How do you use a riveter


Old 11-02-08, 11:11 AM
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How do you use a riveter

I had a riveter which I used once, and then the rivet got stuck in the head. I tried to pull it out, but it wouldn't come out. So I tried using wrenches to pull it out, but all I accomplished was the rivet broke in half and now half of it is stuck in the head so far you can barely see it. The riveter is useless now.
I assumed this was because it was a cheap Chinese riveter, so I went back to the store and bought a brand new one by Arrow. I took it home and tried to use it. The same exact thing happened. It riveted the 2 pieces of sheet metal together like I wanted, but I was only able to use it that one time. The long part of the rivet again got stuck in the riveter head and I can't pull it out.

I thought they were just supposed to fall out once you made a rivet. But I can't even pull them out with a wrench and clamping it to the table.

I am so pissed off now. If somebody can tell me what is the correct way to remove the rest of the rivet from the riveter once you have squeezed it into the sheet metal?

By the way, why can't I post pictures or links anymore?
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Old 11-02-08, 11:40 AM
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I know this is a dumb question...but you have the correct insert all the way in the nose of the riveter, right?
Thats basically what spreads the jaws that grab the shank and pull it. Squeeze the handle and then tighten the insert down with the wrench, to make sure its fully seated. Release the handle fully and it should spring back against the beveled back of the tip insert and spread the jaws, then the shank falls out. You may actually be able to see it from the back (if you ever get the used shank out).

I've had a similar problem, but normally only with old worn out units or off brand rivets with the wrong size shanks. More often they don't grip the shank enuf to pull and break it.

EDIT: Oh... insert rivet, hold tight to workpiece, fully squeeze the handle, fully release, push tight to the rivet head and full squeeze again even if it snaps, full release with the tip still to the surface. If they still stick I've found squeezing the handle fully then letting it fly open may help.

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Last edited by Gunguy45; 11-02-08 at 12:13 PM.
Old 11-03-08, 05:47 AM
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Rivet Tool

Try turning the tool upside down and working the handle a few times. The rivet shank should fall out.
Old 11-17-08, 10:57 AM
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It works now. I took the new one back to Home Depot. At the returns counter, I explained what was happening and handed it to the girl. As I handed it to her, the rivet fell out. This was after I had spent half an hour using pliers, wrenches, clamping it to a table and trying to pull the rivet out.
A guy came over and said this often happens with new riveters. You have to work them in.

Thanks for your replies.
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