Rivet Cutting and Washing


Rivets are a type of fastener that can be utilized to join two pieces of metal.  Large rivets, those with a solid shank and a diameter of 0.500 or more, are mainly used for structural steel joining of tanks, bridges, and buildings.  In performing repairs to these structures it is often necessary to remove the rivets.  This removal can be accomplished in many ways including the use of oxy-fuel equipment.  In this instance there are two ways to remove them – rivet cutting and rivet washing.

When you rivet cut you are cutting the head off of the rivet or bolt without damaging the plate that is underneath.  Once the head is removed, the plates can typically be lifted apart.  When rivet cutting, the tip is placed perpendicular to the head of the rivet.   Sometime due to rust, the shaft of the rivet will become lodged.  If this happens, a washing tip can be utilized to wash the shaft out.

When you rivet wash you are washing out the shaft.   When rivet washing, the tip is held parallel to the head of the rivet.  Washing allows for the removal of the rivet by concentrating heat on the shaft as you burn it out. 

Rivet cutting and washing can be performed using standard cutting torches eliminating the need for separate handles or tip tubes.  Harris offers both types of tips suitable for rivet removal.