Using softer solid rivets


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Marc Bourget

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2011
Stockton, California
WKTaylor, is a sharp and laudably conservative intellect. He writes very accurately, so you have to read him carefully to get the full value contained in his posts.

John Thorp was brilliant and WK has many of his qualities. You had to listen to John even better, as like the proverbial picture, some of John's sentences were "worth a 1000 words."

John used 6061 for formed ribs in the T-18 because it was technically simpler and pretty much the equal of 2024 in compression, which is the principal load factor/path (excuse my poor terminology - WK can you assist?). Ribs made from 2024, started with -O condition and required heat treat and post HT "re-work."

John "approved" of annealing AD rivets, but only after I explained that I was using a professional Heat Treat oven with a recording thermometer. The approval was in the mid '70's before the common access to digital temperature controllers. The temp "window" is very close and timing is also important. The idea with the recording thermometer was excursions outside of the Temp window scrapped the effort.

Annealing gives you the ability to drive -4 rivest with 30-40 PSI, ticking the trigger lightly so the rivet gun hits "plop-plop-plop-plop" Even if I stored them in a thermos with dry ice, over the period of 3-4 days I was back up to a 2 second "burrrrrrp" at 80 psi. But the distortion of the sheets from the increase in diameter of the rivet was non-existent with the soft rivets.

Finally, WK was the first to impress me with the fact that you NEVER try to anneal color-anodized rivets (a point I'm sure he would have brought up if he thought anyone here was about to try it.

Onward and upward !


Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Dec 16, 2007
Port Townsend WA
Heat treating is too complex. That's why I wanted a slightly softer solid rivet option. For example, the same alloy as is used in the common hollow stem Avex pop rivets, that are frequently used in EA-B kits. Solid would be stronger than the same size hollow pop rivet.