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05-14-2012, 03:22 PM

akma
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#1
Making Your Own Rivets

I would like to show how to convert standard rivets into European AK style rivets. This is by no means an all inclusive tutorial but some ideas that have worked for me. I hope to further refine my methods and techniques to produce
an accurate cost effective alternative to store bought rivet kits.
Some factory rivet specs. These are averages. One thing I have noticed is heads vary in size on one rifle.
Romanian front and rear trunnion rivets are .250 dia. x. 073 high
Romanian front trigger guard rivets are .270 dia. x .083 high
Romanian rear trigger guard rivet is .282 dia. x .086 high
Chinese factory rivets are slightly larger at .292 dia. x .110 high.
Tools used
Drill press
Files
Swaging plate
Head forming plate
12 ton hydraulic press
Oil or grease
Hammer
Punch
Here is a list of rivets and where they are used. I bought them from McMaster-Carr.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-rivets/=fpe66s
Large Diameter:
Rear Trunnion Long Swell neck 47/74 3/16 x 2 97300A677
Front Trunnion Swell neck 74 3/16 x 3/8 97300A663
Small Diameter:
Rear Trunnion Short Swell neck 74 5/32 x 3/8 97300A105
Trigger Guard Front 47/74 5/32 x 3/8 97300A105
Trigger Guard Rear 47/74 5/32 x 97300A100
Front Trunnion 47/74 Swell neck 5/32 x 3/8 97300A105
The first thing is to make your swaging plate. This is central to converting your rivets. I started with a piece of 3/8 scrap mild steel plate.
Small Rivets
To form the small dia. rivets drill two #21 or 0.159 dia. holes. One countersink with a HF 45 degree countersink http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-hal...ink-93342.html and the other leave flat. The countersink is used to put the
swell neck on and form the head at the same time. The swell necks are easy to do and look right. The other one is used to form the head on the non swell neck rivets. Simply lube and place the rivet in swaging plate hole and back
with the head forming plate and press. Drive it out with the punch. Now chuck it in the drill press and turn the head to size.
Large Rivets
The large dia. rivets are a little more work. You need to reduce the body size and swage the head. To do this drill three holes a #14, #15 and #16 then relieve the back to make removal easier. You only need to countersink the #16
hole after back relieving. The #16 is used only to form and size the head and swell neck on the 2 long rivets because they dont reduce well with a hammer.
To form the short rivets moderately hammer the rivets into each progressively smaller hole using lubricant. When its in the #16 put it into the press with the head forming plate and swage the head. Now it's ready to shape in the
drill press.
The long rivets need to be turned in the drill press to size the body. They dont reduce well in the swaging plate. They start to look like fish hooks. With my drill press chuck I found I can put the head in first and tighten the chuck to
reduce the tip. I didnt think that would work but it does with the 2 rivet. This also helps when test fitting it in the trunnion. Your final diameter should be .177 or a little less. Next put the swell neck on. Lube and swage in the #16
hole. Now shape the head in the drill press.
*Note be careful when swaging the rivet head making sure the bottom of the rivet doesnt get compressed against the backer plate otherwise you will have to pound it back out. Ask me how I know. He, He, He.
You will have to trim the rivets length to suit your needs based on the size of your head forming die.
Swaging plate and Head forming plate

Swaging the head

Before and after swaging

10/12/2014 4:37 PM

Making Your Own Rivets - The AK Files Forums

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Swell neck

Reducing body diameter on the short 3/16 dia. Rivet.

Turning the body on the long 3/16 dia rivet.

Turning the head.

10/12/2014 4:37 PM

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Finished large rivet body diameter is .177.

Last edited by akma; 05-19-2012 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Additional information

05-19-2012, 02:46 AM

#2

Utga Schleigle
Veteran Member

Thank You for posting this. I will work on this this weekend. This will help greatly.
I just bought some steel blocks to do this.

AKaholic #: 8480
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: LB Peoples Republik
Kalifornicators
Posts: 1,780

