I spent the better part of this evening trying to rivet the rails on the HF press. Very difficult work and very frustrating. These rivets kicked my butt today.
What have you found to be the best rivet method? Seems the rails are twisting a bit when I rivet them on the HF press... my method so far has been:
This takes a ton of wiggling/resetting/re-wiggling to get the rivet straight. The end result is that when I look down the rail from the rear, I swear the rail seems "twisted" such that the top is further away from the receiver than the bottom, and it is sloped downward some. Hand-fitting the reciprocator fails. I think the rail is sloped downward enough that the reciprocator now won't fit...
- Use a McMaster-Carr 5/32" x 3/8" rivet and file or lathe a flat head onto it.
- Use a 3/8" grade-8 bolt and coupling nut (from HD) to buck the head inside.
- Press the rivet on the exposed side on the HF 12-ton press.
Here's the pics of my setup:
Bucking brace and rivets:
Setting the brace:
It seems that there is either not enough flat on the inside of the receiver (should I hammer it flat first?), or the pressure of the press is distorting the final position of the rivets.
The 1-Pat GB rivets I have are softer than the McMaster rivets, and thus require less pressure to press. GREAT for trigger guards... I think this may be what I use for my 2nd attempt. Haven't even bothered with the RH rail yet...
Are there tricks like the drill bit with AK rails? Would it make sense if I were to brace it with a drill bit on the bottom to keep the spacing for the recuperator?