Just purchased (and refurbished) a Norton No 2 fly press. So far I have managed to make some press brake tooling to create bends with some success (more practise needed). I would like to use this machine for riveting and although the process seems simple enough I was wondering if anyone could share their setup/experiences so I can start on the right foot so to speak. I am considering using 1/4 in silver steel rod with a hollow in the end for the forming part, as in 3 1/2 gauge I am not likely so use anything much above 1/8 rivets. The anvil could be similar but I am not sure of a setup that would allow support for riveting say a 'u' section channel between two sides for example. Any and all advice gratefully accepted!!
Hi Tim, Personally, I think you'll find this of limited use for the riveting you will need to do. The problem is that rivets are often close to obstructions that prevent you getting the anvils on both sides. It's also overkill, you can form a 1/16" rivet with a G-clamp style rivet press that has an M8 thread to provide the force. You'll have to be careful that you don't overdo the force and damage the parts by crushing the rivet too much.
For the rivets you can reach, I make anvils from Silver Steel, making a pocket in the end using a Ball Nosed end mill in the lathe. I usually harden and temper them though, and that's because the end usually has to be made not much larger than the head of the rivet, and it's prone to spread. My rivet clamp/press uses 3mm Silver Steel anvils, and that will cope with 1/16" rivets.
I'm sure the fly press will have plenty of uses though, my workshop lacks any sort of press and it's on my list to do something about that. My preference would be a hydraulic type though, it's more controllable.
As Roger says, the flypress is overkill. I'm not 100% sure but I think the No2 can exert over 5 tons striking force with the weights in place, or 2 tons with no weights and just the handle swung (I think that is where the 'No.2' comes from. You might be able to use it by just pulling the handle to just squeeze the rivet head, after gently making contact with the snap, but you will have little control over the force. It's ideal, though, for bending and forming steel bar and sheet, as you have been experimenting with.
Here are all the snaps that I made for the riveting on the Brit, together with the shear made from two pieces of gauge plate which allowed me to shorten rivets accurately and consistently. The snaps were silver steel, and I didn't bother with ball bearings: I just tapped them down when hot on to a rivet head held in the vice! It worked for me. John
We use John's flypress at the Pumphouse for riveting, and it's very good at it. Although it seems like overkill, it's quite easy to control the amount of squish - we don't bother to take the giant balls off - you can build a sense of "feel" with a bit of practice.
Thank you all for your advice, much apreciated. the way I understand it the No2 means it is 2 ton capacity (no balls - its true!). According to the interweb it takes about 1 Ton to form a 1/8 steel rivet. I will have a play and let you know how I get on.
There is a rectangular hole in the back of the press, I guess to use as a bar for an anvil. I think I can use this to gain height for the U section riveting I was referring to.
Roger/92220 I see where you are coming from with the overkill, I thought I would experiment a bit. My aim is not so good with a ball pein and I am fed up with draw-filing out the dings in steel and I think this will be almost impossible in 22g brass loco sides!! I am hoping I can make gentle contact then push the rivet home using the handle only without swinging it too hard if you see what I mean. Having said that my first attempts at bending brass strip to given dimensions to form a box was not entirely successful!
The press was in bad nick when I aquired it, but I could not complain for £50. I stripped it and scraped the ram and guides so they are quite a good fit now hopefully I should not get any deflection but a good point and thanks for highlighting it OCK.
Thanks for the photo Simplyloco, very useful and I like the rivet sizing tool, I might borrow the design if thats OK?
UUU (?) I dont suppose you have a photo of the setup you used at the Pump house, I looked on the thread but I could not see one? That could be very helpful.
Hi Tim, For Brass, you're going to need even less force. I'm absolutely with you about hand held riveting. Unless you've got three hands or a friend, it's really hard to hold the work, the rivet snap and the hammer. I think you should seriously consider designing a G-clamp type of press. My first attempt at this could be improved upon, but even that has made riveting much easier. For simple rivets like you might need for the buffer beams, what you're proposing is fine. For riveting a Brass cab, I think you're going to struggle to do it without marks.
There's been some hand operated 'squeezers' designed that work really well for 1/16" brass rivets etc. They have a double scissor joint like a bolt cutter to magnify the force.
Personally, I like hitting them with a hammer - done thousands and thousands - and usually alone with the job balanced on pieces of wood etc. Much quicker with an assistant.
Traction Engine builders in UK are using hydraulic presses very successfully to rivet wheels quietly. These are 3/16, 1/4 and larger steel rivets. You can search youtube about riveting wheels to get more ideas.
One snap is held in a fitment in the upper slider - you can see the securing screw for the purpose, and another is mounted in a block below. There's a screwed collar at the top that limits the throw, so this can be adjusted to avoid squashing to far.
So you only need a third hand if the workpiece is unwieldy, two is usually enough. As noted, for most rivets the tool can be bought to touch, then a gentle squeeze applied. For bigger ones you can take a swing at it, but it's quite a quick learning process to judge the pull required.