Hand Riveting


Old 01-05-04, 01:15 AM
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Hand Riveting

Does anyone have any advice on hand riveting? I have never done it before and would like to know that im doing it right.

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Old 01-05-04, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
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Are you meaning pop-rivets or the other kind?
Old 01-05-04, 09:14 AM
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If it's pop rivets you are referring to you first must make sure the hole is the recommended size for the rivet you are using and the rivet is the correct length for the thickness of the material. This info will be stated on the package.
Also you must choose a rivet material to minimize galvanic corrosion. Aluminum rivets on aluminum, etc.
If you are rivetting a soft material or need extra strength be sure to use a backing rivet designed for that purpose.
Make sure if you have an interchangeable size gun you have the correct sized insert.
When drilling holes for multiple rivets ensure the piece doesn't move as it will buckle if the holes are not perfectly aligned. I will insert rivets in the holes after each is drilled if I'm not fastening it right away.

If solid rivets and appearance and strength are important you must use a punch and mandrel designed to conform to the rivet head shape.
Old 01-19-04, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
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I do lots of rivets in my trade as an aircraft mechanic. To do solid rivets you will need a rivet gun 4X and bucking bars and sets for the rivet either flush or dimple. Or you can use a squeeze with looks like a c clamp but has a piston that closes the jaws with the sets in it. Very high dollar. The important thing is hole size and preperation.Clean all metal shavings from between your sheets.
Or you can go pop rivet this is the easy way but not always the strongest unless you have a steel shank that locks in place with a collar.
Practice Practice and more Practice.
If you go the solid route make sure you get a rivet gun NOT an air hammer they look the same but the trigger is variable. They come in sizes from 2X to 9X.
4X is plenty good for most rivet jobs. A bucking bar is a heavy piece solid bar stock that you use to flatten out the other side with as you hit with the gun on the other side.
Old 01-19-04, 04:59 PM
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When you say 4x are you referring to the size of the dimple in the end of the hammer?

I don't do much solid riveting but have a fist full of rivets from when I owned an airplane.
I made a bit from a cut-off air hammer chisel. Drilled the end and contoured it with a die grinder.
You are right that it was uncontrollable.

Maybe I could turn down the hammer with a regulator?
Old 01-20-04, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
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The rivet guns come in sizes from 2X to 9X the less the number the the smaller the gun.For example a 2X is great for very small rivets or very soft larger ones but will not smash a steel rivet.
A 9X is a very large gun and can cause lots of damage and should be used to set monel rivets(steel).You can tell a 9X has a very long barrell for the piston as to were a 2X is has a short barrel.
Also a 2x hits fast kinda like a machine gun because the piston has a very short distance to travel.A 9X has a long stroke for more hitting power.
You might be able to use an air hammer with a regulater but you can not control the trigger.
You can find a good rivet gun at US air tools and they have all the stuff that goes with it for a pretty good price..

What are you trying to build?
Old 01-20-04, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
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Dont Know what you want to rivet. As a tinner all you need is the rivets the burrs. A rivet set a hammer and the bucking bar. If aircraft like was said .But there is the hand /bench rivet squeezer. Rebuilding a J3 and that what we use on it Ed
Old 01-21-04, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345

That is correct if all you are buliding is things like duct work all you need is a hammer and a bucking bar.If you are building a J3 piper cub airplane a rivet squeeze is good since the rivits are small.But when you build large aircraft or fix them the big dogs must come out.Wish I had a Piper Cub fun airplane.

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