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Old 01-01-2016, 01:00 PM   #1
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Rosie the Riveter i ain't

While riveting, I keep getting the stem from the rivet stuck in the rivet tool. So much so that I have one now that I can't get out. I have lubricated it, pounded it, tried pliers on it but no luck
What am I doing wrong and how can I get the mandrel out? An Airstreamer that can't rivet is in for a long trip.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Chatooga11 View Post
While riveting, I keep getting the stem from the rivet stuck in the rivet tool. So much so that I have one now that I can't get out. I have lubricated it, pounded it, tried pliers on it but no luck
What am I doing wrong and how can I get the mandrel out? An Airstreamer that can't rivet is in for a long trip.
When I have this problem I can usually solve it by opening the handles wide (to help release the jaws) and poke the mandrel out with an unused rivet.

Once in a while that hasn't worked and I have had to remove the nose from the rivet tool to free things up!

I'm not sure if it has something to do with cheaper versus better quality rivet tools, I suspect it might.


Brian
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:33 PM   #3
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I thought maybe it was a cheap tool. I started with a Stanley medium duty riveting tool....lots of stuck rivets. I then bought a DeWalt which was the best Home Depot had to offer. It worked great for about 15 rivets and then the same problem started. I tried WD-40 to lubricate it, but there is a river stuck in it as we speak.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:59 PM   #4
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We all get pop rivet mandrels stuck in the rivet tool now and then. It is just one of life's little irritations like opening a soda can and having it spray all over, or a plugged and overflowing toilet.

I believe the gripper jaws deform the mandrel making it slightly bigger and it won't release from the jaws. Just feel the burrs the gripper jaws create on a mandrel that did fall out of the tool. Pretty rough. I don't think lube will help.

I can usually free the stuck mandrel with a un-popped rivet as suggested earlier. I squeeze the tool together, insert the rivet mandrel, then release the handles while I push. I do this several times. Usually the stuck mandrel finally falls out.

My air powered riveter is worse for stuck mandrels.

David
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:24 PM   #5
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Some stick, others don't ...
Big rivets, little rivets, medium rivets ...
Cheap gun, expensive gun ...
Frustrating perhaps ...
End of life - no.
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:06 AM   #6
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I use Malco or Marson rivet guns. What happens is the soft aluminum from the pins gets stuck in the grip rings in the rivet gun. If it is stainless steel pins it is less likely to happen, however on an inexpensive gun the ss can mess with the grip rings and deform them. In that case all bets are off. Some guns can be adjusted.

I take mine apart and clean it periodically. Sometimes giving it a shot of silicone spray will help too. I use a stiff wire brush to clean the parts.

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Old 01-02-2016, 06:32 AM   #7
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I have found that if I insert and pump the handles until they set and break off the mandrels and then pump the handles the full way one more time "so far" I've eliminated this from happening.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:29 AM   #8
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Harbor Freight has a pretty solid tool that I've used and like - it passes the stem through and into a catch container. So far it's worked for me, but I haven't placed more than a dozen rivets.

Harbor Freight riveter
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:04 AM   #9
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I'm using Harbor Freight's el cheapo ($5, including a bunch of rivets). I find that giving it a good whack against a solid piece of wood usually does the trick. I wack it with the handles closed. The shank flies out when I open the handles. I've owned a few riveters. The expensive ones seem just as likely to stick as the cheap ones . . . maybe the solution is in the rivets, not the riveter, dunno.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatooga11 View Post
While riveting, I keep getting the stem from the rivet stuck in the rivet tool. So much so that I have one now that I can't get out. I have lubricated it, pounded it, tried pliers on it but no luck
What am I doing wrong and how can I get the mandrel out? An Airstreamer that can't rivet is in for a long trip.
Had this issue yesterday. Unscrew the riveter head, take a large Flathead screw driver and carefully unscrew the back plug, remove the spring, plunger and two jaws. Clean everything with mineral spirits and drop back into riveter, replace both ends. Wah-la...Bobs your uncle .
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:32 AM   #11
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. . . maybe the solution is in the rivets, not the riveter, dunno.
I think you may be right. I haven't kept track of the number of stuck mandrels with different batches of rivets, but sometimes I'll have a lot of problems and other times it won't happen at all, all with the same rivet gun.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:42 PM   #12
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Simply screw a larger rivet guide onto the rivet gun and the stuck rivet will fall out
Jim J
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:02 PM   #13
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Simply screw a larger rivet guide onto the rivet gun and the stuck rivet will fall out
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Yeah- I bet you're using too small of a guide.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:46 AM   #14
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Adapt and overcome

I have ran over 10,000 pop rivets @ several grip lengths with my harbor freight pneumatic rivet gun. I too have had many issues with the mandrels being stuck. Just as David explains itís a fact of life, it will happen from time to time when using this tool. So how can you handle the situation without losing much time? There is one easy fix that Iíve done for years and the nuisance feeling has subside. When breaking down the pieces of the rivet gun it is very simple. Refer to the illustration below, you have the Nose piece (1), frame head (11), the Jaw case front (6-1), the Jaw(s) (7), jaw pusher (8), a spring (not pictured?), and the jaw case end (6-2) that is all we are concerned about for this matter.

Now remove the large piece called the frame head with the nose piece still screwed into the frame head. Place the frame head over to the side until reassembly. Then (for the first time) use two wrenches (provided with the gun or not) and break loose the jaw case front from the jaw case back. When you unscrew those cases apart be aware of a spring and 2 to 3 jaws and the jaw pusher are inside, it is not under and tension but they can be lost when dropped. Once the jaw cases are almost apart point the nose of the gun toward the ground and unscrew the cases the rest of the way allowing the jaws to stay seated inside the jaw case front. At this point anything that was lodged in the gun should be accessible or simply fall out on its own. When the debris is cleared and you can see through the passageway then you can begin to reassemble.

Now here the trick. Those guns come from the manufacturer with everything snugged up, why? They probably only have one torque setting I donít knowÖ When assembling, reverse the steps of disassembly but when you screw the casing together and the frame head on only HAND TIGHTEN. That way you can fix it quick without the need of tools for disassembly. Tightened with a wrench or not, it does not affect the operation of this tool. It will simply give you a quicker ability to resolve this issue.
Now I have seen over the course of using this gun that the problem is becoming less consistent. I would assume it would have to do with the wearing of the jaws and the fact that they may be over gripping per say initially. As you use the tool the jaws will break in (few thousand rivets ran through it) and smooth out the jaws enough so the mandrel glides through.

And from my experience lubrication does not work, tried WD-40, graphite spray, white lithium spray, silicone spray, automotive grease, machine oil, motor oil, cleaned with mineral spirits, all will eventually fail to eject the mandrel out completely at some point. You want a dry surface for the mandrel to slide. Over lubricating could cause it to become more frequent of a problem due to viscosity of the lubrication. I have an auto-lube system in my pneumatic setup, thatís all the lubrication it gets.

Follow these remarks and you will forget it was even an issue. I have attached a quick video of how easy it is to disassemble and reassemble once loosened up. I also attached the manual via pdf for the particular gun that is popular in this thread. I hope this was informational to you.
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