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  #1  
Old 08-12-2017, 08:43 PM
fourier fourier is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florissant
Posts: 2
Default Wondering about rivet tool (squeezer v pneumatic) and band saw for a new builder

Hi all, I'm new to the forums but have tried to learn as much as possible from existing articles and threads over the past few weeks. I'm not new to aviation, but am new to the world of homebuilds & the EAA community and hope to begin work on a RV-7 in the near future. Currently building up a tool set from scratch and wanted to get some opinions about some of the key tools that I need in order to successfully work on the empennage kit for the RV-7.

Currently I have:

Speed Deburr & C'sink tool (Avery 1046) -- still need deburring bits (so many to choose from!)
Snips (left/right/straight)
Bucking bars (various)

Clecos (various) / pliers
Swivel head pop rivet tool

Back rivet set + plate
Flat sqz. set 1/8" x 1/2"
1/8" cup rivet set 3.5"
1" mushroom set
Flush rivet set
Straight+offset rivet sets (3/32",1/8",5/32",3/16")
Sioux 3x rivet gun

Countersink cutter - 3/32"
Threaded micro-stop c'sink

DRDT-2
Dimple die set for 3/32"
Makita MAC5200 Air Compressor (3.0 HP, 6.5 CFM, 5.2 gal)

I plan on getting the standard required taps, reams, drill bits, c'sink cutters, dimple dies, pliers, files (10" vixen, rat tail, 8" round *******), additional clamps (2" "C" clamps and 3" spring or pony clamps), and misc items like an edge forming tool, offset heand seamer, rivet gauge and perhaps even an angle die grinder.

My question lies in what best tool to use for riveting. I know this is asked a lot and there is a lot of debate between standard rivet squeezers (Tatco brand is one kit I've considered), the Cleaveland "Main squeeze 22", and, of course the option of pneumatic squeezers (which seem to run at least $600). Taking into consideration that I have a 3X rivet gun already, but also plan on doing a lot of rivet work without assistance, would the Main Squeeze or Pneumatic option be overkill for my needs? Would most pneumatic squeezers work fine with my air compressor? The reason I ask is that I've read many tool specs (esp. the Sioux tools) specify 8.0 CFM. Also, I understand I'd probably need a squeezer that can be used for dimpling in cases where the DRDT-2 isn't an option.

Finally, I'm wondering about the usefulness of a band saw for precision cutting of the alclad pieces during construction. Snips seem like a less than ideal solution for some of the precision cuts required in the plans, but maybe I'm overthinking it all.

Sorry for being a bit long-winded in my first post, but I guess when it comes to tools I could go on and on! Thanks in advance.
/Tristan
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2017, 08:57 PM
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goatflieg goatflieg is online now
 
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Love my Cleaveland Main Squeeze; better leverage than some other squeezers. I also value my collection of C-frames for it; get them all, because you'll use every one. Close quarters dimple sets are important too, that you operate with the blind rivet puller. I'm building quickbuild, so I don't think I'll ever regret not getting a pneumatic squeezer... we'll see. The bandsaw question depends entirely on the blade. I have a multipurpose blade on mine and it's rough on the metal; lots of vibration in the process even when feeding gently and leaves a very rough edge. I prefer to cut/nibble/file to shape for curves. If I want a really straight cut with no deflection from snips, I"ll score it heavily, and very carefully break the piece if I can. Snips are another acquired skill that will improve with practice. Tips: learn how to feed the sheet into the snips to get a straight smooth edge; keep the finished part side on the flat blade; never let a snip close completely halfway through a long cut (instant deformation). Hope all this helps... and all standard disclaimers apply; your results may vary etc.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:08 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Default Welcome aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourier View Post
Hi all, I'm new to the forums ........


