Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 01-02-2005, 09:15 PM
txaviator's Avatar
txaviator txaviator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Arlington, TX (DFW)
Posts: 1,171
Default Rivet Gun Suggestions? 2x or 3x?

Sorry for the barrage of tool questions, everyone! I just want to make informed decisions if I can, do my homework, and hopefully purchase the right tool the first time...

Rivet guns...should a fella buy a 2x or a 3x? Just when I thought I had my mind made up on the 2x, based on reading various forums, websites, etc., I read something else about how you should "only go with a 3x".

Now I am confused even more

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance,
Gary Robertson
Cresson (50F), TX

RV-12 Built / Sold / Flying
Currently Flying: Cessna Skylane 182
* Hoping Vans decides to offer a bush plane, before I order something else! **EDIT**: got tired of waiting, and trying to buy a J3
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2005, 09:23 PM
admin admin is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 78

Gary, no dumb questions. Don't worry.

Bottom line is they both work fine. It all has to do with air pressure - which you control. I've used both....they both work fine.

Doug Reeves
Owner: Delta Romeo, LLC.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2005, 09:45 PM
N517TB N517TB is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 11
Default 3x or 2x?

A wise and experienced builder once told me; figure out what options you think you need in a tool, then go buy the next bigger one--you will always find more uses for it than you originally thought.

I have not used either one, but from lurking I understand that the 2x will do great on ~99% of the rivets, and okay on the other ~1%. I guess it isn't quite powerful enough for those larger rivets, but gets by okay with the air pressure turned up. The 3x will do great on any sized rivet. The air pressure just needs to be turned down for the smaller rivets, and normal pressure for the larger rivets.

RV-10 want-a-be-builder

Search keywords: rivet gun, tools, air-tools
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 01:33 AM
Joon Joon is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5


I've used both 2X and 3X and in my opinion, I'd prefer using both. There are times when I prefer one over the other but I end up using 2X (~95% of the time) more often than the 3X. As said by the admin, both will get the job done with right settings so it really depends on which you prefer. If you know of someone who's building an RV, you might want to drop by and try out their tools and see which you feel comfortable with.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2005, 08:36 AM
Wills_9A Wills_9A is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 74

I've been using my 2x now for a couple of months and have just about wrapped up my empennage...if I had to do it over again, I would get the 3x and turn in down on the skin rivets. It is one thing to have too much power and the ability to dial it down, it is another to struggle on those -4 rivets with not enough. Because of the 2x, I had to drill out the same couple of rivets several times leaving the holes looking like they were made with an AK-47. I was forced to round em out and place cherrymax pop rivets and bolts in some of them. The 3x would have made them a breeze.

Bottom line, if you are only gonna buy one, get the 3x and BE CAREFUL until you get the feel of it, otherwise you will end like me and probably by the next cheap used 3x that comes along. GOOD LUCK!

Will - 91056
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 09:32 AM
Davepar's Avatar
Davepar Davepar is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,166

I also started with a 2X, which worked fine all through the empennage and part way through the wings. And then I got to the wing rib to spar long 4/32 rivets. I had a heck of a time setting those with the 2X gun. On the second wing, I decided to just buy a 3X gun. I now use the 2X on skin rivets and the 3X on 4/32 rivets. As Will said, if I had to do over again, I'd just buy a 3X and dial it down.

Dave Parsons, Seattle, WA, RV-7A, sold - building blog - airport info, online charts, live METARs, TFRs, etc.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2005, 08:29 PM
oldsfolks oldsfolks is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Charleston,Arkansas
Posts: 24
Default Rivet gun suggestions? 2X or 3X

I have built 2 RV-4's with my 2X and I have a 4X for the #4 rivets. The 4X is a little too heavy and I just turn down the pressure to about 60# . It only takes about 5 blows to set the rivet.
I think the 3X is the most useful for having only one rivet gun.
I didn't have a hand squeezer on the first plane but got one for the second. I have found it to be indespensible !!
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2005, 05:35 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887
Default 3x all the way

Back when I bought my tool kit from US Tool it came with a 3x gun. I'm now working on the fuselage and never wished I had either a larger or smaller gun. The trick is all in the PSI, turn it down when you start riveting and record what PSI works best for each type of rivet.

Oh, and squeeze every rivet you can. It took a long time until I became confident with the gun. Now it really doesn't matter which I use, the gun or my Avery squeezer. (I don't need not stinking air powered squeezer!)
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2005, 09:39 AM
Mike Harris Mike Harris is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milton, FL
Posts: 8
Default 2x or 3x

The 2x will work harden the rivet before it sets properly if used on 1/8" or bigger. Once you get use to the 3x, you will prefer it. The nice thing about having both is the 2x works on the skin that is less than .032. It will keep the inexperienced worker out of trouble on the thin skins and ribs. Stay away from the 4x.

Last edited by Mike Harris : 02-02-2005 at 09:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2005, 08:19 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

This evening I had the chance to try a 2x gun for the first time and it worked great on the small rivets but hardly worked at all on the larger rivets. Makes me wish I had both but not wanting to spend the money on a second gun, I am very happy with my 3x.

The 2x gun @ 40 psi took a number of hits to set a small rivet. My 3x gun at the same psi takes what seems likes four strokes to set the rivet. You will learn to control either gun with practice.

If you are only going to buy one gun, make it a 3x.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.