Plastic Rivets

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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Has anyone ever ordered plastic rivets from McMaster-Carr (the click lock type)? I wanted to get a bulk supply to use with some of my scratch building, but was unsure of the correct size to order. I've been very happy with the ones that come in BSD kits and wanted something comparable.
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Here hope this helps. I use the ones that fit a 5/32 hole in airframe, push rivet,click shank. They come in different lengths. Standard is what PML,BSD, and most of us use.

I usually just call, give them the above info and they find the correct one. Easier for me than trying to convert.

They cost 5.00 and change, 14.00 for the long ones, per 100. Another 5 bucks for shipping, so I usually order shearpins at the same time and forged eyebolts. They are EXTREMELY fast. One order was called in at 9 am and arrived same day at 3. 2-3 days max.

Part # for the ones I use...rivets.....91020A220. Shearpins....1/4in. long 2-256.....100...4.92....93135A077
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I have used the plastic push-in ("removable") rivets sold by Giant Leap Rocketry (scroll to the bottom of the "Recovery" page to see them). I have used the small rivets to attach a nose cone to a payload section in one rocket and to affix interchangeable motor mounts in another one. I also have a set of the large rivets, but I haven't built anything that needs them yet (they are quite beefy and strong).

I use the small rivets in multiples, spaced evenly around the airframe. I used 5 rivets for the nose cone (in a 2.6" diameter airframe), but now I realize that it was overkill to use so many; 2 or 3 would have been quite sufficient. I am planning on using 2 or maybe 3 to hold in the motor mounts in the other rocket. I am using them to keep the motor ejection charge from ejecting the mount; the mounts are restrained from moving forward under thrust by sturdy thrust blocks. This is a mid-power build, and if I had chosen to use them, the large rivets sold by GLR would hold the mount in place and keep it from moving forward under thrust from an F or G motor; they are that strong.

GLR's small removable rivets are the same as the "click-lock" type of plastic push-in rivets shown at the McMaster-Carr site, while their large rivets are the same as the "expanding" type at MMC.

Both types truly are removable and reusable. The entire head of the small click-lock type is pushed in and pulled out to lock and unlock the rivet, and both operations can be done by hand. The large or expanding type has a pin (actually, it resembles a nail) that pushes in and pulls out of the center of the rivet's head. It can be pushed in by hand if you have strong thumbs and a fairly high pain threshold; otherwise, use something hard to push it in. Do not try to tap or hammer in the pin; not only is it not necessary, but it also can cause damage to the surface of your airframe. Most of the force is needed just to get the pin going for the first fraction of an inch, until it has started to spread the prongs on the other end. The reason that you will probably need to use something hard to push it is because the head of the pin is small and it will put a nice dent into your thumb otherwise. You will then need to use the flat blade of a screwdriver to pry the pin back out when you want to remove the rivet. In both types, first you push the rivet body into a hole that you have drilled, and once it is fully seated, you push in the head or pin to lock it in place.

I find these at Lowe's in the "hard to find parts" section. I believe they are under "automotive".
They are 1/4" black plastic 2 pieces removable reusable pop rivets. They cost 2 for 1.00$ and weigh 1.0 grams each.
Lowes Pop Rivet.jpg
Good tip.

Lowe's carries a lot of things in the "drawers section" of the hardware department that we rocketeers find useful.
Here is the McMaster Carr part number: 91020A218 Nylon Click-lock Shank Rivet, .163" Hole Dia, .177"-.217" Material Thk, Black

Packet of 50 is only $10.28. I also get my shear pins from there, part number 93135A081 for pan head and 94609A081 for round head. I found the pan head a bit easier to screw in.
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