Tristan
Tristan, welcome to VAF

Another vote for the Main Squeeze here, I Used it much more than the pneumatic unit.
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:08 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is online now
 
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Pneumatic squeezers use very little air, any compressor will do.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:31 PM
David Paule David Paule is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
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I'm building an RV-3B, which involved more cutting and drilling than yours. I regard a band saw as an important tool, as is the pneumatic squeezer. The pneumatic squeezers don't need a lot of air since they use a piston, once per stroke, rather than a rapidly-turning motor. If I had to decide between them, I'd choose the squeezer, it's so useful you won't believe it.

You'll also need a drill press.

I don't have and don't need a hand yoke.

An air die grinder with a cut-off wheel will do about anything that a band saw will do, but it uses lots of air, and can overheat the aluminum. I use my band saw much more than the die grinder/cut-off wheel; it always does the job, is easy to use and relatively safe, too.

Speaking of using air, that compressor might have a smallish tank for your needs. You might be happier with one with a bigger tank, and the 30 to 60 gallon ones are relatively common and see to work well enough. Home Depot, Lowe's or Craigslist help here. My 60 gallon one does use 220 V and I had to have the garage wired for that, but it goes for a while between turning on. Today, in about 2 1/2 hours it came on twice.

I've got a C-frame and it's very handy for skins. Get a 2 pound steel hammer for that one and give it solid whacks.

I have several bucking bars and the tungsten one gets the nod most times.

Dimple dies, the ones I like best are from Cleaveland. They also sell the best clecos.

After resisting it for several years, I picked up a 1" belt sander from Harbor Freight and remain surprised how handy it is. My 12" disk sander is good for some things and the 1" belt for a lot of other things. If I could have only one of them I'd get the 1" belt one.

Have a rat-tail fine and it hasn't been used once. Not once. I have a set of small files of various shapes and use those a lot, as I do some straight round files. The main files I use are the fine mill file and the Vixen file. For some things sandpaper is best, for others maroon Scotchbrite, and a couple of times I used disposable fingernail files.

You don't need to have all the tools up front since you'll continually realize that you need to pick up this or that. But at least get a die grinder and cut-off wheel or a bandsaw, and get a pneumatic squeezer.

One thing that's of great help and not available in the tool store is a mentor. Find someone with experience and willingness to share it, and that'll help enormously. I can't describe how much.

Have fun with all this!

Dave
RV-3B, now skinning the fuselage
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:49 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 2,672
Default Advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
I'm building an RV-3B, which involved more cutting and drilling than yours. I regard a band saw as an important tool, as is the pneumatic squeezer. The pneumatic squeezers don't need a lot of air since they use a piston, once per stroke, rather than a rapidly-turning motor. If I had to decide between them, I'd choose the squeezer, it's so useful you won't believe it.

You'll also need a drill press.

I don't have and don't need a hand yoke.

An air die grinder with a cut-off wheel will do about anything that a band saw will do, but it uses lots of air, and can overheat the aluminum. I use my band saw much more than the die grinder/cut-off wheel; it always does the job, is easy to use and relatively safe, too.

Speaking of using air, that compressor might have a smallish tank for your needs. You might be happier with one with a bigger tank, and the 30 to 60 gallon ones are relatively common and see to work well enough. Home Depot, Lowe's or Craigslist help here. My 60 gallon one does use 220 V and I had to have the garage wired for that, but it goes for a while between turning on. Today, in about 2 1/2 hours it came on twice.

I've got a C-frame and it's very handy for skins. Get a 2 pound steel hammer for that one and give it solid whacks.

I have several bucking bars and the tungsten one gets the nod most times.

Dimple dies, the ones I like best are from Cleaveland. They also sell the best clecos.

After resisting it for several years, I picked up a 1" belt sander from Harbor Freight and remain surprised how handy it is. My 12" disk sander is good for some things and the 1" belt for a lot of other things. If I could have only one of them I'd get the 1" belt one.

Have a rat-tail fine and it hasn't been used once. Not once. I have a set of small files of various shapes and use those a lot, as I do some straight round files. The main files I use are the fine mill file and the Vixen file. For some things sandpaper is best, for others maroon Scotchbrite, and a couple of times I used disposable fingernail files.

