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Discussion Starter #1
I'm cheap, I don't like to buy things if I don't have to. I've been using clip masterlinks, but decided it was time for a rivet link (peace of mind). The tool costs 75$ or more, and local shops charge 30$. I say BAH to that. It took me two hours after lots of trial and error, but now I can do it in no time with my handy dandy tool. Here it is:



The main part of the tool is actually a copper pipe flare tool, can be found cheap. It's made for doing pressure fittings and whatnot, plumbing stuff. The tip of it is too soft, since it is made to just flare copper (first error). So I filed down the tip, drilled a small hole, and glued a steel ball bearing in place. Vice grips worked swell for something to hold onto when torqueing down the tool. Here's how it looks:



There needs to be a back of some sort on the tool that contacts the oppositing side of the pin, so I used an old crowbar, worked fine. I progressively flared them as I wasn't in the mood to over do it and have to remove the link due to tightness. Final product:



Both measured out perfectly according to specs. I didn't need a new chain, but since I'm going to be slapping on this bad boy soon I needed a 525 chain to work with my 525 sunstar sprocket on this rim:



Some might say it's not worth the pain and hassle to DIY, but it made my day and all is well.
 

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Looks good to me! Way to go. Personally clip links are fine with me. I had a clip link on my last bike, a GSXR 750, that of course had the clip fall off on the first ride I took with it. I said f it and let it go, it lasted me more than a year, with no shortage of abuse. I say it's all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
andyauger said:
Brilliant!  In fact it's such a good idea I'm going to tell everyone I thought it up. ;)
You bastard. Actually that was the whole reason I posted it, cause I know there are other DIY people out there...and people that don't like spending 75-100$ for a "special" tool. The copper flare tool is about 10$ or less, everything else you should be able to find around your house. Just gotta make sure the ball bearing is hardened steel or it'll deform.
 

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Here is me saving $40 taking the tires off my bike myself. The wood and hooks cost me under $10 at Lowes. This worked great.

 

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evil-- Great idea!! 8) Thanks also for posting the pics...

What kind of glue did you use to secure the ball bearing?



andy-- Good to see you're OK and have a sense of humor. Best wishes...
 

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You don't need a tool for the rivets... you can do it the old fashioned way with a bal-peen hammer.

Nice job, good improvisation ;)
 

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donniej said:
You don't need a tool for the rivets... you can do it the old fashioned way with a bal-peen hammer.

Nice job, good improvisation ;)


donniej-- Can you expand just a little on the ball-peen hammer technique? Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
donniej said:
You don't need a tool for the rivets... you can do it the old fashioned way with a bal-peen hammer. 

Nice job, good improvisation  ;)
You sure? Cause these needed a shit load of torque, I broke many things at first. And hammering things would mean you need it on something solid, and well I'd be worried about bending the sprocket. Details please cause any way easier is always better 8)

As for the glue, anything can be used really, it's just to keep the ball bearing from falling out, cause you'd need 3 hands to hold everything in place. One hand to hold the tool, the other hand to twist the lever. There is a small hole drilled in the end of the tool that the ball sits in, so it doesnt try to squeeze out to the sides.
 

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Rivets have been in use for at least a thousand years, this is not complicated stuff...

You get a ball peen hammer and using the ball side you shape the metal into a mushroom shape. Ocassionally check to see that how close the link is getting to the same stiffness as the rest of the links.

Use a large socket or some other piece of solid steel on the back side of the link to keep it still...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How would I go about supporting the back side? Cause the chain is on the bike, its not easy to get it supported in order for me to mushroom the head of the rivet with a ball peen hammer. Either way I suppose it doesnt matter now, cause my tool does the job in a snap, now that I've worked out all the bugs and whatnot.
 

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brady said:
chain must come off the bike to use the hammer.
Nope. I did TonyJuliano's chain a couple weeks ago. I used a ball peen hammer and a large socket (32mm deep) though a dolly would had worked nicer.. I put the master link in the middle bottom position, put the socket on the back with the opposite side of the rivet I was working on in the 1/2" hole of the socket. Gently rap on the rivet with one hand while holding the socket with the other. It probably took ~20 minutes and I was taking my time...
 
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I use a 5 lb drilling hammer (looks like a mini sledge hammer) for a dolly (a bucking bar, actually). Cheap, available and works great!

:)
 
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