Got this from another site - witch copied from another file. NOT SURE WHO WAS ORIGINAL AUTHOR
repost
"Bulk rivets (from McMaster or others) can easily be converted to swell head if you don't want to buy the one's advertised at $8-10 set. I made the jig in about 5 minutes. Take a piece of 1/4 mild steel and with a countersink (I
used 5/8) drill down about 1/16 inch. The outside diameter of the countersink hole will be the greater diameter of the swell neck. Then drill a 5/32 hole in the center of the countersink hole and through the 1/4 steel. Looking down
at the steel you will have a 5/32 countersunk hole. The amount of countersink represents the amount of swell neck which will be impressed onto the rivet. Place a 5/32 rivet (AK rivets work also) into the countersunk hole so the
underside of the rivet head rests on the countersunk 5/32 hole. Place a piece of 1/4 steel (either flat or slightly relieved) on the rivet head and likewise support the steel from the underside(I drilled a 1/4 hole in this steel to allow
for the protruding rivet). Place the three pieces of 1/4 steel in a bench vice so when the vice is closed pressure will force the underside of the rivet head into the countersunk hole. After the vice is tightened and released, the rivet
can be tapped out. If you want more swell, simply deepen the countersink. With a little modification this should also work with rear trunnion rivets.
If this method is already known I apologize but I haven't come across this while reading the various threads. I also have hundreds of regular (non swell head rivets) which I bought for practice with a bolt cutter/rivet tool."
__________________
PLEASE WEAR EYE PROTECT & PROTECTIVE GEAR IN SHOP!!!!!! You can order another part from from manufacturer, but you can't order another finger or eye from your mother & father.
***This DOES NOT constitute GOOD or SANE legal - professional gunsmithing - psychiatric - CPA - MD - gardening advice. Please contactact qualified professional in their respective specialties.*** Go ahead mix and match
professionals with what ever problem you have??? That would be funney!!!!!
Last edited by Utga Schleigle; 05-19-2012 at 05:42 PM.

05-19-2012, 07:36 AM

#3

akma
Veteran Member
AKaholic #: 159266
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Not where I want to
be!
Posts: 1,003

I use the hydraulic press instead of the vise and two sizes of holes for the different diameter rivets needed. The angle of the drill bit is not steep enough and does not match the trunnions. I used a HF 45 degree to match the
original. Relieving or back drilling the back side of the hole it makes rivet removal a lot easier after the the head is formed. You can use the same technique to make gas piston rivets by squishing the head flat.
BTW thank you for your extensive write up on making your own rivets.

05-19-2012, 08:37 AM

#4

69Mach1
Member

tag

AKaholic #: 48505
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 140

05-19-2012, 10:20 AM

#5

6526
Curio & Relic

good info,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I do something similar to mod sinker nails for the long rivits

AKaholic #: 3433
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: southwest WI
Posts: 6,288

05-19-2012, 11:12 AM

#6

ohmysac
Senior Member

That's an excellent idea. Will be trying this.

AKaholic #: 3544
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 852

05-19-2012, 04:19 PM

#7

Utga Schleigle
Veteran Member

AKaholic #: 8480
Join Date: Jun 2007

Quote:

Originally Posted by akma


I use the hydraulic press instead of the vise and two sizes of holes for the different diameter rivets needed. The angle of the drill bit is not steep enough and does not match the trunnions. I used a HF 45 degree to match the
original. Relieving or back drilling the back side of the hole it makes rivet removal a lot easier after the the head is formed. You can use the same technique to make gas piston rivets by squishing the head flat.

10/12/2014 4:37 PM

Making Your Own Rivets - The AK Files Forums

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Location: LB Peoples Republik


Kalifornicators
Posts: 1,780

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110867

BTW thank you for your extensive write up on making your own rivets.
I agree on the low angle of most driill bitts - 110 degrees - I was also going to use the 45 degree counter sink from HF.
Also was going to make the swage / swedge block do double duty as a drill out guide.

AK BIULDER SELLS THESE 5/32 ONLY drill bitt ONLY - BUTT notice hole on side is smaller bevell - interesting.
drill out guide block only has to center and hold bit on the round of rivit head - does not have to be full ball end dimple.
I wanted 1/8 and 5/32 and 3/16 rivit head drill out hole.
Also was thinking of dimple-ling the buck plate and taping through rivit throught the swage bolck to expand the rivit into the 45 degree counter sink. FOR (1) to get a swell neck that did use the rivit head for metal. AND (2) Hanson
sold sold me some rivits with LOW UNIVERSAL HEADS not FULL ROUND HEADS. I wanted to fix that.

__________________
PLEASE WEAR EYE PROTECT & PROTECTIVE GEAR IN SHOP!!!!!! You can order another part from from manufacturer, but you can't order another finger or eye from your mother & father.
***This DOES NOT constitute GOOD or SANE legal - professional gunsmithing - psychiatric - CPA - MD - gardening advice. Please contactact qualified professional in their respective specialties.*** Go ahead mix and match
professionals with what ever problem you have??? That would be funney!!!!!
Last edited by Utga Schleigle; 05-19-2012 at 05:45 PM.

05-19-2012, 05:42 PM

#8

akma
Veteran Member

I think it would be to complicated making your swage plate do double duty. The swage plate is thick and kind of bulky and a drill out guide doesen't need to be that big. Just my opinion.