You don't need to have all the tools up front since you'll continually realize that you need to pick up this or that. But at least get a die grinder and cut-off wheel or a bandsaw, and get a pneumatic squeezer.

One thing that's of great help and not available in the tool store is a mentor. Find someone with experience and willingness to share it, and that'll help enormously. I can't describe how much.

Have fun with all this!

Dave
RV-3B, now skinning the fuselage
+1 what Dave said. He happens to be my Mentor.
Learn two skills. Riveting with gun and bar. Drilling rivets. Learn those two so good you can do either blindfolded. Once you have them down, the rest is easy.
I prefer my gun and bar over the squeezer but do use it. I also use a band saw a lot.
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2017, 10:06 PM
cajunwings cajunwings is offline
 
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Location: new iberia la
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You have a good start on tooling. Before I got a bandsaw did not realize how much I would use it. Same with the drill press. The small tabletop models can do much of the work if you don't have the room or funding for full size machines. The most used machine in my shop is the 1" belt sander. Done a lot of sheetmetal over the years and almost always use the hand squeezer before the pneumatic, for me the level of control is much better. My build table has a 6" overhang all around for clamping things and has air and electrical outlets on either end. Recently added a regulator/air outlet to the build table just for rivet guns (saves walking back and forth to the compressor to make adjustments) air compressor is in workshop closet so noise level is low.

Don Broussard
RV9 Rebuild in Progress
57 Pacer
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2017, 11:22 PM
terrye terrye is offline
 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 636
Default Wondering about rivet tool (squeezer v pneumatic) and band saw for a new builder

I bought a quite expensive (Chicago Pneumatic) pneumatic squeezer and it remains one of my favorite tools with blind, longeron and long yokes. Don't have a manual squeezer so I can't compare, but I use the pneumatic one handed a lot and it works very well. Also works well to clamp the yoke in soft jaws in the vice.

I have a metal cutting bandsaw (horizontal style) but I mostly use it vertical. It's very handy for cutting sheet metal too thick for hand snips (.040 and thicker) as well as various extruded angles (1/8" and 3/16" thick). I wouldn't recommend a woodworking bandsaw for aluminum, I think the blade speed is too high, consult Machinery's Handbook or any aircraft sheet metal book.

If you have a woodworking table or chop saw, you could use a fiber wheel to cut the aluminum angle with.

The Sioux 3X gun should be good, in addition to the flat rivet set I'd recommend a -4 universal head straight rivet set in 3", 4", 6" and 12" lengths. If you get the 12" you probably won't need any offset rivet sets which are awkward to use.

The best tools for riveting are your 3X rivet gun, a 3/4" x 1" x 4" tungsten bucking bar (with one end angled) and a pneumatic squeezer. And lots of practice.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2017, 12:40 AM
rv9builder rv9builder is offline
 
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I built an RV-9A empennage, fuselage and wings without using a pneumatic squeezer. Iím sure a pneumatic is faster, but I was able to get the job done with an Avery squeezer, a Cleaveland Main Squeeze, and a rivet gun. I probably could have done it without the Avery squeezer, but I bought it before the Main Squeeze was invented, so I ended up using both.

If I could only have one squeezer, it would be the Main Squeeze. It makes 1/8-inch rivets much easier to squeeze than other squeezers. One nice thing about both the Avery and Main Squeeze is that they use standard yokes that will also work with a pneumatic squeezer. Iím pretty sure the Tatco uses a non-standard yoke that doesnít work with any other brand of squeezer. Perhaps someone who owns a Tatco can confirm that.

A band saw would have been nice, and I occasionally used one that belonged to my EAA chapter, but for most of the parts that needed to be fabricated from flat stock or angle, I used a hack saw.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2017, 04:46 AM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
 
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I used the hand snips a lot even though I have a small bench top band saw. Even after I was out at the airport and access to large heavy duty band saw, I found I used hand snipes or a large shear And not much of the band saw. Of course our large sheer was pretty pricey even though it is 60 years old. Band saw got used for thicker material or cutting aluminum channel or angle, not sheet.
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