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  #1  
Old 04-05-2015, 09:26 AM
HeliCooper HeliCooper is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 255
Default Proud rivets on fuel tank

After getting the rear bulkhead on the fuel tanks and letting them harden I am noticing that most of my rivets are sitting proud. I am guessing this is from a layer of proseal in the countersink as well as my countersinks being just a tad shallow. I am wondering if anyone has any stories of using a rivet shaver. I am tempted to buy one off ebay and try and get these rivets flush but am horrified I could just ruin my tanks or make a bigger disaster than they are now. Most rivets seem to be sitting about .005 proud by feeler gauge. Some are beyond .006 and I would have to drill those out and reset them.

Additionally I have a few rivets elsewhere that are in the dimple at a slight angle making a snag. Can I drill these out and use a close end flush rivet in its place?
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2015, 10:32 AM
Mike H Mike H is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Savannah
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I have a rivet shaver and used it on several rivets in my tanks, leading edges and the blind rivets in my flaps and ailerons. .005" to .006" high is really high. Did you install the rear bulkhead and shoot or squeeze the rivets while the sealant was still wet, or fid you wait for t he sealant to cure before riveting?

I would definitely shave the rivets in the tank skins that have an edge that is high, I defiantly would not drill those our and install the "non structural" blind rivets in this location.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2015, 10:39 AM
N427EF N427EF is offline
 
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You are correct , these rivets sit a little proud because of the pro seal between the matting surfaces of the rivet and skin.
A rivet shaver has never worked for me.
What has worked is taking a stiff sanding block, no padding, and sand them all down. You'll end up with a perfect row of rivets and your painter will be very happy. Any part of the rivet that sits proud is doing nothing except ruin the paint job and draw your focus every time you look at your tanks.
Maybe a 320 grit and take it easy when you get close to the skins. A few scratches won't hurt. Your painter will scratch up the whole plane before painting
I would wait a few weeks to let the pro seal thoroughly cure.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2015, 10:45 AM
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Pmerems Pmerems is offline
 
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Default shave bits

I don't know if you are aware but you can purchase a rivet shave bit for your microstructure countersink. I have used the shaver many times including my fuel tanks. Just let the sealant cure for a few months before shaving. Practice on some scrap first. High rpm works the best. Use an air drill or high rpm corder drill, not a battery powered drill.

Shavers work great, no need to fear them.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2015, 11:00 AM
HeliCooper HeliCooper is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Des Moines, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
I have a rivet shaver and used it on several rivets in my tanks, leading edges and the blind rivets in my flaps and ailerons. .005" to .006" high is really high. Did you install the rear bulkhead and shoot or squeeze the rivets while the sealant was still wet, or fid you wait for t he sealant to cure before riveting?

I would definitely shave the rivets in the tank skins that have an edge that is high, I defiantly would not drill those our and install the "non structural" blind rivets in this location.
I installed them wet. There are only two rivets I found at an angle that I would like to fix. One on a rib and one on the j stiffener. There should be a structural blind rivet I could use I would have thought.

I know they are high. I am quite disappointed with the result but I am not sure what else I can do. When I went back and countersunk for the remaining holes in the bulkhead, the rivets came out perfectly flush. Squeezing them when wet still must have allow enough proseal to stay under the rivet head to cause them to sit proud. Additionally the .006 is not all the way around. That is on the highest side of the rivet. Many of the rivets are sitting flush on one side but proud on the other. I can only think that with the proseal over everything I wasn't able to eye the set well enough to ensure it was squeezing them flat.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2015, 11:11 AM
HeliCooper HeliCooper is offline
 
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Same row of rivets taken 180 degrees from each other.



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Old 04-05-2015, 11:14 AM
HeliCooper HeliCooper is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pmerems View Post
I don't know if you are aware but you can purchase a rivet shave bit for your microstructure countersink. I have used the shaver many times including my fuel tanks. Just let the sealant cure for a few months before shaving. Practice on some scrap first. High rpm works the best. Use an air drill or high rpm corder drill, not a battery powered drill.

Shavers work great, no need to fear them.
I have heard the shavers run in the 10-15000 rpm range. I didn't know if the air drill would be sufficient at 3000rpm.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:43 AM
Mike H Mike H is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Savannah
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On the rear bulkhead, I would drill out every other rivet and clean the dimple and squeeze new rivets. Then repeat for the second half. I actually did this on my tanks and it turned out well.

There are "structural" blind rivets available but none that are "sealed stem" like the ones used on the rear attch brackets. Even if you installed a suitable CherryMax rivet, you would still need to access the back side to dome seal the rivet. If you really decide that you have to change those rivets I would install access panels and replace them with solid rivets. After cleaning up all of the dried sealant, I ended up with two or three rivets in the ribs that were tilted with an edge sticking up more than I would have liked. I shaved them and they turned out just fine.
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2015, 11:59 AM
Mike H Mike H is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliCooper View Post
I have heard the shavers run in the 10-15000 rpm range. I didn't know if the air drill would be sufficient at 3000rpm.
I have a Dotco rivet shaver that turns 30,000 RPM. I have tried the shaver bit in a countersink cage before and it works marginally, if you feed it slow enough and spin it fast. If you can afford a real rivet shaver it would be the way to go. They are an excellent tool if used correctly. Make sure you practice on scraps that you rivet together. Start .002"-.003" shallow when learnings and sneak up on it one click at a time. Also set the stop shallow when shaving a rivet on a curved surface to avoid chewing up a skin.
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2015, 12:25 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliCooper View Post
After getting the rear bulkhead on the fuel tanks and letting them harden I am noticing that most of my rivets are sitting proud. I am guessing this is from a layer of proseal in the countersink as well as my countersinks being just a tad shallow. I am wondering if anyone has any stories of using a rivet shaver. I am tempted to buy one off ebay and try and get these rivets flush but am horrified I could just ruin my tanks or make a bigger disaster than they are now. Most rivets seem to be sitting about .005 proud by feeler gauge. Some are beyond .006 and I would have to drill those out and reset them.

Additionally I have a few rivets elsewhere that are in the dimple at a slight angle making a snag. Can I drill these out and use a close end flush rivet in its place?

Leave them alone Jim. Painter will take care of their pride unless you want it polished then it's the whole another story. Get her in the air first
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