This little gadget may come in handy when there aren’t enough helping hands around. It simply holds a rivet in place until it can be peened enough so that it can’t escape. I have made a special clamp from vice grip pliers to do the same thing but this can be less awkward.
This magnetic holder was made from three short pieces of 1/8” x 1” flat bar to be used with 1/4” or 5/16” shank rivets which is the size I commonly use. I keep a supply of 1/2” diameter rare earth magnets in stock so that is the size I chose. They are a hair over an 1/8” in thickness. These were gently tapped into drilled 1/2” holes and were secure. Sometimes I have to use some adhesive to keep them in place in their socket. I drilled 1/4” holes in the two pieces of flat bar backing up the magnet sockets so I could easily knock the magnets out if needed.
The rivet head socket is made by drilling a 5/8” hole in the center of the top bar and progressively smaller holes in the following two bars. The last hole has to be small enough to prevent the rivet head from escaping. I used a die grinder to bevel the drill hole edges to avoid galling the rivet head. The bars are assembled with tacks on the ends. They can be taken apart easily if something needs to be modified.
After all the bar assembly was completed the magnets were placed. Gentle force is necessary to avoid fracturing the magnets. Magnets can also be damaged by excessive heat.
These little magnetic wonders can be adapted to many uses but those who use them should be aware of their potential hazards.