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Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by blane.c, Dec 20, 2018.
Title says it all.
I made a couple of different hydraulic squeezers for assembling HP-18 box spars, but except for that kind of specialized application it's hard to justify the required effort for a general purpose squeezer. You can get one for around $75.
That said, for bigger rivets like the AD6 used in Vans RV-4 and RV-6 wing spars, it used to be customary to adapt a cheap Harbor Freight hydraulic press. There used to be several web pages on the mods to do this, but these days all the Vans spars come pre-assembled.
I suppose if you were both desperate and resourceful you could have a squeezer yoke laser cut from steel plate, and assemble the plunger from parts turned down from Grade 8 (or Class 8.8) bolts. But the resulting product would almost certainly be heavier and more awkward than even the cheapest commercially available units.
hand held, bench, or other?
I made one out of a pair of bolt cutters. Its only good for AD3's though.
If you were building a Panther they would lend you a squeezer at no cost. Perhaps this video will give an idea of how to roll your own:
I wanted to use an Arbor Press mounted to a long bench, modified to accept the 3/16" squeezer sets, for repeatable squeezing of wing spar rivets on the Zenair 701 or 750.
My idea was to have the "shop head" side of the rivet set counter-bored to a depth that matches the height the finished shop head for a given rivet diameter. So when the press comes down and squeezes the shop head, the outer part of the set bottoms out on the surface, with the finished shop head height perfectly done in the center of the squeezer set.
I never got to try it yet, but I sure wish someone would try this idea. Seems like it has the potential to give you uniformly correct rivets, especially whwen you are dealing with spar caps and highly stressed parts. If this is all set up in some sort of a rigid fixture, the "axial alignment" (vertical-ness) can be fixed, so you have far less chance of a "leaning tower of Pisa" rivet. My understanding is that selecting the proper rivet length is a key factor in this too.
View attachment Rivet Press.bmp
I made one like this but for a bottle jack laying horizontal . I like this one better.
I think that one was Tony Spicer's brainchild, wasn't it?
Don't know the answer to that question but Tony was very much involved with Dan and SPA at that time as he was building his Jabiru 3300 powered Panther. Tony, like Dan, is a guy that's got a lot of skill sets that are pretty sharp. Very likable guy too. But most aircraft pilots & builders are!
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