Home Brew Bucking Bars


I’ve run into situations many times where a bar with a hole for a die would be so handy. It can be used to hold a die to back rivet universal rivets, hold a dimple die, or back up parts when driving out drilled rivet tails. It turns out a 3/16-inch reamed hole is perfect for dies, and the hole fits over most rivet shop heads. So here’s the project for today:

You’ll need a piece of 1-inch cold rolled steel bar. I picked 1 inch so it would fit between rivet spacing, but you can pick whatever size you like. The minimum length available was 12 inches, so I asked for it to be cut into 5-, 4-, and 3-inch segments. The cost? A whoppin’ $8.

The 3/16-inch reamed holes in these homemade bucking bars will hold a variety of sets and dies.

Drill the holes so a die can be inserted or tails driven. The edge holes are 1/4 inch from the edges, so it can be used as a bucking bar with a die or to back up parts for driving tails. The 1/4 inch allows it to fit against flanges. Pretty much any orientation is covered, including one in the center to place it on the bench on top of a back riveting plate. The opposite end is polished smooth for bucking.

Start with a center punch. Drill a small starter hole. Use plenty of oil and go slow. Back the bit out often and clean off the debris, then go again. Move up in incremental bit sizes to the final 3/16-inch reamer size. They’re no replacement for my tungsten bucking bar, but they only cost a few bucks and a half day drilling holes. Basically three bars for $8. Can’t beat that!


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