM
You're not talking about a standard pop rivet gun I hope? These rivets are the blind, short ones that have a hollow point at one end.

14th June 2006, 02:45 PM
This is what you need.

its NOT something you will find at any hardware store


14th June 2006, 03:05 PM
When I did my F-14 a few years ago I could not find any info on the flat rivets..so gulp I used a standard pop rivet gun..It looks ok, except for the hole in the middle but after just then comparing it to my T2 which has the nice flat shiny ones I probally made a mistake.
Those rivet machines look expensive but worth it especally if you have few pins...

Virgil Tracy
14th June 2006, 04:10 PM
I used to install aircon with my brother and those rivet guns are about as cheap and easy as it gets.

Want a job?

14th June 2006, 04:43 PM
If you are talking about a solid rivet, (ie not one with the shaft out of it) the only way to use them is to form the other side.
This is usually done with an anvil the shape of the head (which is the shown side) and a form or punch on the straight end, then hit with a hammer :).
Takes practice tho and a steady hand. Better then doing them hot like they used to in the steel industry, hanging off the inpact gun belling the ends over.

Pop rivets on the other hand, pip, drill a hole and put it in, the squeeze the rivet gun. Only thing you can do wrong is put it in upside down.

14th June 2006, 04:56 PM
Want a job?


14th June 2006, 09:17 PM
First post, so be gentle to me ;) This is a case of the right tools for the job. It's expensive but when you see the results you'll know it was the right thing to do.

The only way to do it is with the arbor press and dies. You can get the dies from Bay or PinRestore. The press you can get here in Australia for around $99. Hare & Forbes in Paramatta have them and there's an EBay seller in SA that moves them too. Once you've got the press, it's easy to drill a (3/16" I think) hole into the ram of the press and the base section for the dies. Use a drill press to make sure you drill the hole straight and perpendicular.

Making new ramp flaps is also fairly easy. I use a regular paper guillotine for cutting the spring steel out, then round off the corners on a cheap Ozito belt sander mounted upside down to my bench and secured with a couple of U bolts.

Finally, to punch the holes, you definately need the right tools again. I use the "Hand Punch Set for Spring Steel" from Pinrestore, but I'm sure I've seen them locally as well. Punches nice clean holes every time.

Hard to tell from my JM rebuild (http://www.users.on.net/~david.marian/pinball/JM/Shop%20Job/Playfield/slides/final_mid.html), but I remade all the flaps from scratch and they're pretty much indistinguishable from the originals.

LMK if you have questions - I've spend some time in this area.

Virgil Tracy
14th June 2006, 09:21 PM
And may I say its an execptionally good first post, Welcome and please feel free to contribuite more.

Nice pinnys

15th June 2006, 03:35 PM
Just bought this from eBay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7039301312. We'll see how it performs.

15th June 2006, 08:18 PM
I think the main thing to watch with those is whether the rivet spins around as you tighten the clamp up.

15th June 2006, 10:04 PM
Speaking of rivets, does anyone know where I can get some in Australia that are the same as those found on pinnies?

16th June 2006, 12:35 PM
How many, what length, need the backing washers too?

16th June 2006, 02:08 PM
How many, what length, need the backing washers too?
That's the $64 question. I'm not sure what size I need yet. Can anyone advise what length I would need to fasten a dome flasher lens to a plastic ramp (on Bally World Cup)?

16th June 2006, 09:25 PM
The measurements are all imperial of course. Rule of thumb is the thickness you need plus another 1/8" for the roll-down. Add the same again if you're using a backing washer.

The other option is BAA (http://bayareaamusements.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=TN), who sometimes strike me as the Woolies of the pinball parts world. A few packs of rivets of various sizes should quite happily fit in a padded post bag, so shipping should be reasonable.