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Old 06-06-2002, 01:15 PM   #1
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rivet tools

Greetings.
I've used lots of carpentry and farm tools in my lifetime, but I've never had occasion to use (or even look at) a rivet tool before now. If I read the posts correctly, however, a riveter is going to soon be my "new best friend"!

So yesterday I went into my local Ace hardware store and asked to see rivet guns. They had several ranging in price from about $10 to about $25, all Stanleys. There was also a whole rack of packaged rivets of varying sizes.

Please help out a newbie owner of a '77 Sovereign: 1. Is there anything in particular I need to look for in a riveting tool to work on my A/S?
2. How sturdy does the tool need to be? (Will the $10 tool serve as well as the $25 one with swiveling head?)
3. What do I look for in rivets? Are there types to avoid? Types I absolutely have to have? I did spend some time in the Forum archives looking at PeterH's pictures and noticed he was using something called an "Olympic rivet." Is this the standard one for A/S?
4. Is there some way to finish the rivet heads other than investing in a $180 tool?

Thanks for any and all help.
Eugenie
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Old 06-06-2002, 01:46 PM   #2
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I will defer to others who are more experienced- but I would like to tell you that I learned the rivet technique at our Motorhome mini rally, and it was easier than I expected if you go slow, and feel the rivet setting. The olympic rivets are the ones all over your airstream skin, the trim items have pop rivets like you would get at the hardware store. The olympics are shaved to give that domed appearance, otherwise they would have a tail sticking up out of them. I used the shaver Peter owned and it went quite smoothly. I have heard dremels being used but I am not experienced to recommend that. Good luck!! Its a rewarding job restoring these rigs.
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Old 06-06-2002, 03:35 PM   #3
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Peter did what???

Oh man.. I could use that also... I think I proposed this on a message earlier... We could have a forum tool budget, and then we could share these items. All who use, donate the funds to purchase. I would be willing to pay for the use of this tool... I would atleast prevent me from having to buy a tool that I would most likely not have to use but a couple of times. Sharing is better... dont you think?
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Old 06-06-2002, 04:19 PM   #4
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Eugenie;

On the tool, I have both a couple of real cheap ones and I also have one of the Origanal Pop Rivet brand that my father bought when they first came out about 40 years ago and I was little kid. They work but they are really only good for the occasional repair around the house.

I recently bought the Stanley swivel head riveter which I posted some pictures here. I have since popped about 200 rivets with the Stanley and the only way I could improve on it would be to replace it with a Pneumatic which would cost about $100 and some of those don't swivel. The swivel is a must have in my book as I was popping rivets in the cabinets and behind the shower surround. One of the best $20 bucks I have spent to-date.

Olympic rivet finishing can be done without the shaver. You can use a file or a Dremel type rotary tool if you have one. It will just take a minute or two longer. The Olympics are only used on the outside. If you are tool person or are doing big panel replacement buy the shaver, otherwise save the money for real improvements like a Fantastic Fan or something.

For the inside, use 1/8 medium or long shank aluminum rivets.
Rivets can be purchased at a number of places but I just buy the boxes of 50 at the Home Depot type stores.

Best Regards;
-BobbyWright
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:17 PM   #5
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Rivets again...........

I need help!!!!! My head is spinning from reading all the posts about riveting and just need some simple answers..

I am finally patching my belly skin and am having no luck with riveting...I'm not sure if it's the gun, me or the rivets

First of all...I removed the old corroded rivets out and went and bought the 3/16 rivets that I have read to use in other posts....it said to drill them out with a #11 bit which I didn't need to do cause I used a screwdriver, hammer and center punch and got them all out. Well the 3/16 are not fitting in the frame holes...???? The #11 bit fits fine though...I'm puzzled...seems like this should be a breeze.

Second, I'm including a few pics...I don't think these rivets look like they are opening properly...I really don't want to go out and spend a bunch of $$$ on all the Harbour Freight tools because I only need to do about 10 or so rivets.

I can handle negative feedback (ie..my tool is junk ect...operator error..just let me know what you think...PLEASE).....THANK YOU THANK YOU for any suggestions...I want to finish this project today!!!! Ann
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:27 PM   #6
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Ann,

That sure is puzzling. I might make a guess that the #11 drill might be less than correct. The number is right, but maybe the drill bit is mislabeled. Can you see if there is a number stamped on the shank? I usually can't because my eyes aren't good enough. If it says #11, then you're good to go. If it says nothing, then compare it to a 3/16" drill bit. It should be slightly larger. 3/16" = 0.1875", #11 = 0.1910"

Sometimes drill bits get mixed up at the hardware store, or put in the wrong drawer. That's my guess.
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:40 PM   #7
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And I think your rivets aren't good. I have had good luck using Arrow rivets, but I also like the "Multi Length" ones you can get at Do-It Best centers. I'm using those right now on my new Grote clearance lights.

Your rivets might not be a standard size. They could have poor quality control at the plant where those are made, and they're too big. See if you can get a measurement. I'm guessing much of your problem is with that batch or brand of rivets.

And did you actually chuck up the #11 bit and actually drill into the hole anyway? There could be a burr in the hole that the grove in the bit slides around. Drill it out.

BTW, from a general rivet perspective, has anyone used any of the specialty rivets that the Pop Rivet people make?
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:50 PM   #8
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yes...chucked it up and gave it a go....no burs...nada

bit does say 11 on it...

Think I'm heading to Napa now for another go at it... try to pick up some diff rivets I guess.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:41 PM   #9
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Yes!!!!

Got it......

Just bought some rivets at NAPA part # 770-2833

Had to use the 3/16" bit in my drill because it was still to small but that did it and I have my first patch!!!

Who knew spending $1.80 could bring this much happiness!! I can sleep tonight.

Thanks Mark & AYRSTRM2
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:24 PM   #10
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Eugene,

I am no expert but I believe the reason for the drill is to remove the old rivits without enlarging the original hole. It is quite easy.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:41 PM   #11
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Quality of rivets is variable. Some generic all-aluminum pop rivets I got at a local Ace would have the stem break away before the rivet was fully pulled.

I'm on my 3rd Arrow hand-pull riveter in 2 years -- they wear and even Arrow rivet stems were breaking before the rivet was fully pulled. They're real simple -- I'd take it apart and make sure nothing was stuck in there -- and then end up having to buy a new one because the problem was worse than ever. Not that $20 is that much but I'd sure like one to last through a season...
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:50 PM   #12
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Great Luck With Craftsman Rivets

For what it's worth, I've had great luck with the bind rivets ("Pop" rivets) that you find in the Sears Hardware Department.
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Old 05-31-2006, 06:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Quality of rivets is variable. Some generic all-aluminum pop rivets I got at a local Ace would have the stem break away before the rivet was fully pulled.

I'm on my 3rd Arrow hand-pull riveter in 2 years -- they wear and even Arrow rivet stems were breaking before the rivet was fully pulled. They're real simple -- I'd take it apart and make sure nothing was stuck in there -- and then end up having to buy a new one because the problem was worse than ever. Not that $20 is that much but I'd sure like one to last through a season...
I use a Malco rivet gun. I have two of them. One is over 50 years old. They do sell rebuild kits for them. The last one I bought was around $55.

Aaron
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