Rivet tool brand/model - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-26-2015, 08:46 PM   #1
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Name: Sabrina
Trailer: Scamp
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Rivet tool brand/model

I have gotten a rivet tool$40 from harbor freight. Garbage!!
Borrowed one from a neighbor which the stems get stuck in. Taking lots of ingenuity to get out. Not just pushing on through properly. What can any of you suggest for a GOOD tool. Reliable and affordable? Thanks sabrina

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Old 04-26-2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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Not uncommon for the stems to stick in any riveter. Just open the handle all the way and whack it on something hard to make it fall out. Rivets by POP tend to be less sticky, but still do sometimes.

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Old 04-26-2015, 10:12 PM   #3
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Sabrina, if you have the air operated, hydraulic HF riveter it may just need adjustment.
I have had one for the last 6 years and replaced 100s of rivets.
Check out the owners sheet that came with it on how to adjust it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:34 AM   #4
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I too got a garbage riveter at harbor freight which I returned. I then bought one at Home Depot for a little more which works better but not perfect.

After reinstalling 3 windows by myself, I've got a few tips: always hold the rivet gun perfectly straight on the stem, if it is angled it will jam inside; use a bit of WD 40 on the internal gears, helps immensely with the effort required for female hand strength to close the gun and break the stem and keeps parts from locking up. And if it gets stuck, I used a long nail to pound out the stem and then pull out the nail. Works better than dismantling the gun each time. For my first window, I did that plenty!

I also upsized the rivets to 3/16, mostly because I couldn't find the right length. The 5/32 were not long enough. Upsized required making each hole slightly bigger with a drill bit, but It fits snugly and forms a tight seal with the butyl. The old, smaller ones had leaks and the butyl tape had all but melted away. The3/16 head is a little bigger, but again should never leak, at least not for the next 30 years. Glad to cross that project off the list!
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:28 AM   #5
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Have a Marson, going on 40 years and 1000's of rivets.
Bob & Deb
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:32 AM   #6
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:55 AM   #7
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I still have a genuine(?) "Pop" Rivetool PRG410, by United Shoe Machinery Corp, that I bought in about 1965 to rebuilt Corvette hardtops with and, for the one size it's made for (1/8") it still works great. I also have a Stanley multi size tool that I have used for at least 10 years without problems.

The common problem I find is that all pop rivets are not created equal. The softer the pulling pin, the more apt they are to jam. I have tried and thrown out lots of cheapo rivets and now only buy them from a regular metal supply shop here in Riverside that caters to the trade.

A tip to clear a stuck pin: Pull UP on the handle, it will help release the pin that is stuck in the jaws.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:06 PM   #8
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Hi Sabrina,
There's a compilation of hand rivet gun videos that may help you at:
Pop Rivets and Hand Rivet Gun Basics | Handywomans Companion Online Magazine - Be handy—be ingenious—be old school cool.

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