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Old 09-02-2017, 12:07 PM
shimuneka shimuneka is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Enterprise, AL
Posts: 34
Default Pneumatic pop rivet gun

So, I know there are a lot of views on what type of gun to get and where to get it from, but my question is what size gun do I need? I intend to buy mine from Harbor Freight to save the money, but should I get the 1/4" or the 3/16" gun? Thanks
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:26 PM
tomkk's Avatar
tomkk tomkk is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port Orange, Fl
Posts: 936

You'll want the smaller nose pieces, so I think the 3/16" is what you want.
Port Orange, Fl
EAA #51411
RV-12 N121TK ELSA #120845; first flight 06/10/2015; 765 hrs as of 02/2022
RV-12 N918EN ELSA #120995 Eagles Nest Project; first flight 05/18/2019
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:27 PM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
Posts: 1,447

Originally Posted by tomkk View Post
You'll want the smaller nose pieces, so I think the 3/16" is what you want.
I can confirm that the 1/4" one will not pull the smaller rivets--I'll need to make new nose pieces for the one I bought without thinking. Thankfully I don't have many pull rivets to set...

Edited to add that it's not the nose piece that is the problem with the 1/4" riveter, but the jaws don't grip the smaller diameter mandrels properly...

Last edited by 1001001 : 09-02-2017 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:38 PM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,392

I would probably up a grade if you are doing an RV12, there are a lot of rivets to pull and the cheaper guns need constant fiddling and clearing. Ask us how we know.....

I would at least go up to Northern Tools - better Chinese carp

Once you have it, pay attention to filling instructions, you may also consider taking the smallest die and drilling it out to match the LP4-3 mandrel size so it is a nice snug fit. Then polish the nose of the die on a unitized wheel or similar so it is nice and smooth - it makes a difference to the finish on the head.

It may take a while to 'break in' - it may jam a bit, don't bother with the catcher at the back - useless. Be prepared to take a while getting it set up and then it will be trouble free. A squirt of WD40 down the nozzle ever other week helps as well.

The last thing you want, when faced with a loaded wing or fuselage is a sticky gun
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2022
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:44 PM
dsm8 dsm8 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison CT
Posts: 92
Default Rivet gun

I bought a Taylor Pneumatic 3/16" at Oshkosh a few years ago after going through a harbor freight one and a more expensive home depot tool. I DO NOT regret spending the extra $$$. Nothing more frustrating than constantly having to do multiple pulls or clearing jams. Will also work for the few places you need to do structural (cherry max) rivets.

I also bought a tool balancer, an overhead reel that takes the extra weight of a heavier gun. What a difference when doing the wings and fuselage.

Good Luck
Don "Donnie Mac" MacMillan
RV-12 12808
Finish kit 80% done 80% to go
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:51 PM
redbaron redbaron is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Lucerne,Ca
Posts: 272
Thumbs up Harber Freight rivet gun

mak shure you get 2 rivet guns, one for each size rivet. saves a lot of time.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:56 PM
redbaron redbaron is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Lucerne,Ca
Posts: 272
Smile Cleo plyers

One item that is a must is a Cleo plyers with light weight hoses, saves on the hands.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:19 PM
rk2436 rk2436 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: chicago,ol
Posts: 60

Go with the Taylor gun. Built a Sonex with the HF gun and had to stop about every 100 rivets or so to clean and adjust,never mind it spewing fluid all over too. Built the -12 with the Taylor and NEVER had a problem. Well worth the extra cash.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:21 PM
Dave12 Dave12 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Elkton, Md.
Posts: 1,808

My Harbor Frieght rivet puller has pulled an estimated 35,000 rivets without any failures. A bit hard to complain about it.
Wag Aero Sport Trainer built,sold and wrecked
N588DF RV12 #336 built, sold and alive and well in New York
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Jesup, Iowa
Posts: 1,684
Default Way back when - -

I already owned a H F 3/16" gun. Got a Taylor with tool kit. It was nice to have one set up for both size rivets. A cheap H F gun saves time. I have had it for maybe 20 years. Still works well.
John Bender
Flying RV-12 - Serial #120036
Paid in May ( 5-2021 )
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