Just curious about what most folks use to remove the rivet from a coupler to do repairs? I have a Dremel so i can grind off the top of the rivet. Not keen about using a drill bit to remove the bottom of the rivet. My old geezer hands aren't that steady. 

Dep

Pennsy/NYC/Erie Lackawanna

Original Post

Dep: On the few I've had to do, I just used a small pair of cutting pliers (modeler's size) and cut the swaged part off the bottom of the rivet. You'll have to clean the end of the rivet shaft after cutting and then you can drive the rivet out from the bottom.

It depends.

If the swaged end is not rolled over very much....i.e., barely flared...you can usually crush it with a pair of needle-nose pliers sufficiently to push the rivet through to a point where....

You can get a sprue-cutting type of pliers under the rivet head, and pry the rivet out.  Or cut the head off and drive the remaining portion back thru with an appropriate sized nail or old drill bit.  This is my preferred technique if there's enough room to get the cutting pliers under the head in the first place: Cut off the head, you're home free.  

Which leads to the 'postmortem' recommendation...don't flare the new rivet any more than necessary to keep it from freely backing out of the knuckle hole.  If you leave enough axial play in the rivet, getting the sprue-cutting plier jaws under the head is the quickest way to a future repair......IMHO, of course.

This is like the sprue-cutting plier I use....

sprue cutter

I use an old one....cutting edge a tad ragged.  DO NOT use a sprue cutter that you intend to use for cutting plastic sprues.  You don't want to compromise that tool used for a single purpose.  Use an old cutter....mine came in a collection of tools from an estate sale.  The coupler knuckle rivets are really quite soft....blackened brass, I believe.  An old cutter is just the thing for getting under the rivet head.

Works for me, anyhow.

KD

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It is actually easier to drill the rivet out than to grind the rivet head off and far less likely to do damage to the assembly. The dimple in the center of the flared end will keep the bit centered as long as you don't get crazy applying pressure while drilling. As mentioned above, it is easy just to crush the flared end and push it through.

I use a center punch and a hammer to flare the end on the new rivet. You just need to flare it enough to keep it in place. The spring is the really fun part! Buy extras.

Michael DeSandro

Troy, AL

Mike D posted:

It is actually easier to drill the rivet out than to grind the rivet head off and far less likely to do damage to the assembly. The dimple in the center of the flared end will keep the bit centered as long as you don't get crazy applying pressure while drilling. As mentioned above, it is easy just to crush the flared end and push it through.

I use a center punch and a hammer to flare the end on the new rivet. You just need to flare it enough to keep it in place. The spring is the really fun part! Buy extras.

Who carries the springs?  I've thought about rolling my own, but haven't been able to (easily) find a source for small enough piano wire.

Come to think of it though, I wonder if some old used guitar strings wouldn't work? 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

Gweedo posted:

The springs from old VHS tapes look a lot like the coupler springs.

I’m not sure I’d waste my time harvesting springs form VHS tapes, when the springs that actually do the correct job are available for pennies as mentioned above..... neat idea, but not worth the hassle....Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Norton posted:

Make your own springs? The repro parts guys sell sets of ten rivets and ten springs for pennies. Hardly worth the hassle of making your own.

I used a small cutoff wheel on the dremel on the rivet head. 5 seconds and its off.

Pete

One guy's hassle might be another guy's fun and relaxation.  Didja' ever think of that? 

But thanks for the info.  If I run into a repro parts guy before I get around to rollin' my own, I'll gladly pay a few bucks for several sets of rivets and springs.  Otherwise, I'll go ahead and make my own.  I know how, and it's really no hassle whatsoever. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

Mixed Freight posted:
Mike D posted:

It is actually easier to drill the rivet out than to grind the rivet head off and far less likely to do damage to the assembly. The dimple in the center of the flared end will keep the bit centered as long as you don't get crazy applying pressure while drilling. As mentioned above, it is easy just to crush the flared end and push it through.

I use a center punch and a hammer to flare the end on the new rivet. You just need to flare it enough to keep it in place. The spring is the really fun part! Buy extras.

Who carries the springs?  I've thought about rolling my own, but haven't been able to (easily) find a source for small enough piano wire.

Come to think of it though, I wonder if some old used guitar strings wouldn't work? 

You can find them readily in various quantities on eBay. You can find them with the rivets and even with the knuckles if you want extras of all. I keep several of each on hand all the time. I replace all of the cheap plastic knuckles with built in plastic springs with metal knuckles and separate springs when they break.

Michael DeSandro

Troy, AL

Forest posted:

Train Tender: 480-16 coupler spring; 25 - $.12 each.  TC-23 rivets; 25 - $.09 each  

Shipping, $7.95, which is why I tend to include such things in larger orders when ordering from Jeff.  Which reminds me,  I really should put a shopping list together...   

Mitch 

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

Mixed Freight posted:
Mike D posted:

It is actually easier to drill the rivet out than to grind the rivet head off and far less likely to do damage to the assembly. The dimple in the center of the flared end will keep the bit centered as long as you don't get crazy applying pressure while drilling. As mentioned above, it is easy just to crush the flared end and push it through.

I use a center punch and a hammer to flare the end on the new rivet. You just need to flare it enough to keep it in place. The spring is the really fun part! Buy extras.

Who carries the springs?  I've thought about rolling my own, but haven't been able to (easily) find a source for small enough piano wire.

Come to think of it though, I wonder if some old used guitar strings wouldn't work? 

I got the complete coupler parts from Brasseur Train Parts. They have a huge selection of springs and sell them by part number. For some strange reason I can't get to their website right now. But they have pretty much everything you need.

Pennsy/NYC/Erie Lackawanna

Mixed Freight posted:
Mike D posted:

It is actually easier to drill the rivet out than to grind the rivet head off and far less likely to do damage to the assembly. The dimple in the center of the flared end will keep the bit centered as long as you don't get crazy applying pressure while drilling. As mentioned above, it is easy just to crush the flared end and push it through.

I use a center punch and a hammer to flare the end on the new rivet. You just need to flare it enough to keep it in place. The spring is the really fun part! Buy extras.

Who carries the springs?  I've thought about rolling my own, but haven't been able to (easily) find a source for small enough piano wire.

Come to think of it though, I wonder if some old used guitar strings wouldn't work? 

I just bought coupler knuckles, pins and springs off ebay. very reasonable price

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