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Old 02-15-2020, 03:19 PM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
Posts: 4,326

Originally Posted by kbalch View Post
I'd never encountered this myself until, early in my -14A project, I found that I all of a sudden wasn't able to properly drive rivets (with a gun and bucking bar, no less) anymore. Since I knew that my technique hadn't suddenly gone away after all these years, I ordered a fresh batch of rivets and the problem immediately resolved itself.

Clearly, something was wrong with the original rivets I'd received with my kit. Whether they'd never been properly tempered, or perhaps they'd age hardened, I can't say, but they were definitely "bad" and the replacements (and every other rivet I've ever received) were not.

Weird, right?
Your experience isnít unusual. I havenít seen anything supporting that rivets change temper over time. I hope someone has an explanation. Weird is right, but it seems to happen.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:14 PM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Stockton, California
Posts: 251

In the 70's I used to get "new" rivets from Fullerton Air Parts. Picked them up on Thursday, as they were the freshest. Would drive well at 60 psi at the gun. Within 3 days, 80 psi and longer burst.

Then after talking to a "pro" I used the HT ovens at Fullerton Community College. Problem is, Temp control is very important for annealing. 10 degree window at around 925 deg. (from memory, check yours). I think if you exceed 938 you "kill" the rivet.

After annealing (only with clear anodized rivets) they'd drive at 40 lbs in 4 hits as I VERY CAREFULLY tickled the trigger. In 3 days, I was back to 80 psi with the long burst.

Reynolds Aluminum has a reference book. Consider taking the rivets to "W" temper (what most people call "annealing" by burning off Sharpie ink or soot).

Soft rivets stretch the skin the least and results in much better airfoils, etc.

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