Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mjh937

Master Link Question

Recommended Posts

klx678
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Lone Wolf said:

I'm not a historian... But I do have a bunch of very strong "C-Clamps" used for welding. 

If you took my chain tool away, I would use a "C-Clamp" to put a controlled gradual pressure on the master link pin until it was flared out to spec. And I would put a steel "BB" in the small hollow center to control the metal, push it outwards rather than cave it in flat. The professional chain tools literally have a BB at the tip to shape the hollow pin.

BB.jpg.e221c33731120f50f59f2e9d6bb506a6.jpg

The clearances are pretty tight on how that end plate fits over the pin, and it is really just a slight expansion at the tip of the pin that ensures the plate is secure.

My drill press also has a small removable vice. I could carry the little vice over to my new chain, and it would work well for pressing the pin to flare the tip without pushing the other end of the pin out of the link. These options are cumbersome and make me appreciate my chain tool - but it could be done. I would reach for Channel lock pliers before I reached for a hammer. Something that totally controls the other end of the pin.

When George Washington worked on his motorcycle, he likely hammered against an anvil. You want something that isn't going to move on the other side.

I like that idea.  same as doing the chain tool.   I will remember that.

Seems everyone is thinking the sledge hammer is providing force, it isn't, it is receiving the force.  The guy uses it as a back stop, like George's vise.  Ever see one of those five ball perpetual motion models, demonstrating Newton's third law of motion?  Ball on one end comes down and hits the next ball, force is transferred through three more balls without them moving, with the last ball providing evidence of the equal and oppsite action when it swings off from the impact.   Same deal, but big hunk of metal on the back side against a pin, a punch and a ball peen on the front flairing the rivet.  Hammer hits punch, punch flairs rivet and transfers some force through the pin, which transfers said force to big hunk of metal hammer heat, which moves.

Edited by klx678
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
klx678
Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Fast_Frankenstein said:

Not to beat this to death. Note the plethora of photos from others, The difference is that the hemispherical end of the engineered flair tool "pushes" the hollow flare end of the master-link, limited by the force engineered into the tool. One and done, dramatically reducing the opportunity to work harden (and therefore crack, requiring replacement), and allowing the engineered final external dimension (noted by the chain manufacturer, and measured assuming symmetry). Punches (even roll-pin punches) require multiple strikes to adequately flair the link, and cannot be centered to create the required even flare.

So to end - Can you use a hammer, anvil and punch to create a flair? Yes. Is this the recommended, professional solution? No.

Regarding wear on off-road chains - in the Pacific North-West wear, in wet conditions, from grit between chain guides and chains (o-ring) mean that chains with zero "stretch" can be worn to the point that they are un-safe from side-plate erosion. Really common locally, and the reason most of us use rivet type masters.

image.thumb.png.504fa821a45f7a17f6e89c95f0014bac.png

First, you guys must ride in a lava field grinding off metal like that.   I've seen a few chains worn like that, but it certainly doesn't have to be risky.   That kind of wear sure doesn't happen in a few rides.  Taking a look at a chain occasionally would let you know to at least swap out the master link.   I'd be hard pressed to want to ride a chain that looked like that.   I'd think the mung and drool that ground off that much metal should have wreaked havoc with the rollers and sprocket.   

There is no reason why a punch with a rounded tip that fits the master link to flair it would be a problem.  Very few punches are actually pointed unless freshly ground to a point.  As for multiple hits, just how many hits do you think it takes to work harden the metal and in the long run, to get equal flaring takes the same amount of force on the pin, so what would make you think the press would cause less hardening?   

I will wrap it up saying as for me, I'm probably always going to use a regular master link without riveting.  If I ever have to rivet I may just do the thing with a ball bearing (after all, good ones are usually ground to within .000025" roundness and are hardened steel. I worked out measuring countersink depths on T-A spade drill blade mount holes using bearings while working in a tooling company and learned a bit about them in the process) and a small drill press vise or a c-clamp.  I kind of like those.  Stick the appropriate size bearing in the pin with grease, then crank down on it with a vise or c-clamp.   

Edited by klx678
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lone Wolf
Posted (edited)
On 4/7/2021 at 2:13 PM, klx678 said:

There is no reason why a punch with a rounded tip that fits the master link to flair it would be a problem.  Very few punches are actually pointed unless freshly ground to a point.  As for multiple hits, just how many hits do you think it takes to work harden the metal and in the long run, to get equal flaring takes the same amount of force on the pin, so what would make you think the press would cause less hardening?   

I am 65 years old. I still remember my dad telling me when I was about 10 years old "use the right tool for the job". 

He wasn't real happy when I used his screwdrivers for a chisel or pry bar. In part because it may damage his screwdriver, but also it wasn't the best tool for the job.

I was lucky to grow up in a household that had an abundance of tools - but I used them more than my dad did. 

I put a lawnmower engine in a bicycle frame when I was 12, had a Honda 90 when I was 15, built a Harley chopper when I was 16 cuz Easy Rider was in the theater and it was the cool thing to do.

I'm not a professional mechanic, but have always changed my own oil, done my own maintenance. 

Cycle Gear has a chain tool that lists for $49 (Stockton) which I got on sale, they are often discounted. That is much less than the cost of a high quality chain. The only reason that tool broke is because I misused it. I thought I was pressing a pin out (to "break" the chain). I didn't have the "plate" in the correct orientation, and was sort of crushing this pin to the point the tool was damaged.

I had to replace that tool, and remembered the other thing my dad used to say "you get what you pay for". So I got a $150 chain tool, as I had better understanding of what I was dealing with, and knew I would be replacing chains for the rest of my life. 

So, with that background, I just have to say "use the right tool for the job". Especially when flaring the pins on the master link. I no longer use the chain tool to "break" a chain, I use a Dremel with cutting blade and it saws through the sides of the chain links like butter.

I don't hate on anyone that uses clip type master links, I have used them before. But after working with the rivet style links, I consider them bomb-proof and enjoy the challenge of working with them. You really need to have the right tools, though, including a caliper like the one in the video I linked. That is how you confirm the end of the pin is flared properly - the caliper gives you confidence that you moved it enough.

Edited by Lone Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Triple Jim
Posted (edited)

An enormous number of high quality rivet joints were made in critical applications over the decades, installed by impact methods.  Deforming the metal to form a head takes about the same amount of metal yielding, whether it's done by impact or by a press, and tools to do it either way can be right for the job.  Using a hammer and rivet set probably takes more skill and practice to do a proper job though.

Edited by Triple Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
klx678
4 hours ago, Lone Wolf said:

I am 65 years old. I still remember my dad telling me when I was about 10 years old "use the right tool for the job". 

He wasn't real happy when I used his screwdrivers for a chisel or pry bar. In part because it may damage his screwdriver, but also it wasn't the best tool for the job.

 

So...  You've never ever used a screwdriver as a chisel or pry bar ever since then?  😄

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.