A rivet is a permanent mechanical fastener. Before being installed a rivet consists of a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one end. The end opposite the head is called the buck-tail. On installation the rivet is placed in a punched or pre-drilled hole, and the tail is upset, or bucked (i.e. deformed), so that it expands to about 1.5 times the original shaft diameter, holding the rivet in place. To distinguish between the two ends of the rivet, the original head is called the factory head and the deformed end is called the shop head or buck-tail.
Because there is effectively a head on each end of an installed rivet, it can support tension loads (loads parallel to the axis of the shaft); however, it is much more capable of supporting shear loads (loads perpendicular to the axis of the shaft). Bolts and screws are better suited for tension applications.
Fastenings used in traditional wooden boat building, like copper nails and clinch bolts, work on the same principle as the rivet but were in use long before the term rivet came about and, where they are remembered, are usually classified among the nails and bolts respectively.
Solid Shank Steel RivetsEdit
Solid rivets are one of the oldest and most reliable types of fasteners, having been found in archaeological findings dating back to the Bronze Age. Solid rivets consist simply of a shaft and head which are deformed with a hammer.
Solid Shank Brass RivetsEdit
Same as steel rivets but are softer and often used in a decorative capacity.
Two piece rivets often used in leather work they are structurally weak but easy to assemble.
Also called Blind these are designed to be used in a rivet gun.
Copper leatherworkers rivets, brass furniture nails and iron roofing nails can be used as solid shank rivets with or without burrs as required.