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Rivet tutorial

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Step by step for making larger rivets or carriage bolt heads of a consistent diameter and thickness.
Rivet tutorial
English version    02:01    6.01.2020
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Here is a simple and inexpensive method for making larger rivets or carriage bolt heads of a consistent diameter and thickness.



Using a mechanical pencil with a metal tip, sharpen around the end on fine sandpaper to create an improvised punch. This technique can be used to produce a variety of diameters (approx. 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm) depending on the size of pencil used.



I used packaging foil (0.05mm thickness) to create the rivets, but you can also go through 0.25mm plastic without too much trouble. Keep a piece of graphite in the mechanical pencil (flush at tip end), but hold the graphite advance button down while pressing firmly into material placed on a cutting mat. A slight twist of the pencil ensures the rivet is cleanly separated.



Using the graphite advance button, conveniently eject the rivet from the pencil tip if necessary.


The easiest way I found to pick up the rivets was with a sharpened, wetted toothpick. For foil rivets, a very small dot of CA glue placed with a fine wire loop seems to work best to affix them. At 1/35 scale, a 0.5mm pencil theoretically produces rivets ~2 cm in width and a 0.3mm pencil produces rivets ~1 cm in width, but in practice, the rivets seem to be larger than this.



Here is a quick and dirty example to show the rivets in situ. As you can see, there are some cases in which I used too much CA glue around the rivet, so care should be taken to use only a small amount. In addition, this tool can also be used to impress flush rivet detail into styrene parts directly (not shown).
     

      




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