AKaholic #: 159266
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Not where I want to
be!
Posts: 1,003

I put the bucking plate on top of the rivet and just swage the head and swell neck at the same time as there is no need for an extra step. The heads and swell neck squish real easy in the press. Also the low dome rivets will
probably leave less work finishing after you form the head and put the swell neck on. BTW do you have the link for the Hanson rivets?

05-20-2012,
01:11 PM

Utga
Schleigle
Veteran
Member

AKaholic #:
8480
Join Date: Jun
2007
Location: LB
Peoples
Republik
Kalifornicators
Posts: 1,780

#9

Quote:

Originally Posted by akma


I think it would be to complicated making your swage plate do double duty. The swage plate is thick and kind of bulky and a drill out guide doesen't need to be that big. Just my opinion.
I put the bucking plate on top of the rivet and just swage the head and swell neck at the same time as there is no need for an extra step. The heads and swell neck squish real easy in the press. Also the low dome rivets will probably leave
less work finishing after you form the head and put the swell neck on. BTW do you have the link for the Hanson rivets?
http://www.hansonrivet.com/w08.htm
http://www.hansonrivet.com/
I liked Hanson Rivet because they have many lengths - there pan head rivits are a better diameter and head hieght than the flat / nail head rivits of the links below.
Each has some rivits - HANSON RIVET seems to have it all.
http://www.mcmaster.com/?orderview=n...essors/=d7gmpz
Mc Master

Centaur Forge only has 5/32 by 1 & 3/4 length.


Be specific and ask for FULL ROUND HEAD RIVITS / RIVETS --- not low head universal rivits.
use HANSON Rivet chart to compare and base purchase accordingly.

10/12/2014 4:37 PM

Making Your Own Rivets - The AK Files Forums

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10/12/2014 4:37 PM

Making Your Own Rivets - The AK Files Forums

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This is the drawing submitted to HANsON Rivet to get a custom order of swell nech rivets - $899.oo in tooling that factory would keep - minimum run of 20,000 rivits at APROX $1,700.oo. Too much $$$$ for ROI for a hobby.
Will work on tonight and report back.
__________________
PLEASE WEAR EYE PROTECT & PROTECTIVE GEAR IN SHOP!!!!!! You can order another part from from manufacturer, but you can't order another finger or eye from your mother & father.
***This DOES NOT constitute GOOD or SANE legal - professional gunsmithing - psychiatric - CPA - MD - gardening advice. Please contactact qualified professional in their respective specialties.*** Go ahead mix and match professionals with what
ever problem you have??? That would be funney!!!!!

05-22-2013, 04:51 PM

#10

Andrew4
Senior Member

That there is some man MATH arr arr!

AKaholic #: 169077
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Flint Town, Mi
Posts: 598

08-29-2013, 04:33 PM

#11

56type
Member
AKaholic #: 15047
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IN.
Posts: 227

For the Chinese rivets I ordered some from the seller on GB and came up with these measurements......
Shaft dia. = .196
Head dia. = .296
Head height = .079
In looking at the Hanson chart above it would seem that the 5/32 or 3/16 would work best for the Chinese builds. The 3/16 list the shaft dia. as being closer to the ideal 5mm but will require more swaging work on the head of the
rivet. The 5/32 is closer to ideal 4.5mm found on the four smaller front trunnion rivets. When I compared the supposedly Chinese sourced rivets I found the fit to be almost a friction fit in the trunnions as there was considerable
drag when taking the rivet in or out for test fitting the rivet to the trunnion holes The Chinese rivets are definitely TIGHT, though only one out of the ten or so I ordered would fit the four smaller front trunnion holes, and it came in
at .175 on the shaft dia. and fit the holes closely. Hope this helps for those building up Chinese kits.

10/12/2014 4:37 PM

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ETA: I did some further digging and came up with these drill sizes for making the tooling to form the Chinese rivets. All the part numbers are from Enco but the manufacturer is listed as Hertel......
Drill bit size #9 (.196) - 4.98mm PN:337-2653 $3.14 ea.
Drill bit size "M" (.295) - 7.49mm PN:337-2674 $6.93 ea.
Drill bit size #16 (.177) - 4.50mm PN:337-2646 $3.03 ea.
All bits listed above are 135 degree split-point cobalt so they shouldn't have any trouble with any scrap metal whether hardened or not.
Last edited by 56type; 08-29-2013 at 04:48 PM.

08-30-2013, 11:18 AM

#12

3 weelin geezer
Senior Member

How can it be cost effective for a blacksmith to make each one individually instead of having an automatic hydraulic press make hundreds at a time and sell them in bulk? Not to mention having different kinds available too?

http://www.rivetsinstock.com/
AKaholic #: 6252
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: El Paso Tx
Posts: 514

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