Hydraulic riveter
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somerset, UK
    Posts
    4,966
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    416
    Likes (Received)
    1517

    Post



    Quieter than hammers, but not quite so portable.

    Hydraulic riveter by Fielding & Platt, Gloucester.
    Made for riveting locomotive boilers. 23 foot reach.
    Note the two big bolts that hold it together.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    3,467
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    44
    Likes (Received)
    634

    Post

    Now how the heck would they manuver that thing into place?? I've seen pictures of and heard from people about the process of hand riviting, where on one side you have the guy with an air hammer, and on the other side you have a guy with a huge peice of metal. Seems to me like that riviter would be pretty darn inconvient and hard to use especially in a boiler barrel. Only thing I could see doing is to locate the part on huge rollers and move the part around that vehemouth of a riviter. Then too I wonder how well such a bulky setup could compete with a real fast riviting team.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    265
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    19

    Post

    adammil1, See "The story of Eddystone". This book is a reprint from the 1970's of a book published in about 1928 when the "New" Baldwin Locomotive works plant opened at Eddystone PA. I imagine it is available used through Alibris ar Amazon. It covers all the aspects of the locomotive building business from start to finish with lots of pretty good halftones. One of the illustrations is of a hydraulic riveter like the one in the picture above being used to rivet a boiler shell. The riveter was in its own high bay in the shop with a crane overhead, the hinge was at about floor level and the boiler shell was lowered vertically down over the riveter.
    Edited
    Just looked on Alibris and Amazon and found nothing. Try a Google search some used book dealer is bound to have it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Strasburg. PA
    Posts
    154
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    9

    Post

    The riveter is permanently mounted vertically, just as it is shown. The two sections of the boiler barrel to be riveted would be held together with bolts through, say every other hole. The shop crane would up end the parts, then lower them over the riveter, holding them at the needed altitude. The operators only had to rotate the hanging parts as needed to line up the holes with the rivet snaps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Edison Washington USA
    Posts
    10,175
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    861
    Likes (Received)
    4832

    Post

    Here is its little brother- this size, while still pretty large, is small enough to sling from the ceiling by bridge crane, and bring to the work.
    These big portable riveters were made in some pretty big sizes- somewhere I have pics of one that is halfway between the big one and this small one.
    Often they would be mounted on tracks, to move back and forth in production situations, riveting bridge girders, columns for buildings, or even parts of boats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Metuchen, NJ, USA
    Posts
    5,470
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4302
    Likes (Received)
    865

    Post

    Has anyone else ever seen the term "Bull Riveter" used to describe these machines? Saw that in railroad history book that showed a boiler shell hung in the vertical positon, exactly as described above by Mr. Ward & Mr. Anderson.

    I think the term "Squeeze Riveter" is also used......one wonders if there are any still in operation.

    John Ruth

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somerset, UK
    Posts
    4,966
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    416
    Likes (Received)
    1517

    Post


    Not a hydraulic micrometer, but identified as a ‘bear’ riveter. I don’t know if or how this differs from a ‘Bull’ riveter.

    Here’s a medium-sized one. Note the hydraulic rams and chain arrangement to rotate the pincers.



    Here are some with their attendants, their expressions barely concealing their delight at being given these machines. When asked what they thought of this new quiet riveting process, they said ‘Pardon?’.


    Such machines are still in use in the UK for restoration work. I’ve seen them in action on the TV, probably on one of the Fred Dibnah programs, and have seen them lying around in steam railway restoration workshops.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shandaken, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,915
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    838
    Likes (Received)
    5855

    Post

    Adam:

    In answer to your question about the use of the big "squeeze" rivetter: The answer is the work was handled by overhead crane. The old American Locomotive Company's plant in Schenectady, NY still stands with many buildings intact. The boiler shop includes this comparatively tall building on a fairly small, approximately square footprint. This was the building where the boiler barrels were rivetted together. The boiler barrel sheets were first cut to dimension, laid out & punched for the rivetted longitudinal seams. The welt plates were then temporarily bolted into place to make up the seams. Holes were drifted as required to line things up. That being done, the barrel courses were then brought into the bay with the bull rivetter. The courses were stood on end, vertically. A few rivet holes would be reamed to bring them to fully rund & to corre4ct diameter for driving the rivets (typically 1/16-1/8" over nominal rivet size). The barrel courses were then rivetted by the use of the bull rivetter. It is a lot easier to handle a barrel course stood on end, feeding up and down as required into the throat of the bull rivetter.

    With a bull rivetter like the one shown in the old picture, it would be possible to rivet the long seams and circumferential seam tying two barrel courses together. The idea in the locomotive plants, was to do things as quickly and easily as possible with minimal manpower. By rivetting the barrel courses together with the bull rivetter, a boiler barrel could go together quickly. If you look at a locomotive boiler, there are a number of larger diameter long rivets which must be driven thru the "foundation ring" or "mud ring" at the base of the firebox. These rivets can be 6 inches long x 1 1/4" diameter. The driving of the mudring rivets was a job for a bull rivetter as well. It did not need a deep throat, just plenty of power.

    FWIW: Rivetting done using hand-held rivetting guns and bucking tools was called "hand rivetting"- even though air hammers drove the rivets. rivetting done using a bull rivetter or squeeze rivetter was called "power rivetting".

