Tea Ball Revival

Defunct tea-ball rivet

Defunct tea-ball rivet

The latch closing my tea ball consists of a nice stainless steel dingus held on by a grotty rivet of unknown provenance that I’ve repeatedly staked over the years. It finally came undone this morning, so I had a few minutes of Quality Shop Time right after breakfast.

My tiny-screw box (left over from the long-gone Leichtung Workshops) has some stainless 0-80 screws that I found somewhere, but only brass nuts. Ah, well, we used to use brass water fixtures and lead pipe, so an 0-80 nut in hot water isn’t going to kill me.

The ball rim has a recess for the rivet head, but the screw head was slightly larger. I braced the rim of the ball across the vise jaws and give the recess a few shots with a fat punch to enlarge it.

Stainless screw and brass nut

Stainless screw and brass nut


  • A dot of Loctite on the threads
  • Assemble everything
  • Take it apart to put the latch on the correct side of the rim
  • Reassemble
  • Attempt to close
  • Gently bend the rim to flatten it out
  • Close
  • Attempt to latch
  • Brace closed rim on vise opening with screw head up
  • A few shots with a drift punch to settle recess around screw head
  • Success!

It seems I ain’t worth a damn in the morning without a hot cuppa. The rituals must be preserved.

I tossed the ball in the dishwasher and opted for a tea bag today…


  1. #1 by Raj on 2010-04-04 - 08:48

    Tea? you will drive me out of business Ed! I am a coffee grower.

    • #2 by Ed on 2010-04-04 - 10:47

      At my rate of consumption, you have a long and prosperous future ahead of you…

  2. #3 by John Rehwinkel on 2010-04-07 - 11:53

    I wouldn’t worry about the brass either, but what does Loctite taste like?

    • #4 by Ed on 2010-04-07 - 11:57

      Tangy, with a subtle hint of hydrocarbon…

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