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Old 03-27-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
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1965 20' Globetrotter
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What's your favorite brand rivet gun?

Any takers?

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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What kind of rivets, solid shank (buck) or blind?
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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The working kind that's not jammed up!
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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Both kinds

Just getting some input, I was asking about both types.

Thx

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Old 03-29-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Got this one from Garrett Wade tools. Haven't used it much but swivel head is great for awkward or tight spots.

Rivet Gun, Nut Gun: Swivel-Head Riveting Gun, Blind Nut & Pop Riveting Tool
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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I have an Arrow swivel head pop rivet tool that I got at Home Depot. It works well, but I find that the swivel head is more of an annoyance than a plus. It's great when you can't get to a hole any other way, but I still wish I knew what I did with my old one that stayed put, that is, didn't swivel. Not bad enough to go buy a new one, though.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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I own a swivel head and a standard blind rivet tool and, like Vaughan, I find the swivel head to be a gimmick that just slows me down. If you are popping stainless rivets bigger than 1/8" you will need a long arm tool, too. Unfortunately, most long arm tools have nose pieces that won't get into small areas... so you probably need to own both.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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Steve made a good point about needing a long arm one for stainless rivets bigger than 1/8". I installed about 12 or so larger stainless ones on my F150's bed using the Arrow one from my previous post. To its credit, it survived and still works well. They were so hard to do with the handles on the Arrow that I was squeezing as hard as I could and it wouldn't work till I also squeezed with my knees. That was just enough extra to get the job done. After each rivet, I would have to sit down and rest a while.

Next time, I'll get a bigger riveter.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post
Steve made a good point about needing a long arm one for stainless rivets bigger than 1/8". I installed about 12 or so larger stainless ones on my F150's bed using the Arrow one from my previous post. To its credit, it survived and still works well. They were so hard to do with the handles on the Arrow that I was squeezing as hard as I could and it wouldn't work till I also squeezed with my knees. That was just enough extra to get the job done. After each rivet, I would have to sit down and rest a while.

Next time, I'll get a bigger riveter.
I know that feeling. My first project with a poprivet gun was to put some steps up a 30' mast on my sailboat. So I would put one step in, hoist myself up a little farther in my bosun's chair, do another one, etc.

It was (6) 3/16" stainless steel rivets per step, 10-12 steps. I should have bought a bigger riveter, but I was still in cheap college student mode (especially just after having bought a sailboat ) Anyway, I had so many blisters on my hands, and my arms were sore for a week.

In summary: get many different types. You will use them on the Airstream, I promise.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:25 AM   #10
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I bought three at flea markets. Did not pay over $2:00 for any of them. All three work great. I keep one in each trailer and one in the garage.

Brian
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:35 AM   #11
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Has anyone tried the air powered ones like Harbor Freight sells??
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VintageRV View Post
If you are popping stainless rivets bigger than 1/8" you will need a long arm tool, too. Unfortunately, most long arm tools have nose pieces that won't get into small areas... so you probably need to own both.
I got a couple of pieces of galvanized steel pipe to slip over the ends of the handles. It's kind of awkward, but works better than the "two men and a boy" method. Especially with my arthritic hands.

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Has anyone tried the air powered ones like Harbor Freight sells??
They work very well for Olympic rivets.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #13
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I bought three at flea markets. Did not pay over $2:00 for any of them. All three work great. I keep one in each trailer and one in the garage.

Brian
May be the best flea market bargain I've ever hear of!
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:29 PM   #14
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I've had poor luck with pop riveters & stainless rivets; they don't seem to live very long. I prefer stainless rivets for high load tasks like re-riveting the hinge on top of Airstream windows....

One handy tool I made is a nose extension for the rivet tool - this helps set rivets down in recessed areas such as the window supports.

For buck riveting the Vintage Trailer Supply kit has worked very well for the few hundred rivets I've used for a all-alumnum battery box, wing window replacement and rear-end separation repairs.

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Old 04-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
I've had poor luck with pop riveters & stainless rivets; they don't seem to live very long. I prefer stainless rivets for high load tasks like re-riveting the hinge on top of Airstream windows....
I haven't done that many stainless, but would expect shorter tool life. They really are tough!

Quote:
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One handy tool I made is a nose extension for the rivet tool - this helps set rivets down in recessed areas such as the window supports.

...

- Bart
That is a great idea. I have been meaning to make one myself. In the past, I've used stacks of drilled-out pop rivet heads for a spacer by sliding a few over the mandrel before inserting it in the tool, but you don't always have those around.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:06 PM   #16
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For a hand operated tool I prefer the Marson HP-2. I sold them for many years off of my Snap-On truck. Not one problem. None ever broke. The only thing that went wrong was the jaws would wear out from use. A new set of jaws was about 40 cents, so I kept them in stock and replaced them no charge.

The tool with a small assortment of rivets in a nice case is available at Amazon for about $30.00.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:37 PM   #17
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Stainless rivets,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
What kind of rivets, solid shank (buck) or blind?
Aerowood, where would I use stainless rivets on an airstream? Just wondering

How about a pnuematic pop rivet gun to replace the interior? Think it's a good idea? I have a 20' GT (1965)

I was thinking the two kits from VTS to start, gives me a little of everything including an olympic shaver.

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Old 04-08-2012, 11:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDSLED88 View Post
Aerowood, where would I use stainless rivets on an airstream? Just wondering

How about a pnuematic pop rivet gun to replace the interior? Think it's a good idea? I have a 20' GT (1965)

I was thinking the two kits from VTS to start, gives me a little of everything including an olympic shaver.

TIMK
I use stainless pop rivets when I want extra strength and I can't use a bucked rivet such as fastening window hinges using reversed pop rivets
or securing the bottom trim rail in the rear of the trailer.

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:00 AM   #19
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I bought the least expensive air over hydraulic pop rivet gun from HF (about $45) and it works OK but it does jam quite a bit. Special care has to be taken to be sure the spent rivet stem is clear of the jaws before driving another, but usually a simple shake of the gun will do this. It is much more troublesome when using olympic blind rivets and any kind of sealer as the sealer causes the spent stem to hang up in the gun and causes problems with the next rivet driven. It's easy to unjam, just screw off the nose piece that holds the jaws and clear out the stem pieces, but it takes time . Also the nose piece won't fit in tight places and I had to resort to a hand driver on many interior wall moldings. In hindsight, I don't think it was worth it for me as it didn't really save that much time.
I also couldn't justify the money for a head shaver, a small sanding disk in a drill was good enough for the 200 olympic heads I had to do. It only takes a few seconds for each one and I seriously doubt anyone would have an issue with the results.
As for a buck riveting gun, I borrowed one from a buddy who worked in the aircraft industry. He said " I haven't used it since I stole it 7 years ago". An add on craigslist would probably turn up a used one for a reasonable price.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
Has anyone tried the air powered ones like Harbor Freight sells??
I recently purchased a Jonesway air/hydraulic riveter at Fastenal. It was sitting there on the shelf for years so the manager gave me a great deal. It takes it a lot of grunt to pull 3/16" stainless rivets, but it got it done. I wish I would have bought one years ago.
For the regular manual blind riveter, I got a new Pop brand riveter from Brown Aviation and Aircraft Tools a while back. The Arrow swivel head had to be relegated to the scrap metal pile. I very much prefer the non swivel version.

For solid riveting, I have the solid rivet kit from VTS. Works great.
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