Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To Tighten Rivets At Home

You dont buy a tool unless you plan to use it.  Or unless you are like me and simply buy tools because you never know when you'll need it.  I have tools I have only used once in 10 or 20 years even. But the moment I get rid of the tool...I'll need it.

For me a Hand Squeeze Riveter was a no brainer.  For some people its an unjustified expense.  And its not cheap.  So I set to finding the easiest and cheapest way for everyone to save tighten their figures.  I tried several methods.  Made different tools and it doesnt get any easier/cheaper than this.

Tools:  1 small Ball Bearing.  A standard BB will do.
            A small flat piece of steel.  A butter knife/table knife/steak knife
            Butter/grease/honey or something similar.
            I medium set of Pliers
            1 vise

Directions:  Put a dab of butter/grease or whatever you use in the CRUSHED end of the rivet.  Place the ball bearing on the crushed end of the rivet and lightly press down to seat the bearing on the rivet.  The butter helps keep the ball bearing from falling out.
 Place you knife of choice or any other thin flat piece of metal you have in the vise. I used my measuring spoon.  Place the limb you wish to rivet,  with the head of the rivet upon the flat surface of your knife blade.  The ball bearing should be on top.  The vise is used to hold the steel to free up your hands and make it less awkward.  More talented people might be able to get away without one.  I have a vise.  So I use it.
Using Pliers gently squeeze ball bearing and bottom of the flat piece of steel of your choice.  Squeeze.  Just a little.  Dont overdo it.  You need to get the feel of how much pressure you need to apply.  Just squeeze a little bit and then check the movement.   If its not enough, you can always squeeze it again.  If you over squeeze you cant loosen the rivet.  You would have to drill out the rivet and start over. The flat steel protects the head of the rivet from getting marked up by the pliers and the ball bearing does the same on the crushed side as well as it provides even pressure on the rivet. 

Test Tightness.  Repeat if necessary.  Wipe of the butter and play.  :-)

Riveting Knee Joints on 3 3/4" Micronauts

I use rivets.  I like them.  They strength the figure.  Plastic pins wear and/or break.  Have a floppy leg Antron?  Or a Repto?  Thank goodness for the tail.  You can either find a parts lot and replace the parts and hope the ones you get are tighter or will be tighter when you put everything together.  Or you can drill them out and install rivets.  It Can be done but its a last resort. 

After 35 years the plastic is brittle and even manually drilling with my fingers spinning the drill bit...There is no rhyme or reason.  It either works or it shatters.  Once the hole is drilled, putting a rivet in isnt a problem.  But the drilling is. 

As a last resort if you have some spare legs  to work with its actually worth it to try.  It strengthens the figure like you wouldnt believe.  I have a vintage Centaurus I did it to.  I shattered 2 or 3 legs trying to drill it, but once it was drilled, she went together pretty good and is nice and firm.  And since we are all accustomed to rivets in the arms/shoulders of our Microman figures, you actually dont even notice the rivets are there.

And considering how rigid this figure is now, I would rather have the rivets than not.

For those IN CANADA considering a Squeeze Riveter I...I cant believe I am saying this...Check Ebay first. 

I went to several tool outlets and was informed at every one it would be 2-3 weeks for them to order it and the bill would have been between $250-$350.  They had to order it.  Order it? From where?  From the US.  Well shit I can do that myself.  So I found a decent squeeze riveter for around $90 or $100 on ebay and after shipping/customs I saved at least $100.

Im not sure what US tool suppliers would charge, so for US residents you might want to check with a supplier first before hitting Ebay.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Assemble Borg Bike

While I am a stickler for detail, when it comes to fines details like names and stats, Im not your guy.  Some times I can remember them, most times not.  away, and while I am nursing a sore thumb and a gashed finger I thought since I cant work on figures right now I could at least put up some new pics.

Here's an Assemble Borg Bike I recently picked up.  I would hate to get anything more complicated as this is quite the thing to put together if you arent used to doing such things.

But I did find that the Microman Magne Force Figures fit it quite nicely.  And the color matches this guy too, so the Magneto Mobile is now in need of a driver.

Acroyear Metis just got a new ride.