Rivets secure metals and other materials on everything from bridges to airplanes. Standard solid rivets need to be installed by a rivet driver, who operates the rivet gun, and a bucker. The bucker flattens the back of the rivet with a heavy bar while the head if the rivet is being impacted with a rivet gun. An alternative to the solid rivet is the blind rivet, which is not as structurally sound but can be used in more restricted locations and needs only one person to install it.
Solid Rivets - Prepare the materials that will be riveted. Make sure all of the rivet holes are round and free from burrs and sharp edges. Align the materials and clamp them firmly together.
Select the proper rivets according to size and strength. Rivets must be longer than the materials they will secure and they should have a diameter slightly less than the rivet holes. Rivets made from different alloys have different strength properties for specific applications. Your installation or repair documentation should indicate what type of rivets to use.
Place the proper rivet die into a pneumatic rivet gun. The surface of the rivet die must match the surface of the rivet. Insert a rivet into an appropriate rivet hole and press the rivet gun firmly against the head of the rivet. Wait for the bucker to signal from the shank side of the rivet before activating the rivet gun.
Squeeze the trigger when the bucker signals that he is ready with his bucking bar pressed against the shank of the rivet. Hold the gun firmly against the rivet and keep squeezing the trigger until the bucker gives a signal to stop.
Inspect the installed rivet to ensure that the factory head is not damaged and the formed head at the shank of the rivet is smooth, flat and large enough to secure the material. The newly formed head at the back of the rivet should be about 50 percent wider than rivet shank's diameter.
Blind Rivets - The stem protruding from the head of a blind rivet shears off as the rivet is installed.
Select the proper rivets according to size and strength. Blind rivets are sized according to their grip length, so choose rivets that have a grip length equal to the thickness of the materials being riveted. The entire rivet will be slightly longer.
Place the rivet puller over the rivet and insert the stem that protrudes from the head of the rivet into the hole at the edge of the rivet puller. Press the puller firmly against the rivet and squeeze the handles to secure the rivet. Some pneumatic rivet pullers may have a trigger instead of squeezable handles.
Inspect the blind rivets to see that they are well formed. If the correct rivets were used and installed correctly, they should be perfect.