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Thread: Air Rivet Guns

  1. #1
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    Default Air Rivet Guns

    Anyone have any good luck with an air rivet gun? I know there are those of you out there that use rivets a lot.

    We use them a pretty good bit here too, and it seems like I'm wearing out rivet guns way too fast.

    We have been just buying whatever MSC was selling. We've been using ones from Chicago Pneumatic, Florida Pneumatic, and lately Marson. None of these are what I consider cheap at $200 a piece, but I see there are way more expensive guns out there.

    Are the rivet guns that cost $750 - $1000 that much better? I'd have to swallow hard when I submitted the PO, but if it would last for years, I believe it would pay off.

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    What size and material rivets. Solids? Pop Rivets?

    I scored a pretty nice ergonomic/antivibration CP 4x rivet gun on ebay a while back. Guy selling did not know that they needed to have a tool in them to test, so it was cheaper than most crappy import air hammers. Near a G-note new, think I paid a bit under $75 delivered.

    Or are you pulling pop rivets? Never seen a Cherry Max rivet gun wear out, though saw several destroyed by being dropped from height.

    If a rivet gun for snaps and bucking bars, is what you are actually after, check out the Aircraft supply and Homebuilt Aircraft suppliers stock. Aircraft Spruce, ATI (part of the Snap-On empire IIRC) and such.

    Dunno if they are still in it, but there used to be a place called The Yard, that sold aircraft maintenance tools.

    If you are doing a LOT of solid rivets, look at the various rivet squeeze tools. Air over hydraulic, with sets of inserts for each type of rivet. Nice for high volume when you are doing a lot of the same setup.

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    During my tenure as an A&P mechanic, I've shot and bucked a bunch of rivets. For solids we used mostly Chicago Pneumatic guns and they always seemed to work well and last a long time for us. Like most air tools - air volume at pressure is your friend. Proper bucks helps too. Squeezers are nice if you have the access.

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    production grade tools from Avdel and Cherry should be good for, oh, I don't know.. 1+ million rivets MTBF, if operated within its capacity and maintained properly, I'd think.

    do you really expect a 1-2 hundred dollar tool to match up to that? I don't think so. stay with the real pro stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatMan View Post
    ...We use them a pretty good bit here too, and it seems like I'm wearing out rivet guns way too fast...
    Ummm... you do know that rivet guns require oiling, yes? At least daily. Run dry, they won't last long.
    Bill

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    All,

    These rivets are the hollow aluminum pop rivets. We are placing them in 16ga aluminum sheet and 1/8" fiberglass sheet.

    I don't expect the cheap tools out of the catalog to last like the "real" rivet guns. That's why I'm asking here which ones are "real" rivet guns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatMan View Post
    All,

    These rivets are the hollow aluminum pop rivets. We are placing them in 16ga aluminum sheet and 1/8" fiberglass sheet.
    .
    HaHaHa....GiGo.

    You weren't specific, and assumed "rivet gun" meant one for "pulling" pop rivets.

    Posters also "assumed' other style.

    "Technical Details" are important.

    Many different professionals here on this board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatMan View Post
    All,

    These rivets are the hollow aluminum pop rivets. We are placing them in 16ga aluminum sheet and 1/8" fiberglass sheet.

    I don't expect the cheap tools out of the catalog to last like the "real" rivet guns. That's why I'm asking here which ones are "real" rivet guns.
    {repeat] Avdel, Cherry. those are brands. I have an older Avdel, (Textron) it's good stuff, tough, light, and fairly ergonomic.

    they are two of the top production rivet manufacturers. If the gun isn't working, they arn't selling rivets for it. makes sense to stick with them for the guns

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatMan View Post
    ...These rivets are the hollow aluminum pop rivets. We are placing them in 16ga aluminum sheet and 1/8" fiberglass sheet...
    Ohhhhh....
    FYI, those aren't "rivet guns." Those are "pneumatic rivet pullers." Rivet guns drive solid rivets against a bucking bar.
    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatMan View Post
    All,

    These rivets are the hollow aluminum pop rivets. We are placing them in 16ga aluminum sheet and 1/8" fiberglass sheet.

    I don't expect the cheap tools out of the catalog to last like the "real" rivet guns. That's why I'm asking here which ones are "real" rivet guns.
    Same suppliers I gave you before. A new puller with a couple pulling heads is going to cost you as much as $3K or a bit more new. Used is uglier, but still gonna run for about a million more rivets, and can be rebuilt for a couple dozen dollars in Orings and other parts. Talk to the suppliers. Some of the pulling jaws need a textured shank of the correct size to grip, some will grab a smooth, soft shank of a pop rivet, etc. Decide if you can live with the stems being dropped at random, or if you need them to remain contained for control over the leftovers (FOD Control, a REALLY big deal around aircraft!)

    Or, buy them by the crate from Harbor Freight, get your use out of them until they quit, pull the next out and get back at it.

    Yardstore https://www.yardstore.com/pneumatic-...ll-three-heads

    HF 3/16" Air Hydraulic Riveter

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    I have been using a cherry rivet puller for about 30 years with no trouble. It has pulled 10s of thousands of rivets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    I have been using a cherry rivet puller for about 30 years with no trouble. It has pulled 10s of thousands of rivets.
    Same here....we use 2 or 3 of them (Cherry) in production every day with steel rivets to the tune of maybe 25,000 per year. We’ve had two of them for decades and one for maybe 5 years. Rebuild kits every few years.


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