# Electric pop rivet gun versus Air driven pop rivet gun, any suggestions ?

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by pilotarix, Sep 14, 2012.

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1. Sep 14, 2012

### pilotarix

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Hi all,

I always thought that using pop rivets might be not only quicker but also more inexpensive than using standard rivets. A hand rivet gun is not that expensive and you don't need the whole air tool equipment including the air compressor.
Looking at a video from homebuild help I realized that using a hand rivet tool is not impossible but for a lot of rivets it might be a little inconvenient and more time consuming.

So I need one of these noisy aircompressors in my shop or is there something electric?

I searched the web and wasn't able to find a lot of information other than they seem to be very expensive...
like this one here
One Gesipa Accubird 12V Cordless Rechargeable Riveting Tool : Amazon.com : Automotive

By the way the only one I could find that was available and it is not really inexpensive.

-But no need to by a compressor...

-But for that price I probably get a good compressor and some good air tools... I could use compressed air more often than I thought, even though I use pop rivets..

Any suggestions, somebody out there who used a electric pop rivet gun?

Thanks,
Chris

2. Sep 14, 2012

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At the bottom of the same page as your link you can add this to a cordless drill - Allstar Performance ALL18205 Rivet Gun for Cordless Drill : Amazon.com : Automotive

3. Sep 14, 2012

### pilotarix

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Hi

I am obviously a little blind. :gig: I have used the amazon link only as an example and haven't really realize the rest of the shown items.

That seems to be something to start with, and not to much loss, if it doesn't do his job.

4. Sep 14, 2012

### Joe Fisher

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I am working on a Rans. I wore out two good hand riveters and still had to by an air riveter. I could not pull the 1/4" stainless steel by hand at all. I could not find any specks on the electric riveters it would be good to make sure that they can actually do all the work you need.

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5. Sep 14, 2012

### Aerowerx

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One concern that I would have in using a cordless rivet gun is the consistency of the force.

I would be afraid that as the battery ran down the rivets would not be as tight.

Why not go ahead and buy a small compressor. Lowes and other big box stores have them for $100 and up. Then you can also use it to inflate your tires when you are ready for your first flight! Good proper tools are never a waste of money. Remember there is a big difference in a loose rivet at 60 mph on the highway and 6000 feet at 100 mph. Doggzilla likes this. 6. Sep 14, 2012 ### pilotarix ### pilotarix #### Active Member Joined: Aug 21, 2012 Messages: 40 Likes Received: 3 Location: Hummelstown, PA Hello, thanks for the answers, some good points, especially the consistency of the force and the quality of the riveted connection. Even at only 60mph I don't wanna figure out in 6000 feet that the quality of the riveted connection has some issues. :gig: So I have to find an air compressor at a resonable (what is a resonable size?) size and noise, not annoy family or even neighbors to much, on (for e.g.) an early sunday morning. Any experience with housing an air compressors for noise reduction? Thanks, Chris 7. Sep 14, 2012 ### Hot Wings ### Hot Wings #### Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Nov 14, 2009 Messages: 6,312 Likes Received: 2,269 Location: Rocky Mountains For intermittent use it works well. If your duty cycle is much above 30% then overheating is a possibility. Most of the noise comes from the air intake. If you buy a pump that has a method of attaching an intake filter, like a pipe thread, then you can build a combination filter/intake muffler. With such a setup even a cheap hardware store compressor is quiet enough that the family probably won't hear it running in the garage. It was a standing joke in my shop that the phone and the air compressor were wired together. I finally took the time to build an intake filter to use the inner filters from large earth moving equipment (get them free from the trash at the local heavy equipment shops) and the noise is now less than the average older dishwasher. The compressor should last longer with a proper filter too. An air compressor is one of those tools that you will never regret buying. 8. Sep 14, 2012 ### PTAirco ### PTAirco #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 21, 2003 Messages: 3,476 Likes Received: 996 Location: Corona CA At some point you'll have to paint things (at least for most projects), so you'll need a compressor anyway. I bought a Harbor Fright one for under$200 and over about 5 years wore it out, then replaced it with an identical one bought secondhand ($100) , so I'll have a few spares. My Harbor Freight pneumatic rivet puller has gone through about 4,000 rivets so far and is working just fine - not bad for about$40. It makes riveting fun, I detest using the hand tools and have no idea how anyone can complete an airplane without gettign serious carpal tunnel syndrome.

For those outside the US, Harbor Freight (also known as Horrible Freight, Harbor Fright etc....) is a chain of cheap Chinese tool stores and seems to have become a major factor in homebuilders' lives! I even know a few aircraft maintenance shops who frequently send their mechanics in there to pick things up. Some of the things are so cheap you end up buying it, whether you need it or not. Some stuff is utter junk. Some has outlasted my Bosch and Ryobi tools costing 4-5 times as much.

9. Sep 14, 2012

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I agree with those that say a compressor is a great investment but for ages I didn't have room for one so I painted things with a small airless gun, which I now prefer because it doesn't fill the air with overspray. I also have a little spray unit that makes it's own air via a blower like a tiny vacuum cleaner.

I was also concerned for my neighbours about the noise of a compressor for rivetting but then a friend lent me an air rivetter and I had a compressor by then so I tried it when I knew the neighbours were trying to have a nap :gig: (just kidding) and found that the compressor would fill the air vessel and switch off and then I could rivet for ages before it ran again, so the noise wasn't much of a problem anyway. But what folks here have said about an intake silencer is definitely the way to go and easy to do. Also sit the compressor up off the floor on rubber (bits of old car tyre or similar).

