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Thread: Using softer solid rivets

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    Registered User Angusnofangus's Avatar
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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    IMHO 3's and 4's are more of challenge as they require a bit of finesse. 5's and 6's are usually in thicker, heavier structure and you can blast away on them.
    I've never met an airplane or helicopter that I didn't like

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by gtae07 View Post
    One could find a squeezer for a little more money and use that, then sell it for little or no loss. Or ask around and find an RV builder that might have one.

    There's also the 12-ton press for $109.

    Lots of ways to skin this proverbial feline.
    Unless you get a big, heavy, ungainly squeezer, it probably won't do 6's and might struggle with 5's. C squeezers have more jam than the alligator type, but can be limited as to what you can access.
    I've never met an airplane or helicopter that I didn't like

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Keeping 3s heads not mashed is some challenge but your experience is big repair station manufacturing work. -5s going where -5s were meant. His description is more like replacing the skin of a Cessna 150 with all -5s.

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    Registered User BBerson's Avatar
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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Good feedback here, so keep it coming.
    I tested some 5056 rivets and they seem a bit softer, but not much. I can tell that they shear easier with end nippers and I flattened one 5056 and one 2117 and the 5056 went slightly thinner before cracking. ( center photo)
    I only mentioned dissimilar metals as an argument to use something other than 2117. I don't care about the dissimilar metals much. I don't see why 5056 can only be used on magnesium, as mentioned.
    Steel bolts are not a problem with corrosion either. But steel bolts don't fill the hole, so steel rivets would be superior to bolts if they are easy to drive.
    Another option is driving tubular rivets. I tried an aluminum tubular rivet (top right photo) and and a steel tubular rivet (bottom center) both were easy to drive with a rivet gun.
    The two in top center are 5/32" 2117 with the one on right is bell shaped and didn't fully form before it got hard. The left one was heat treated and softer so fully formed. The far top left is heat softened 1/8"
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    The fuselage structure is 1/16" and 1/8" wall extrusion like the BD-6 photo.
    Not over thinking this. Big rivets are needed or bolts.

    Looks like AN-3 bolts here
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by BBerson; February 17th, 2017 at 12:41 PM.

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    AN-3 bolts are overkill but they don't make any smaller. Machine screws are smaller but might be hard to a find a solid shank the right length with no threads bearing on the hole.
    I would like to offer three options for those builders that can't rivet for noise or difficulty.
    1) AN-3 bolts
    2) 5/32" or 3/16" steel pop rivets (aluminum pop rivets are probably 1100 alloy and not strong enough)
    3) 5/32" or 3/16" driven or squeezed solid rivets. I figured a medium strength driven rivet would be adequate. The 3/16" 2117 are difficult to drive.

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    Registered User Matt G.'s Avatar
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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson View Post
    I only mentioned dissimilar metals as an argument to use something other than 2117. I don't care about the dissimilar metals much. I don't see why 5056 can only be used on magnesium, as mentioned.
    Steel bolts are not a problem with corrosion either. But steel bolts don't fill the hole, so steel rivets would be superior to bolts if they are easy to drive.
    The steel bolts are not a problem with corrosion because they are Cadmium plated. Steel driven rivets are bare steel, and they are still going to be more difficult to drive than a 2117 rivet of the same size, so the solution there is to simply use a 2117 rivet.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson
    AN-3 bolts are overkill but they don't make any smaller. Machine screws are smaller but might be hard to a find a solid shank the right length with no threads bearing on the hole.
    I would like to offer three options for those builders that can't rivet for noise or difficulty.
    1) AN-3 bolts
    2) 5/32" or 3/16" steel pop rivets (aluminum pop rivets are probably 1100 alloy and not strong enough)
    3) 5/32" or 3/16" driven or squeezed solid rivets. I figured a medium strength driven rivet would be adequate. The 3/16" 2117 are difficult to drive.
    Okay, so here are your options:

    1. Use AN3 bolts, washers, and lock nuts. Match drill and ream the holes for a snug fit. Heavy, but it'll work.
    2. Use CR3213 blind rivets, which have design data in MMPDS.
    3. Use 6/32" 2117 (AD) rivets. Your opinion about them being difficult to drive is not corroborated by many other people. Lots of RVs and stuff like that assembled with them, and people have figured out how to do that. It is not difficult with the correct tools, which has been discussed ad nauseum previously in this thread.
    4. Design your joints with larger gussets and more fasteners such that 4/32" AD rivets that can be used. Your 0.1875" stackup is within the range of what is acceptable for -4 dia. rivets.

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Given the constraints, I'd probably just use MD4xxBS, MD5xxBS or MD6xxBS monel pop rivets and move on.
    Bob Kuykendall
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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Looks like Monel pop rivets are expensive and hard to squeeze the large size from forum posts, I read. I have no experience with Monel. Might as well use cheap AN-3 bolts, I think.
    Only remaining thought is if my old AD rivets have age hardened or not. Only one commenter here said they do age harden.
    Anyone else have a comment on age hardening or not?
    Getting fresh rivets is easy if that could help.

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Ok Matt, you were right. I got out my big 5hp 120 psi compressor and the big rivets will drive just fine now that I have correct tools and technique. I was using 90 psi and using short bursts and a medium bar., so the rivet work hardened before it set. With one quick full throttle burst and a huge bucking bar it works fine. Haven't used these -5 and -6 in probably 20 years, if ever.
    Driven rivets is the way for me, if my neighbor doesn't complain.
    Others can use bolts, if needed.

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson View Post
    Looks like Monel pop rivets are expensive and hard to squeeze the large size from forum posts, I read...
    When you make a fastener that has a high yield strength, it is hard to yield. When you choose specialty fasteners to avoid imaginary or artificial constraints (noise, tooling issues, etc), they are expensive.

    In other news, water is still wet.
    Bob Kuykendall
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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    True. Each builder has different contraints. That's why it's nice to have different options. For me, I like making it fun. It's fun when it works, not fun when it doesn't work well.
    I was thinking it might be possible to silence the rivet gun with foam wrap or somehow to eliminate or lessen the noise contraints. My guess is Topaz could not use a rivet gun in his condo shop.

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    Quote Originally Posted by BBerson View Post
    True. Each builder has different contraints. That's why it's nice to have different options. For me, I like making it fun. It's fun when it works, not fun when it doesn't work well.
    I was thinking it might be possible to silence the rivet gun with foam wrap or somehow to eliminate or lessen the noise contraints. My guess is Topaz could not use a rivet gun in his condo shop.
    Rubber rivets are the answer to noise.
    I've never met an airplane or helicopter that I didn't like

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets

    I tried rubber rivets. The shop head looked perfect until I released the bucking bar.
    I think they need to be stored in dry ice or something.



    The funny thing is... if I google "rubber rivets" it will likely show this thread.

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    Re: Using softer solid rivets


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