Riveters - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-16-2003, 07:17 AM   #1
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Riveters

With all the riveting talk, I started looken for a rivet installing tool.
I had no idea they had *kinds*.
So which do you use
or better yet which would you prefer to use?

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e26af4daf667rivet2.gif/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e26af8c7178frivet1.gif/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3e26afc4c851crivet3.gif/>

are there other choices?
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Old 01-16-2003, 07:24 AM   #2
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#1

Your rivet gun #1 ... the one-handed gun ... will work the best. And usually cost under US$10 (C$15.35). Any big home improvement store will have one ... as will Canadian Tire, etc. Get a stationary head ... not a swivel head model.

If you are new to riveting ... try to purchase a "package" deal which comes with an assortment of rivets and nose pieces (which hold the various sized rivets in the gun!).

No, don't use the assortment on your little fiberglass rig (you need aluminum rivets to use on your trailer, not steel) ... use the free rivets to "practice" riveting things together .... like two thin pieces of wood or aluminum ... dog tags on a collar.

"Pop" a couple of the "free" rivets into thin air ... see how much they contract before popping.

Practice drilling off the head of the rivet you used to rivet two thin boards (a broken ruler is great for this exercise!) ... so that you'll know how to disassemble a rivet ... before you have to really do it on your fiberglass rig.
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Old 01-16-2003, 08:47 AM   #3
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Rivet guns

Good question, Jana. I have a small one like in the first picture and had wondered, myself, if a larger one would be better.

Thanks, Charles. That answers a lot of my questions. Although I've had a lot of practice, I still run across one every once in a while that gives me fits. I was replacing one of the running lights and one rivet just wouldn't hold. I think it took three times before it finally took...and I'm still not thrilled with it, but it works.

Here's the one I bought at Harbour Freight. They had several in the store (all at the same price) but this one seemed to fit my hand better. Since they are $6.99 + 2.99 for shipping, they would still be less expensive than the ones that I saw at Lowe's and Home Depot. (So much the better if you have one in your area)
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Disp...itemnumber=7356

Practicing the drilling out is very important. Thanks, Charles, for bringing that up. It does not take as large of a bit as you would think at first glace. You do not want to increase the size of the hole.
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Old 01-17-2003, 04:54 AM   #4
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Hidden handling fee

Harbor Freight charges a "handling fee" of $5.95 on each order from their catalog or their web site. This fee does not show up until you've completed the order. The only mention of the fee in the catalog is on the order form.

I called to place a phone order and when the sales rep finally told me about the fee I told her to cancel the order. She entered it anyway and they shipped two of the five items. It was a real hassle.

There's a Harbor Freight store about 3 miles from my house, so I go there.

These "handling fees" or "processing fees" really blow my mind. Harbor Freight is in the business of "handling" so their prices should reflect their costs of doing business. It's like going to checkout at the supermarket and finding a "cashier fee" or a "stocking fee" added at the register.

:bh
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Old 01-17-2003, 08:03 AM   #5
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handling charges

You can say that again Morgan. I did the same thing, so I only order from them when they have a free shipping catalog. I know they probably up the price then so I shop around to make sure I'm getting a good deal. I hadn't noticed the handling fee, just that their freight was terrible. or I thought it was freight. :)
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Old 01-17-2003, 08:18 AM   #6
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Thanks, Morgan

I appreciate that input. I, personally, don't order that much stuff on-line or over the phone. We have a Habour Freight not that far from here, so I wasn't aware of the little extra tack on.

I'm a hands on type person...if I can't touch it, work it, see it, then I'm not too inclined to buy it. What the picture shows and what I get are not always the same thing.

Besides, as you pointed out, all the add on charges usually make it more expensive than even a local small store.
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Old 01-17-2003, 10:17 AM   #7
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Hidden fee

I just posted that as a warning after Suz said:

<<Since they are $6.99 + 2.99 for shipping>>

What it would actually be is $6.99 + 2.99 + 5.95. Or if shipping is free, $6.99 + 5.95.

I've ordered from Harbor Freight long ago and don't remember paying such a fee. It may be something new they've added.

They're not the only catalog company with such a fee, but their's is higher than most.
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Old 01-17-2003, 10:45 AM   #8
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Rivet guns

Last time I checked, the rivet guns were $18 (perhaps one was even less than that) at Lowe's (probably the same at HD), so it would do just as well to get it there. That way you could see what your getting plus easier to return it if there was something wrong with it.
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Old 01-17-2003, 10:55 AM   #9
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Rivet guns

I purchased an Arrow Model RHT300 from Home Depot for about $15.00.
The beauty of this device is the head rotates 360 degrees so it will fit into almost any configuration. The gun comes with guides for 4 different size rivets and functions as advertised. Mine came with an assortment of rivets although I wonít use them on the Casita.

Cheaper isnít always better.
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Old 01-17-2003, 11:08 AM   #10
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Riveters

>>Cheaper isnít always better.

Alan, I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, it is usually not as good.

I had looked at the one's at Lowe's and Home Depot prior to going to Harbour Freight. The one that I saw that had the rotating head was yellow and they had the exact same one at Harbour Freight. All the ones there that day were the same price ($6.99) and I was totally confused as to which one to purchase. I opted for the smaller one for a couple of reasons: It fit my hand better and it was easier for me to handle. If I find that it is too lightweight, I may end up getting the one you are talking about for those hard-to-get-at spots and use my smaller one for the lightweights.
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Old 01-17-2003, 11:09 AM   #11
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In defense of Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight does give free shipping on orders over $50.00. You still pay the handling. The since the shipping is based on cost of order, the sudden drop off can be significant. I order from Harbor Freight periodically, but only if I can put together an over-$50 order. A few years ago, everybody and his brother were offering free freight. I think that reality has set in, and those days are pretty much past. Packaging, shipping and handling are all legitimate costs of doing business, and are therefore passed on to the customer. The price in the catalog reflects walk-in store pricing, and the extra costs apply only to direct-order customers, so that's who pays them. I don't like it, either, but I think they are justified.
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