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Old 08-09-2016, 08:50 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Botgek , Washington
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Harbor Freight Rivet Gun Issues

I've put in nearly 600 olympic rivets with the HF gun with no issues. The problem is with 1/8" pop rivets, the gun won't grip the rivets. I took it apart and found that the pop rivets are to small for the thing that grips them. The gun has a tip for 1/8" and I'm lost why the rivets would be to small.

Anyone else run into the problem?

Thanks,
Ryan
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:18 AM   #2
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For $20 you can just get a new 1/8 rivet tool at home depot. For the small ones that's all you need. Easier than trying to figure out what's wrong with yours. Mine works just fine. Understand your wanting a gun for the larger ones
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:24 AM   #3
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It shoud ble easy to fix. Take the chrome nosepiece off and you'll see the jaws that grip the rivet mandrel.

Unscrew the jaw holder and you will probably find a piece of rivet or just dirt that is keeping the jaws from closing around the rivet.

Clean it, grease it, put it back together and it'll work fine for another 600 rivets. Just needs a little routine maintenance.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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First question is, do you have the gun with max capacity of 1/4" or max 3/16"? I have had two of the 3/16" and have had no problem with either of them (in terms of gripping a 1/8" rivet shaft). Also, look in the little bag of replacement parts that came with the gun--you might have a second set of grippers that can be swapped out. The other thing is be sure you are shooting 1/8" rivets with aluminum mandrels. It could be that you are using steel mandrels and the gripper is just not finding purchase on the steel.

good luck!
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:34 AM   #5
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Just to be per-emptive to the Harbor Freight haters about to post, I am loving that store! We had a new one open about ten minutes from me, and is stealing my money regularly!

For the restoration of my trailer, I have found that I'm more often than not using HF tools. These including the revit gun, grinders, sanders, metal shears, metal brake, welder, blankets, straps, and various expendables. It's starting to smell like China in my shop.

Realistically, I'm not expecting the precision and longevity of my Snap-On stuff, but the tools are only about 15% of the price.

For low frequency, non-proffesional use, I have no issues with HF.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:43 AM   #6
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I only want my trailer restoration tools to last for exactly one restoration anyway. Don't want a bunch of tools lying around tempting me to take on another project trailer!
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:52 AM   #7
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SFSG....25+Yrs & counting...$35 or so on Amazon.

Bob
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:58 AM   #8
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About $45, only got 8-10 years on it though.....
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:29 AM   #9
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I have HB gun that has probably 300 rivets thru it in the last 5 years. Only complaint I have is that it grips the shafts so tightly that I have to pull them out with pliers.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:54 AM   #10
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I also was having some issues with getting shafts out after each rivet. I just tried a nosepiece, same size, from my manual rivet tool - works great now.
Greg
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:14 PM   #11
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I've used 1/8" Harbor Freight rivets for years. In fact, I used a few yesterday. No problems.

After 600 rivets, your rivet gun's semi-circular, conical "jaws" may need cleaning (accumulation of aluminum dust and debris over time), or jaw "teeth" may be worn. You need to disassemble your rivet gun for inspection.

Tom
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
SFSG....25+Yrs & counting...$35 or so on Amazon.

Bob
I had a HP-2 for years until some scum bag stole it. They are still good value at $35 from Amazon.

Careful using the HF rivets on an Airstream. They are steel shanked. I get my all aluminum rivets from Vintage Trailer Supply.
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:55 PM   #13
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Hf

You get what you pay for!
Have a power sewer rooter that works as designed.
Heavy dolly wheels I recently got collapsed under the thing I wanted to move.
The place is fine for weekend tinkerers but NOT for we who fixes things for a living!
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:00 PM   #14
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And on the other hand I build wooden boats commercially. Burned up several high end and very expensive angle grinders. Bought a HF grinder to use for one job. This was our ten years ago. Over a dozen boats later it is still going strong.
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