AND - pay attention to what PTA said about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Seven months ago, in February I needed to rivet inside the engine bay area of AussieMozzie and the air rivetter wouldn't fit and neither would my lazy tongs (large scissors style rivetter) so I used my small manual rivetter to pull 2x 5/32 monel rivets. My hand hurt a bit afterwards but I didn't think much of it but by next day the main tendon in my thumb was clicking and it just got worse until the pain was very distressing. A week later the doctor said they'd need to slit the sheath that encloses the tendon, it was inflamed and wouldn't repair itself because of constant movement. I'm not very trusting of hand surgeons so I decided to strap it and let it heal. Below is a pic of it seven months later, I now only wear the brace at night and have to be very careful during the day. I know that tendons can take a couple of years to heal because I have had Ross River virus which attacks tendon blood supply. Be warned....

The tension of the rivet is determined by the mandrel (the steel nail that is pulled by the rivetter). When the nail breaks off from the head the rivet has been set to the right tension so you don't need to worry about the rivetter, if it doesn't pull the rivet sufficiently the nail won't break off.

I couldn't find any specs on that rivetter attachment either but there were a few reviews from previous buyers. The main problem I saw was that you had to use both hands, one hand was to prevent the rivetter attachment from turning while setting the rivet. Apart from the inconvenience of having to use both hands, and sometimes you can't get them both in there, is that if the rivetter wants to twist as you set the rivet and if you allow it to, even just a bit, then it will twist the head off the rivet nail rather than breaking it in tension, and that would definitely result in an underset rivet force.

10. Sep 15, 2012

### pilotarix

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thanks for all the advice guys

I will definitely get an air driven rivet gun, I clearly see the advance, even though I doubt that you will come into trouble with your carpal tunnel by using a hand tool. The typ of mechanical load to your hand and forearm will more likely cause something like a tennis elbow (epicondylitis humeri lateralis). :gig::gig:

And... I am not going to Harbor Freight anymore. I am not sure if the evaporations from all the cheap crap are dangerous and it would look funny going there with a gas mask on, home depot yes, but this is a kind of deep enough...

I like MacMaster-Carr they still have some quality tools and I have some tooling from Germany (Home - HAZET-Werk) but also Stahl Ville or Gedore.
But at the end of the day it is all about the price...I know... most people don't appreciate good tools anymore, the even don't know anymore how good tools look like.

Anyhow... I am going off topic, sorry

Chris

11. Sep 15, 2012

### PTAirco

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Oh hell, is that what that weird clicking feeling in my right thumb is, followed by a sharp pain? I was wondering for a few years now - it happens once in a while, then it's fine again. But I am working around it.

My day-job is working on rimless eyeglasses and I use all kinds of pliers all day long. You'd think with eyeglasses you would have to have a very delicate touch, but you'd be surprised how much force you have to apply to hold those things steady while you adjust them. I have definitely got myself some some permanent damage from doing that for decades, but I now take it very easy with things like that. I would not dream of using hand riveters for more than few rivets, when I absolutely have to.

12. Sep 15, 2012

### Hot Wings

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But at the end of the day it is all about the price...I know... most people don't appreciate good tools anymore

Depends on what what you want. Sometimes price is the key factor to get one job done, but I also appreciate good tools. I love my Stahlwille wrenches but even those have gone down in quality over the years. I have a partial set my father bought, probably in the early 60's, and they are far better than the new ones with the thicker chrome that tends to flake off.

13. Sep 15, 2012

### pilotarix

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You maybe right, everybody tries to cut some edges. They probaly have to, to keep up with all the inexpensive stuff. I am not sure how bad it is with this company, I didn't buy anything from them recently. The Hazet stuff is still good, most of that is still made in Germany.

sounds convincing... what was the size of the air tank, do you remember ?

Thanks,
Chris

14. Sep 15, 2012

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Here's a pic of my compressor, it's only small but not one of the real baby ones (I also have one of those and they're really noisy...) the receiver on this one is 32" long and 12" diameter. It cycles up to 900kPa/130psi and it won't turn back on again until I've set about 60 rivets. Many days that means it only runs once for about two minutes. I got it on ebay for \$50, changed the oil and treated it with neglect and abuse ever since.

15. Sep 16, 2012

### pilotarix

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Thanks, that helps...
Chris

16. Sep 17, 2015

### mch

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I am a surgeon - the operation suggested is on the tendon sheath, not the tendon, it is very small surgery and very effective. It is usually not performed until cortisone injection has been tried and failed. But to wear a splint in lieu of a minor operation is ridiculous

17. Sep 17, 2015

### don january

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I would defently go the air rivet set up for building. It sure come's in handy with blowing dust and metal shaving's out of your way, and who know's when you have a low tire and I like the idea of the same pull pressure each time on the rivet's, and after 500 rivet's with an elec. rivet gun the air compressor would probably cost less in electricity. IMO Don

18. Sep 17, 2015

### stol

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1/4" Stainless... HOLY CRAP.....

As a builder who pulled 14,210 rivets while building my Zenith 801. I can say the air riveter is the only way to go...

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19. Sep 18, 2015

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Thanks for your interest but since the surgeons here have a 'failure with ongoing complications' on hands/wrists, feet/ankles rate exceeding 15% I was quite happy to go the 'natural way' and allow my body a chance to heal itself. Which it did quite perfectly. IIRC I wore the splint full-time for about three months and then just at night for another three months and haven't had any problems since.

I'm not against surgery when it's appropriate, I've quite a number of scars to prove it, and the results have been mixed, so I consider surgery to be a last resort.

Folks have got to get their heads around this 'same pull pressure each time' business - the pressure of the rivet is determined by when the mandrel snaps, not by how hard or gently you pull it, so you cannot adjust the pull pressure, similar rivets out of the same box will set at the same pressure whether you use a pneumatic riveter, electric riveter or hand riveter.

20. Sep 22, 2015

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