This is another little trick which is helpful when working alone. It is a quick-and-dirty alternative to the rivet buck helper.
In the case shown in these images I made the rivet by upsetting the end of a 3/8” round rod with torch heat to form the rivet head. I then placed the rod through the tong holes and tacked the head. The tongs were then flipped over and the rod was trimmed to proper rivet length with a cutoff disc. The end was then heated with the torch and peened. Finally, the tack was removed with the cutoff disc to erase the evidence of the kludge.
|Rivet head upset on 3/8" rod and MIG weld tacked.|
|Tongs flipped over. Rod cut to length and peened.|
|Tack weld removed and rivet head finished.|