an aircraft of metal parts, good
riveting is essential to the function and appearance of your project.
These tips will really pay off in saved time, effort, and
I have found that the key to good results is
parts don’t move
while I’m bucking, so clamp them down. You may think that
is so heavy, there is no way it will move. Don’t fall for
it! Put a
clamp or two on it and make sure it doesn’t move.
the smoothest finished heads by using a backriveting
plate. This is a heavy piece of metal that you lay flat on
bench. You put the countersunk head against the plate, and
hit the shop
head with a special backriveting set. This works well for the
on most of the moving surfaces.
Back rivet plate
Back rivet set
you can’t use the plate, then next best result
backriveting bar. This is a heavy, wide bucking bar that you
against the flat, factory head. You again drive the shop head
same special set. This works well for the top
skins of the
wings. Do the top skins first, then buck the bottom
way, the prettier side is up and shows more. You can also use
this method for much
of the fuselage skins.
if the other two won’t work, you are left
with the regular rivet set. I like the mushroom head with a
the rubber. I use it for 99% of the work I have to
do. But you will
need the one without the rubber too. There are some spots
that are too
tight for the rubber. If the factory head is half on the
metal and half
on the rubber, you will get an ugly line across the head, and will have
drill it out. Using
a set with a
swiveling head will keep you from making smiley faces on your skins.
is really only one way to buck
these. You have to use the right sized set. The
thing is to keep the set and gun parallel to the surface on which you
If it is off, you will get a smiley face on the skin, or ruin the rivet
have to drill it out. If you can’t easily reach both sides,
a time saver!
I squeeze every chance I get.
using a pneumatic squeezer and the adjustable set holder (see
Tools), I can finish the work a lot quicker than
shape of the parts will determine from which side you will
make sure you have pressure on the factory head before the squeezing
starts. Otherwise the rivet may back out and then get
will be ruined, and you will have to drill it out.
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