Big Flats Rivet Company - Specializing in original style rivets for the antique car hobby since 1980. “Specializing in authentic rivets for vintage cars” has always been our motto.
1. Do not quench an air tool or bucking bar in water to cool it off! Allow it to air cool.
2. Rivets are soft steel as used by most manufacturers, unless noted. Ford body rivets were
primarily brazier head with some round head in non-visible locations.
3. Body rivets are usually installed cold with a "waffle" tool.
Frame rivets are installed hot. Waffle tools are not used on frame rivets.
4. Do not confuse a flat head rivet with a countersunk head rivet, rivet shapes are different from
5. If a rivet is too long, cut it with a saw, if you grind it and quench it. It will harden and you won't be
be able to install it.
5a. It is a good idea to anneal a solid rivet before you start working with it. If the rivet is dirty and
flakey it was probably factory annealed. If it's shiney and bright it was not. Just heat it up red hot
and let it cool, it'll be easier to work. Don't quench it, but you knew that.
6. When sizing the length of a rivet; add the thickness' of metal to be joined, then add 1 1/2 times
the diameter of the rivet to the length to allow sufficient metal to form a regular round head.
You may want to experiment to get the best results.
7. Rivet diameters: rivets will expand slightly when installed. If the hole is more than 1/32 larger
than the rivet to be used, however, the hole should be welded and redrilled or a larger rivet should
8. Special orders: If you need a rivet we don't have listed please ask. It may not be in the catalog or
maybe we can special order it for you. See below.
9. If you send samples of a rivet send it in a "Jiffy" or other padded envelope. I get a lot of empty
envelopes with funny shaped holes in them!
10. The diameter of a rivet is the measurement of the body of the rivet, not the head.
11. Sometimes it is easier to determine the rivet size by measuring the head. These are the current
standard sizes for heads:
12. When you are setting either a round head rivet or a semi tubular rivet or a rivet with a waffle
tool, start with the air pressure set at about 40 psi. If you need to add more pressure you can, but
more is not always better!
13. I know something about rivets, but on a typical day I will get many phone calls. Some ask What
rivets are used in the windwings of my 1955 T-Bird? The next call is someone asking for a kit to
install the center crossmember of my 1934 Ford Roadster. I know something about rivets, I am very
familiar with Model T and Model A Fords. I have a reasonable knowledge of brass era, pre 1916,
cars. If you want a rivet I will need to know: the diameter of the old rivet, or the diameter of the hole
it goes in, the thickness of the material it will be holding together, and the style of the head, round, flat,
countersunk, truss etc.
Head Diameter = 1.75 X the shank size
Height = .75 X the shank size
Heads on Aluminum round head rivets are larger than this!
Flat Head (like a nail):
Head Diameter = 2 X the shank size
Height = .33 X the shank size
Countersunk head (like a flat head screw):
Head Diameter = 1.85 X the shank size
Height = .425 X the shank size
Head Diameter = 2.25 X the shank size
Height = .33 X the shank size
Brazier heads similar but higher than truss heads, oval heads are also similar but smaller
overall diameter than truss heads.
We now take PayPal for orders, pay to Jim@bigflatsrivet.com
The items in this catalog are in stock to the best of our knowledge at the time if its printing.
Some items are in limited supply and may not be restocked. We reserve the right to substitute
for items not in stock.
Special orders must be either prepaid or COD and cannot be returned. Minimum order may vary.
Instructions for use air tools for round head rivets.
Read instructions at www.bigflatsrivet.com or in back of this catalog.
Rivet must be red hot + before trying to form head.
Allow air tool to cool between rivets. DO NOT COOL TOOL BY QUENCHING IN LIQUID!
No, a propane torch will not get the rivet hot enough.
Big Flats Rivet Co.
PO Box 100
Big Flats, NY 14814
Phone: (607) 562-3501