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jdog0411 10-02-2019 02:59 PM

Probably dumb question about the Van's practice kit rivets
Hi everyone,

Just got my Van's practice control surface kit (ordered 2 of them actually), and have a dumb question. The rivets that came with the kit are in 5 little baggies, and they are labeled "Bag Class Training 1, 2, 3" etc. They aren't labeled with the rivet code, or size in inches or anything. I can go about measuring them with a caliper to figure out what size they are I guess, but I'm not sure how accurate my caliper is.

For anyone who has put together the practice kit, do you know what rivet sizes are in what bag? This is my first time really ever laying eyes on rivets, so I'm not able to just judge their size by looking at them yet.

Thanks in advance.

Robin8er 10-02-2019 03:21 PM

It's been forever since I built that thing, but I do believe they are labeled. Look a little closer, It's usually in small font in the middle of the bag. I'd be surprised if they didnt label it.

wjb 10-02-2019 03:23 PM

Van's does this alot ... kits for individual sub-assemblies. I prefer to have all my parts sorted by type, so I generally split open the kits and sort the parts into individual bins.

You should have no trouble measuring the rivet length with almost any caliper. They step in 1/16" increments (except for the 3-3.5, which is 1/32 longer than the 3-3). If you're so inclined, dump all the bags in a pan and sort.

Fortunately, for the larger kits, the rivets come by the pound in their own individual bags. No sorting necessary there. After working with them a bit, you'll be able to eyeball easily the difference between a 3-3, 3-3.5 and a 3-4 rivet. You'll achieve rivet "perfect pitch".

FloMo14Builder 10-02-2019 04:27 PM

My rivet bags for the practice kit not only said Class Training Bag 1 etc.. but on the next line or two or three it listed the various sizes of rivet in that bag.

jdog0411 10-02-2019 05:28 PM

Unfortunately, they neglected that part on these. Just says the bag number, a barcode, and a date. Thanks Vans.

I'm almost wondering if these were originally intended for a Vans workshop or something, rather than being labeled for the practice kit.

wirejock 10-02-2019 07:12 PM

When in doubt, insert in the hole and use a rivet gauge or caliper to measure. You should have 1.5D. If my memory is working that's about .140" protruding (.09375 X 1.5) Good practice anyway. Not that Vans would ever spec the wrong length rivet.:D

jdog0411 10-02-2019 07:22 PM

Ok, guess I'll have to do this the hard way, although I suppose that is good practice.

David Paule 10-02-2019 07:25 PM

I think that Van's often mixes parts in a bag. They sure did for my RV_3B kits. Of course the RV-3B generally gets a hair less respect on parts than the newer kits (although good builder support).

Learn to measure the rivets. It'll pay off down the road.


DaveLS 10-02-2019 07:34 PM

For the solid rivets,

Separate by eye into stem width 3/32, or 1/8 inch,

Then by factory head type, flat or round,

Then separate, again by eye, by stem length.

Measure one of each group,

Should now be able to label the rivets with the correct nomenclature.

Really not a bad learning exercise.

Same approach works for pulled rivets.

Vans often put different rivets, nuts, screws, washers, (and other small stuff) in the same parts bag for my RV12 build.


wjb 10-02-2019 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by jdog0411 (Post 1377518)
Unfortunately, they neglected that part on these. Just says the bag number, a barcode, and a date. Thanks Vans.

At least they look all the same (3-4's I think!). Yea, labeling is not too helpful, but they are easy to measure, either prior or with a gauge after insertion like Larry said.

Thought the early kits are have very detailed instructions, the later ones have less detailed instructions, like "install engine and avionics" ... requires extra study by the student using other sources of info (this forum, other hombuilding books, hangar neighbors, etc)

It's all about recreation and education! It's a fun journey .. roll up your sleeves and dig in!

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