I have a bed where the headboard is loose because the end of a metal railing is loose. The end is attached to the main rail by two blind 1/4" rivets with 1/2" heads. It seems like 1/4" rivets are hard to find, would 3/16" aluminum rivets be sufficient for this application?
I'm familiar with the type of railing you are talking about. The rivets of which you speak are large solid rivets that are installed using a large rivet set or "buck bar" and a hammer. The rivets are still available from various sources such as McMaster-Carr or Fastenall.
Before you buy any new rivets you can try tightening the rivet by holding a heavy steel backer against the rivet and hammering it tight again. If that doesn't work the next easiest alternative is to drill the rivet out and install a bolt and nut, or do what I did and tack weld the frame rails to the grooved end stays.
"The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." -- Frank Lloyd Wright
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