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Carl’s Toy Trains brakeman’s riveting tools

By Ray L. Plummer | April 10, 2006

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FOR THOSE OF US who attempt to repair trains without the benefit of all the special tools and hardware used by authorized service stations, the brakeman’s riveting set from Carl’s Toy Trains is a long-standing dream come true. Where were you 25 years ago?

No more fooling around with makeshift backing rigs and hit-or-miss riveting tools. This handy gadget uses spring-loaded punch technology to effortlessly flare and head the rivets, making them look factory fresh.

The two riveting tools included have interchangeable threaded tips for a variety of heretofore tricky jobs. With the brakeman’s riveter, you can do Lionel O gauge truck rivets, sliding contact shoe rivets, coupler armature spring rivets, knuckle coupler rivets, and 022 switch rivets. There are also tips for American Flyer S gauge and Marx truck rivets. Two marking tips that can be used to start drill holes in wood or metal are included in the set.

Various specially designed securing tools, backing posts, and stands make once haphazard and tedious work easy and predictable. The brakeman’s set comes in a nicely finished wood case, with slots, holes, and spaces for everything in the set, and more. Perhaps other tips will be made available in the future. We sure hope so.

A set of instructions with clear drawings and diagrams shows the various tips in use. However, these instructions could be more specific and enlightening about the operation of the tools themselves. This is not a big thing, but a little experimentation is necessary to get the adjustable tension right. Then again, a bit of practice is recommended to get the hang of using the tool anyway.

In short, the Brakeman’s riveting set contains professional, industrial-grade tools and attachments that should last for years. Now all we need is for someone to come out with a tool set and jig for the old Lionel reverse units and we’ll all be in heaven.

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