    With any rivetting job, aside from forming the heads, the shanks had to "upset" to fill the rivet holes. Typically, a rivet hole was reamed 1/16 to 1/8" larger than nominal rivet diameter. If driving a 1" rivet, the hole might be reamed
    1 1/16". A properly driven rivet had to "upset" so that the shank completely filled the hole and bound solidly. On rivetted seams, if you consider the barrel sheet and two welt plates, you might have 2 1/2" or thereabouts of thickness for the rivet shank to have to upset into. With properly sized guns for driving and bucking, there was no problem driving the rivets by hand. Get into something like mudring rivets or rivets to hold a cast steel drawbar pocket onto a tender frame, and you had some long shank rivets to deal with. That is where the bull rivetter really came into its own.


    Smaller squeeze or bull rivetters were hung on job cranes. These could be used on smaller rivetting jobs. Typically, shipyards used large numbers of these smaller bull rivetters for rivetting seams on hull plating.

    Structural steel fabrication shops also used these small bull rivetters in large numbers. We even had one in the structural shop at Brooklyn Technical HS. In 1964, when I started at Tech, they were still teaching students about rivetting. Tech offered a Civil Engineering program along with perhaps ten other types of pre-enginering programs. I went with Mechanical. However, I did get into the structural shop at at Tech a few times. They had an electric resistance rivet heater and a bull rivetter as well as the usual rivetting guns.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, I was on a job where we were realigning a Tantor Gate at one of the dams. A Taintor Gate is a type of floodgate. This particualr Taintor Gate was built in 1921 and is more on the lines of a "Bascule" type of drawbridge, using about an 80 ton counterweight. The gate assembly is made up of lots of rivetted steelwork. We had a contractor on the job with a tug, barge and crane along with a few ironworkers. One of the younger ironworkers looked at the steel work and asked me about rivetting. He was looking at stuff like box-girders, as well as the rivetted gate which is put together much like a ship's hull. I explained which rivets were field driven and which were shop driven. The rivets driven by the big bull rivetters had neatly centered heads, with just a bit of "flash" where excess steel was squeezed out under the rivet set (die). When a rivet is driven, it is necessary to first figure how much shank must stick out of the assembled seam to allow for forming the head. Different manufacturers of rivet sets gave different lengths as allowance for forming the heads. If there was a little more shank sticking out than was needed to form the head, the bull rivetter would squeeze until there was some "flash" with the excess shank forced out between the rivet set and the sheet (if a boiler) or whatever structural member was being rivetted. Field driven rivets would simply have a little higher head.

    If you look at a bridge job, you will realize thousands of rivets had to be driven. I believe the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge (connecting Brooklyn, NY with Staten Island, NY) was the last great rivetted job in the USA. The Verazzano Bridge was complete in 1964 or '65. One tower was built by American Bridge (formerly part of US Steel) and one tower was built by Bethlehem Steel. The main towers of that bridge are all rivetted as are most of the steel for the decks. The only way either American bridge or Beth Steel could have economically shop fabbed the iron for those towers was to use bull rivetters on shop rivetted connections. The use of welding for steel fabrication was already in widespread use by 1964, so why the VZ Bridge was fabricated by rivetting is something I never learned.

    Joe Michaels

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    plantsville ct. usa
    Posts
    495
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Post

    They used these on the Titanic. I have seen many pictures of these hanging from gantry cranes when riveting the side plates on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bonduel, Wi
    Posts
    616
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    52

    Post

    Some times when the mud ring is repaired by hand riveting especially in the corners {rounded corners that is} they tend to leak, so many folks seal weld the sheets to the mudring as well as rivet it. I have seen this on more modern repairs as well as seal welds on the bottom/outside done by the railroads. I have always wondered if the bull riveters did a better job {factory job} or the shop crews who did the repairs were just better at repairing fireboxes then some of us are now? Don't know if Gary Bensmans web site is still up or not, but he had one in his shop and had pictures of it. I think it was at his shop anyway as I have never been in it personally.

    Another cool machine for fabbing firebox work is the Mc Cabe Flanger. I don't know if Joe Michaels has had experience with them, but I know Kelly Anderson has. Not as impressive as a Bull Riveter", but a real Godsend in making boiler parts for repair. Many are still being resurrected and used to this day. Maybe someone who knows more about them and could post pictures would be willing to share them with us. I have not had the pleasure of using one yet, though I am sure I will get my chance before I check out. Blessings, John.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    451
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville GA USA
    Posts
    5,981
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    473
    Likes (Received)
    1142

    Post

    Wow Rick, thanks for the link to the photographs.

    Charles

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    21
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthBendModel34 View Post
    one wonders if there are any still in operation.
    To resurrect a really old thread (I ended up here via a link to the big squeezer)...

    I made a little squeezer last weekend to re-assemble a motorcycle chassis. They have the advantage of being silent (good when working in the evenings), not needing as much access to the back as a dolly, and I suspect making a more dependable swell into the hole and clamp effect. It's perfectly possible with a dolly and hammer to make a beautiful head on both ends of a rivet that spins freely in the hole. The squeezers swell, then pinch, and only form a head as the last stage.

    Anyway, for future googlers, how to make a baby squeezer for less than £100: Bodgesoc Blogsoc: Hydraulic Rivet Squeezer

  14. Likes Peter S liked this post
  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville GA USA
    Posts
    5,981
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    473
    Likes (Received)
    1142

    Default

    Well Andy you did a good job, thanks for sharing.

    Charles


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
2