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Old 12-30-2017, 05:07 PM
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bk1bennett bk1bennett is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Sachse, TX
Posts: 61
Default Riveting Confidence

For first-time builders: At what point in your build did you gain the sense of confidence that you were going to get flush riveting accomplished without dinging a skin?
Latest Annual Donation Date: 11 Apr 2018
RV-14A Empennage Kit #140396
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:32 PM
Robin8er Robin8er is offline
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Location: Oahu HI
Posts: 248

buy a swivel head flush rivet set if you don't already have one. if you always set the rivet in the middle of the rivet set you will minimize denying the skin.
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Emp and Wings done, working on Fuselage.

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Old 12-30-2017, 06:45 PM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
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Default Practice

Practice. A lot. You'll get there. It is a perishible skill so you need to practice often.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/27/2018. Plus a little extra.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:51 PM
coffeeguy coffeeguy is online now
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Originally Posted by Robin8er View Post
buy a swivel head flush rivet set if you don't already have one. if you always set the rivet in the middle of the rivet set you will minimize denying the skin.
I would go with the counter argument. I started with a swivel, but went to the straight flush set after a few skin indentations when riveting. It's easier for me to use. Get the set perpendicular to the skin and have at it.
Jeff Dingbaum
RV-14A empennage, wings
Cherokee 180
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:01 PM
Driving '67 Driving '67 is offline
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Location: Port Credit, ON Canada
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To be honest, it took a while, I initially had the gun turned up too high. Damaged more than a few pieces. I had a great teacher/mentor who took the time to teach me the nuisances of riveting. Just keep at it and one day you’ll grab the rivet gun without thinking about it. Like the poster above, practice makes perfect. I would do a rivet line every day for a few months trying to get it right. (sound like a junkie)

Stick with it and it will come ...

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Old 12-30-2017, 08:48 PM
Jake14 Jake14 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 201

I think some of the things which I learned the hard way were:

1. ALWAYS clamp the work so it won't move or bounce
2. Resist the temptation to turn up the pressure to get it done faster
3. Use the swivel head, but you still have to make sure it's straight
4. The non-swivel head is great for tight places and fixing proud rivet heads
4. always use riveting tape to avoid blemishing the skin
5. Use a tungsten bucking bar
6. Don't pull the trigger and hope for the best, get everything lined up perfectly. Don't be impatient
7. Invest in a pneumatic squeezer and a DRDT-2 dimpler
8. When using a squeezer, use a faucet washer or similar on the shop side to squeeze the material together when setting the rivet
9. And before you start drilling out a questionable rivet, always remember:

(from page 5-04)
"Poorly set and cracked rivet heads were tested in tension to determine how well formed a head has to be in order to develop full strength. The tensile strengths of all the rivets were within five percent of the strongest. The test indicated that minor deviations from the theoretically desired shape of head are not cause for concern or replacement. The second rivet that is driven in any one hole [is] likely to be more defective than the first because the hole is enlarged and [the] rivet will be more likely to buckle......"
RV-14A #140158 flying
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Holland, Ohio
Posts: 13
Smile Riveting Confidence

As a new builder about to finish my RV-10 empennage, the best trick I found is to positively identify the pressure setting you are using for the rivet gun. Starting out I had an inline pressure gauge coming from my compressor as well as an adjustable flow restrictor at the gun. By adjusting the pressure at the gun, I never knew the pressure I was actually experiencing while riveting. I dreaded the gun and the riveting process was more violet than it needed to be. I removed the inline flow adjuster and now I reset my compressor/inline gauge to read b/w 25 - 45 psi depending on the rivet size. For the skins on the empennage, 25-35 psi worked just fine and made the processs much more enjoyable and gave me greater confidence controlling the process while making great looking, consistent rivets. Practice while creeping up to the setting that works good for you without work hardening the rivet. Before running other tools, always recheck to make sure the pressure is reset correctly for the next tool. Hope this helps.
Mark Sanders
Holland Ohio
RV-10 #41825
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:00 PM
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RV3bpilot RV3bpilot is offline
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Always let go of the trigger before pulling away from the work. Don't ask how I learned this.
Robin Mckee
New Ulm, MN 56073
RV3b N219BB
318 hours and counting
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:56 AM
PHXflyer PHXflyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 11

Originally Posted by coffeeguy View Post
I would go with the counter argument. I started with a swivel, but went to the straight flush set after a few skin indentations when riveting. It's easier for me to use. Get the set perpendicular to the skin and have at it.
Did you use the one with the rubber collar? I was going to order the straight flush set with the rubber collar from Cleaveland, but in reading the details on their website it said the rubber collar could present some issues (I think it was related to the fact that the rubber collar puts a gap between the face of the rivet set and the rivet head). Anyway, I ordered the one without the rubber collar. Hopefully it will work fine, but I'm thinking of also ordering the swivel head just in case.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:04 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Default Welcome to VAF

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