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Old 01-17-2015, 11:37 AM   #1
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New Toy- Harbor Freight Riveter

I decided if I'm going to own a bus and do as much work myself as possible that I need a pneumatic riveter. Harbor Freight had what I was looking for and will go up to 1/4" For $70, I couldn't resist. The reviews online were GREAT, so I'm excited to get to riveting. Hopefully its less of a headache than REMOVING them was.
I'm thinking I can rivet on the 14 ga plate I had cut to fit over the emergency hatches on the roof. Plus- I'm gonna panel over where the windows are/were and upgrade them to rv units.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has used rivets before. I've NEVER actually had to, so this is new to me. Anything I need to know?
I may have to suck it up and buy a real air compressor. This dinky 6gal probably isn't nearly adequate.

Anyhow- heres what I bought-http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-qua...ter-98898.html
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
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Ive used rivets extensively, with the very HF tool you mention!

In my experience, it uses very little air, so I wouldn't worry about beefing up your compressor, unless you're riveting incredibly fast ;)

It is important to decide what kind of metal you want your rivets to be made out of, stainless is great, but it is hard on the rivet gun, steel is also very strong, but may rust, aluminum is easy on the gun, and won't rust, but is not going to be as strong.

My HF gun would jam, as the arbors would get stuck in the part that bites into them which pulls them tight, after I had set the rivet. One trick I found was that after I pull the trigger and set the rivet, keep the trigger pulled, insert the next rivet into the end of the gun and push it all the way in, then release the trigger. This ensures that the old rivet gets all the way out of the gun.

Riveting is FUN! Best of luck!
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:43 PM   #3
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Yeah I'd decided I'd go for plain steel, since I'm painting it anyhow.
Thanks for the insight. I won't rush out and buy a 30 gal compressor... yet. I'll post some pics once I start on this. It may be a little while. The tool I got home with has all four keys the same size. No 1/4" in there so its going back and they don't have any more in stock.
Note to check these if anyone out there is buying one of these.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 01-17-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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I have this same rivet gun myself and have put in over 500 rivets with it.

Granted I have a 80 gallon 7.5 hp compressor so I didn't have any issues with air or recovery time. It did a very good job. Only complaint I had with the gun was a lot of the cut rivets stems would jam up that clear collection tube if I didn't clear it out frequently.

I had all my holes pre marked and predrilled so all I had to do was poke the rivet in and go from rivet to rivet. It went very fast and the clamping force was very good.

I think your smaller compressor shouldn't be an issue if you take it slow. I think it would be a lot of expense to take on just to rivet. If not you may go to a rental store and rent one for a weekend…. will be much cheaper than buying unless you have a need for one that is bigger.

I used aluminum rivets even thought I was riveting steel. Yes I know they are dissimilar metals but I will be painting over both of them with tractor paint.

Hope this helps your info search?
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bapos View Post
I have this same rivet gun myself and have put in over 500 rivets with it.

Granted I have a 80 gallon 7.5 hp compressor so I didn't have any issues with air or recovery time. It did a very good job. Only complaint I had with the gun was a lot of the cut rivets stems would jam up that clear collection tube if I didn't clear it out frequently.

I had all my holes pre marked and predrilled so all I had to do was poke the rivet in and go from rivet to rivet. It went very fast and the clamping force was very good.

I think your smaller compressor shouldn't be an issue if you take it slow. I think it would be a lot of expense to take on just to rivet. If not you may go to a rental store and rent one for a weekend…. will be much cheaper than buying unless you have a need for one that is bigger.

I used aluminum rivets even thought I was riveting steel. Yes I know they are dissimilar metals but I will be painting over both of them with tractor paint.

Hope this helps your info search?
Very helpful. I'll definitely have use for a bigger compressor but on my budget the longer I can hold off buying one the better.
All I've ever had were GIANT ones at a manufacturing facility.
In a month or two maybe I'll start looking for a deal on a nice used compressor. Something in the 4-5hp range should do.
Thanks for the reply!
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:02 PM   #6
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What kind of tractor paint do you guys like? I think I might opt for that on my bus, instead of going with automotive paint.
I know rustoleum is junk, but honestly, It's never ruined my day so....
Auto paint is crazy $$$ and I like the idea of being able to do on the spot touchups with just a rattle can! Its a bus, not a ferrari
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
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What kind of tractor paint do you guys like? I think I might opt for that on my bus, instead of going with automotive paint.
I know rustoleum is junk, but honestly, It's never ruined my day so....
Auto paint is crazy $$$ and I like the idea of being able to do on the spot touchups with just a rattle can! Its a bus, not a ferrari
Rustoleum is what I'm likely going with, Definitely going with that underneath and inside. I suspect the tractor/implement stuff is more or less the same as Rustoleum.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:59 PM   #8
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Better keep the paperwork handy.
My hf 1/4 rivet gun lasted for 5 structural rivets before the nose cone tryed to turn inside out on me...
Seems like most people get a good one, I did not
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:40 AM   #9
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Better keep the paperwork handy.
My hf 1/4 rivet gun lasted for 5 structural rivets before the nose cone tryed to turn inside out on me...
Seems like most people get a good one, I did not
This is the downside of cheap tools. Good thing they have a 90 day guarantee.
I exchanged mine for one with all the pieces.
Oh well, this is life on a hippie budget.
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