View Full Version : AK rivet material
Are the rivets used to build a USA compliant AK47 aluminum or steel? On one of the threads I saw a reference to a rivet setting tool from a aircraft tool supply company. I would think all the rivets used in aircraft are aluminum and the tool would be pretty light for use with steel rivets. If they are steel rivets do you have to heat them prior to setting the heads (as in the old movies of bridge building where the rivets were red hot)?
Steel...install and forget.
They are cold-setting mild steel rivets. They are small enough to be set with a rivet hand squeezer. There are cheap rivet squeezers and there are expensive ones. Normally the AK rivets are set with a hydraulic press. The rivet squeezers made from 24 inch Chinese bolt cutters will do the job for a very short time before they break but they are so cheap to buy that it works out alright for making only a few rifles. The rivets are not designed to be heated and heating them red hot may weaken them.
Part of the reason for the "hot rivits" was to make it easier to set the heads, the other was that as the rivit cooled, it shrank & became tighter.
This isn't personal knowledge.....but my late father was an Ironworker (Local#1, Chicago) back in the late '30's, up untill Pearl Harbor.
I learned from Dad.
Until relatively recently, structural steel connections were either welded or riveted. High-strength bolts have completely replaced structural steel rivets. Indeed, the latest steel construction specifications published by AISC (the 13th Edition) no longer covers their installation. The reason for the change is primarily due to the expense of skilled workers required to install high strength structural steel rivets. Whereas two relatively unskilled workers can install and tighten high strength bolts, it took a minimum of four highly skilled riveters to install rivets in one joint at a time.<sup class="Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from September 2010" style="white-space: nowrap;">[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]</sup>
At a central location near the areas being riveted, a furnace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furnace) was set up. Rivets were placed in the furnace and heated to a glowing hot temperature, at which time the furnace operator would use tongs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongs) to individually remove and throw them to catchers stationed near the joints to be riveted. The catcher would place the glowing hot rivet into the hole to be riveted, and quickly turn around to await the next rivet. One worker would then hold a heavy rivet set against the round head of the rivet, while the hammerer would apply a pneumatic rivet hammer to the unformed head, causing it to mushroom tightly against the joint in its final domed shape. Upon cooling, the rivet would contract and exert further force tightening the joint. This process was repeated for each rivet.
The last commonly used high strength structural steel rivets were designated ASTM A502 Grade 1 rivets.<sup id="cite_ref-0" class="reference"> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivet#cite_note-0)</sup>
Such riveted structures may be insufficient to resist seismic loading from earthquakes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquakes) if the structure was not engineered for such forces, a common problem of older steel bridges. This is due to the fact that a hot rivet cannot be properly heat treated to add strength and hardness. In the seismic retrofit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seismic_retrofit) of such structures it is common practice to remove critical rivets with an oxygen torch, precision ream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reamer) the hole, and then insert a machined and heat treated bolt.
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