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  #1  
Old 06-01-2021, 10:44 PM
skelrad skelrad is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 215
Default Rivet Gauge

What’s the right way to use a rivet gauge? I’m working on my practice kit, and I’ve heard that the shop head should not fit into the little gauge hole at all, and also been told the rivet should fit in with no slop. In reality, the difference is slight of course. Just curious so I’m at least using it correctly.
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Last edited by skelrad : 06-01-2021 at 11:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2021, 11:06 PM
JDA_BTR JDA_BTR is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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The gage is a close approximation of the ideal driven head. Acceptable is actually a range of values. Next time you make a row of rivets grab a caliper and measure the smallest and the largest diameter. Then lookup the spec and you will find that the range can be broad. The Aircraft Mechanic Handbook has a table and there are many other sources of data. If you don’t have a caliper yet you will want one of the 20 dollar ones from HF (Harbor Freight). Again not the best but best for the price.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2021, 11:25 PM
rapid_ascent rapid_ascent is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin, CA
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It should be a tight fit or not go into the gauge. There is also a height gauge that the head must be higher than. By using this second part it prevents you from overdriving the rivet which won't fit in the hole because it has been flattened too much.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2021, 11:33 PM
ScottK ScottK is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 56
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Observe that the shop head is not perfectly cylindrical, but a bit bulged. There's a sweet spot where the rivet gauge will just fit over the top of the shop head, but won't slip all the way down. That's the point where I say it's a good rivet. My rules of thumb: If the gauge slips over with room to wiggle, drive it more. If it fits perfectly, that's barely under-driven but OK. If it almost catches the top of the head but not quite, that's barely overdriven but OK. If it won't go at all, it's overdone, replace it.

Mostly I use the gauge to calibrate my eye. Once you check a few and get a rhythm going you'll be able to see that a rivet is right just by looking at it. Use the gauge every so often to keep yourself honest.
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2021, 03:54 AM
JDA_BTR JDA_BTR is offline
 
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In case you want all the details, in NASA we trust:
https://mmptdpublic.jsc.nasa.gov/prc/MIL-STD-403C.pdf
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2021, 08:40 AM
nohoflyer nohoflyer is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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That is some serious old-school.
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