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A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:39 pm
by Mulger bill
Most of you are aware I'm an out and proud leather saddle lover with my four good bikes all Brooks equipped and a cheap clone on the cheap bike.

I found a somewhat painful problem last night when I took the duallie out for an evening fang in the local pine forest yesterday.
Saddle is a Swift with those beautiful big copper rivets. The ones on the corners of the cantle plate just above the point where the rail joins are sitting a little proud leaving a somewhat sharp edge facing forward to grab at my bum when I move around.

Now I could just grab the old chippies hammer from the shed and belt away until they're flush again but I'd rather not run the risk of damaging a fine bit of kit by going off half cocked.

I seek advice from those with more knowledge of the craft as to the best way to get a quality result. Anybody?

Thanks in advance.
Shaun

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:44 pm
by HappyHumber
small hobbyist or jewellers ball peen hammer, using the ball end around the edge?

Image

I mean, copper is pretty soft. I wouldn't worry too much. If anything, maybe support the underside with a small piece of wood where you can ?

Wikipedia even backs me up:
The original function of the hammer was to peen riveted or welded material, which makes it as flexible as the surrounding metal. Today, the ball end of the hammer is used to cut gaskets, expand and shape the free end of copper roves, light rivets, and "set" rivets (which completes the joint).

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:29 pm
by ironhanglider
Mulger bill wrote: The ones on the corners of the cantle plate just above the point where the rail joins are sitting a little proud leaving a somewhat sharp edge facing forward to grab at my bum when I move around.
...
I seek advice from those with more knowledge of the craft as to the best way to get a quality result. Anybody?
...


It depends how accurate you are when swinging a hammer. (A chippie once called me lightning for a reason, and it wasn't speed) I solved a similar issue with a steel rod accurately placed on the rivet and I then tapped the rod with a hammer. This reduced the chance of marking the leather.

Cheers,

Cameron

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:29 pm
by Clydesdale Scot
how Brooks do it,


If you hammer the rivet too many times you may work harden the copper, not a good idea.

and Shaun, these are the first attempts at handmade copper rivets I wrote about in the Shockstop honking rubbers thread.
copper tube, suitably sized copper 'blanks', copper wire and propane and oxygen, metal files and sandpaper
just sitting in a old leather cover. They will go in a sprung saddle cover I am soon to do.
My copper 'blanks' are a little larger than the biggest Brooks rivets (17.6mm vs 16.5)
Image
some of these shown will be used for practice riveting as they do not pass my quality control inspection.
I use thicker leather than Brooks and the Brooks rivets are not long enough.

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:15 pm
by Mulger bill
Thanks Gents :D

Methinks I'll try Camerons suggestion. I've got a suitable drift and I don't want to damage the leather any more than the previous stacks have already done. Nearly cried the first time.

Clydesdale, those rivets look amazing, wish I had that sort of skill. Your saddle will look amazing once complete. Now you've got me wondering if I could drill out the rivets on the Swallow on me commuter and go copper...

Shaun

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:24 pm
by Baalzamon
I had the same issue with my Brooks B17 special and shot Brooks an email. They told me to tighten the screw up at the nose. Sure enough helped.

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:47 pm
by Wal42
A piece of softwood (pine, etc), put it against the rivet & hit the softwood. It takes the 'shock' out of the hit, also gets the hammer head away from the saddle, less chance for an oops.

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:54 pm
by Nobody
ironhanglider wrote:I solved a similar issue with a steel rod accurately placed on the rivet and I then tapped the rod with a hammer. This reduced the chance of marking the leather.
I've done it this way too.

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:01 pm
by Clydesdale Scot
Mulger bill wrote: Now you've got me wondering if I could drill out the rivets on the Swallow on me commuter and go copper...

to tempt you, remember you need to replace the nose piece before those on the cantleplate
and some step-by-step instructions

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:15 pm
by Mulger bill
Thanks for the link :D

A combination of one turn of tension and some gentle (sort of) pounding with a steel drift has the rivets almost flush again, I'll take her out for a quick spin after work tomorrow and see how it feels, might have to go another session.

Thanks for the help lads :D

Shaun

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:04 am
by il padrone
Mulger bill wrote:Now I could just grab the old chippies hammer from the shed and belt away until they're flush again but I'd rather not run the risk of damaging a fine bit of kit by going off half cocked.

What I did with my Swift. No ill effects.

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:57 am
by Mulger bill
Thanks Pete. They still aren't just right so I might have a go at that...

Shaun

Re: A Riveting Tail

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:39 am
by il padrone
Not too hard, mind!