Trumpeter's Hobby Rivet Maker
Reviewed by Rato Marczak (10/2008)

- Engraving tool to emboss rivet lines (no product #)
- N/A
- approx. 6.00-8.00 USD
Contents & Media: 
- Blister containing a handle and four engraving disks
- Quick disk change
- Confortable to handle

Disadvantages - The diameters of the disks make them impossible to enter in tight spaces
- For the price, it is worth to have one on your bench.

In this new trend for rivets, Trumpeter has released a tool to help you to rivet your models. Hobby Rivet Maker (no product #) is an industrial version of the now popular clock gear riveters.

The tool is basically a handle with a hinged slot which allows the modeler to replace the engraving disk. Talking of them, the item comes with four different disks labeled A, B, C and D, so you can choose the one that fits the rivet spacing needed.

The disks are photoetched steel and stiff enough to support some abuse. Having just received my sample, however, I can’t tell you anything about the span life of the engraving tooth after long time use (wear, you know).

The disks are slotted in a cleverly designed mechanism to allow quick disk changes. Everything is plastic, so I still have my doubts about the longevity of the tool. That’s probably why they are cheap.

Interestingly, you can adjust a protective plate so that the disk isn’t exposed when not in use. I assume this is a safety measure to reduce the risk of bending the disks.

The tool performed pretty well in the tests I made. However, the disks are about 20 mm in diameter, making them impossible to fit in small spaces and tight corners. In this aspect, I’m still looking for a tool to beat a good clock gear riveter (see our article on riveting tools).

As for the tests, I made some rivet lines along a piece of styrene. As you can see, the labeling sequence of the disks doesn’t follow the spacing. I haven’t measured, but the minimum spacing (disk A) is about 0.5 mm, while the largest (disk D) is around 1,75 mm.

I applied a wash over the test piece to emphasize the obtained patterns. Under a magnifying glass, you can see star-shaped rivets. This is a consequence of the photoetching process that I won’t discuss here, but don’t worry, as the effect can’t be distinguished in a model.

For the price ($6-8 USD), it is a valuable tool, particularly to rivet large parts and large scale vacuum-formed models.

Now I have to put my hands on RB’s riveting tool to tell you how they compare to each other…

Rato Marczak © 2008