Drawing a rivet--technique 101


Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Rob Miller

New Member
Feb 12, 2003
This method is recommended ONLY for round (universal head rivets).

Occasionally, in the middle of a riveting session, you'll notice that the two pieces of metal you are trying to put together are not tightly together, i.e. a space exists between the parts. This space can be eliminated by:

1. Drive and buck the rivet a COUPLE (only) of taps.

2. Then place the bucking bar right next to but not on the rivet.

3. With the rivet gun on the rivet, tap the rivet a couple of times.

4. This should draw the parts together and they can now be riveted as normal. If this doe not work, repeat the steps again.

This is a great trick, I hope this helps someone out there!

Rob Miller RV-8 N262RM "Bad Cat" 47 hours


This is a very useful idea. What I have done is to make a slender bucking bar with a hole slightly larger than the rivet shank in the end. This way there is support all around the rivet when seating it in the hole. This bar also has a slightly radiused end so that no harm is done if its not quite straight. A countersunk version of this bar allows the same to be done with flush rivets. I don't recommend using the rivet gun to tap them down, I have "smiled" too many skins this way! I use a plastic hammer to tap down the rivet head. I have made several of these out of 3/4" mild steel barstock about three inches long. To put the slight curve on the end, chuck the bar in a drillpress and file the end smooth while it is running. (poor man's lathe)



Jun 23, 2004
Anapolis, Goias, Brazil
You can also put a _very_ small rubber o-ring on the tail of the rivet. It should force the skins together but still squish down to allow a correct shop head to form.