Home > VansAirForceForums

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

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 07-04-2017, 01:08 PM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,388

Originally Posted by 1001001 View Post
I hate to revive a thread so long ago put to rest, but I have searched extensively for the answer to the same question the OP here asked, and have not found a real answer. I have found pages and pages of people arguing over whether the tank dies will cause leaky joints, weak joints, sneaky joints, and joints that will either make you rich and famous or steal your girlfriend and impoverish your dear old Grandma, laughing at you the whole time and posting naughty sectioned pictures of themselves for your spouse to see the next time she/he has a look at your web browser history.

Can anyone answer the question:

Are the Tank Dimple Dies meant to be used on the outer skins, substructure (like ribs), or both? If they are to be used on the outer skins, what does one use on the substructure? If they are to be used on the substructure, what does one use on the skin?

Don't even get me started on the "substructure" dies!

Sorry once again, but if anyone can answer or point me to any link that shows a consensus on the subject, I'd appreciate it.
Why not call Mike at Cleveland Tool (guy who makes them) and ask him?

My understanding is that the tank dies were made a bit deeper to allow for making a deeper dimple on the skins so that a small amount of sealant can be under a rivet head without making the rivet protrude above the skin surface. I would think that this would require also using them on the sub structure (ribs etc).

Snipped from Cleveland web site-

Tank dies make deeper dimples to allow for the layer of tank sealer between the rivet and skin.
Rivet will set flush with the skins surface.
Spring back angle on die faces.
Minimizes skin deformation.
Skins remain very flat!
Precision made on our CNC machine.
Stainless Steel- Heat treated.
Polished dimpling surfaces.
Don't make 14,000 mistakes on your plane!
See also DIE-KIT.
We guarantee these dies work better than any others or we will give you a refund!


These dies make a dimple 0.007" deeper than our standard dimple dies to allow for the proseal under the rivet head. Historically builders have had to use a 'rivet shaver' bit which can easily get out of control. With these dies used on the TANK SKIN and on the TANK RIBS the rivets will set perfectly flush after riveting.

Also if you purchase the dies they can be used on the substructure of the entire airframe. If you have ever noticed that the skin and the substructure dimples don't nest perfectly we have created a special die for those discerning builders that is 0.011" deeper for the ribs and stiffeners, allowing the dimples to nest together rather than smashing together during the riveting process. If you purchase the tank dimple dies we recommend that since you have them, use them on the substructure of the rest of the airplane too!

They also have a video on their web site that apparently (I haven't viewed it) discusses their use.

Note, this post is not an endorsement of their use.
My recommendation to builders when they ask, is to use the standard dies and remove excess sealant from the dimples before inserting the rivets.
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop Manager
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 01:53 PM
JoopSJ's Avatar
JoopSJ JoopSJ is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 83
Default Link to Cleaveland video
Empennage, Wings, Fuse .. Done
Working on Finishing and FWF
Donation 2017. . . 2020
Chairman NVAV (EAA chapter 664 - Dutch experimental aircrafts builders)
Member EAA
Member AOPA
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 02:24 PM
1001001's Avatar
1001001 1001001 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
Posts: 1,129

Originally Posted by JoopSJ View Post

I thought I had been all over the Cleaveland site and had never seen that before. Thanks for the link!
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2017, 02:40 PM
RV6_flyer's Avatar
RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NC25
Posts: 3,661

Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post

Note, this post is not an endorsement of their use.
My recommendation to builders when they ask, is to use the standard dies and remove excess sealant from the dimples before inserting the rivets.

Recommend anyone that is thinking about using Tank Dies do a little research on percentage more blisters there are on Painted Tanks that have been built with Tank Dies.

Expect to find that tanks built with "Tank Dies" have a higher percentage of blisters under the paint than the tanks built with "standard dies." Once you have your research complete, proceed with the method of your choice.
Gary A. Sobek
NC25 RV-6
3,400+ hours
Where is N157GS
Building RV-8 S/N: 80012

To most people, the sky is the limit.
To those who love aviation, the sky is home.
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 03:39 AM.

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.