Sunday, February 19, 2012


Eyelets are something I've never paid much attention to, or had much use for. I've long had two sizes of them on hand, along with their setting tools that I found at Canadian Tire. I have these small (1/4") ones.

And these larger ones.

It's not clear to me how nominal dimension is arrived at for these things. The 1/4" eyelets have a 5/16" flange diameter, and a barrel diameter just slightly over 3/16".

I don't know the 'nominal' dimension of the larger ones, but their flange diameter is 15/32", barrel diameter is 9/32".

There's an outfit name of Stimpson that's got more eyelets than Carter's got pills.[1]

Anyway, I recently found the small eyelets useful as 'bearings' in the repair of a kitchen garbage pail's lid lift mechanism. (Scroll down to the sixth and seventh photographs.) That got me thinking that I should keep the things in mind -- I might find them more useful than I'd thought. Then what comes along but a broken spring-clip clothes hanger, and it looks like I might be able to apply eyelets for a repair, much like I applied them to the garbage pail's lid. Here's a view of the item currently in need of repair.

The small eyelets just fit over that rod, and they fit inside the pivot holes in the plastic clamp halves. The difficulty here is that there's no room to use the setting tool. I'll have to find another way to set the eyelets.

I'll try this.

I've got a nail set clamped in the vise so I can employ its square head as an 'anvil', and a 1/4" diameter steel ball bearing perched on the end of the eyelet for a swage. A whack with a brass hammer should more-or-less set the eyelet.

- - -

That worked, and after tormenting the thing a bit more with a pin punch and pliers, here's what I've got.

It's not pretty, but it will serve. I'll apply some CA adhesive around the eyelet for good measure, and that should be a permanent repair.

The other half of the clamp will be a little more problematical. There's less space to insert an 'anvil' between the two pivot points.

- - -

One of my scrap metal bins coughed up something suitable. This should work. The only remaining problem will be getting the torsion spring's coil to fit back in place.

That swage turned out better than the first one.

Here's the clip back together and back in place on its hanger rod. Refitting the torsion spring turned out not to be a problem.

That all went remarkably well. If I discover more uses for eyelets, I'll append them to this post.

- - -


[1] Younger readers may not catch the allusion there to Carter's Little Liver Pills. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, if you watched any American TV, you were certain to see this sort of thing plenty of times.

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