#1:HELPFUL RIVETING TIPS When riveting with a universal rivet set you may experience marks on the head of the rivet from time to time. An old riveting trick is to put one or two pieces of masking tape on the end of the set (sticky side into the cupping) and this will usually help cushion and protect the rivet head. Note the tape will have to be replaced every 4th or 5th rivet as the tape wears out. Also, a piece of masking tape put on the face of a flush rivet set will keep the set from leaving black marks on the surface of the work. This tape will have to be replaced periodically when it wears through.
#2:AIR COMPRESSOR TIPS & CONSIDERATIONS For most air tools used to build an airplane kit a 2 to 5 H.P. portable piston type air compressor is adequate. The main consideration is the CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating of the compressor. Most air tools will use 4 to 5 CFM at 90 PSI under continuous use. You will want a compressor that supplies a minimum of 5 CFM at 90 PSI. (Note: some compressors give CFM ratings at lower PSI pressures -- don't be fooled by a 4 or 5 CFM rating at 30 or 40 PSI). Also pay attention to the wattage or current draw of the motor -- a more energy efficient motor will pay for itself over the life of the project. Consider a 220 volt motor if electric service is available in your shop. If you plan to paint your airplane, and for continuous use tools (die grinders, sanders, paint guns) get a larger (6-8 CFM) compressor to avoid running out of air, waiting for pressure recovery, and over-heating the compressor. A special consideration here: Air compressors are designed to run a cycle and be off a sufficient time to avoid over-heating of the compressor cylinders, pistons, oil, valves, etc. If you get too small a compressor and run it continuously, it will over-heat, wear out quickly, and contaminate your air hoses and tools with burned oil and carbon particles, air hose rubber particles from deteriorating hoses, etc. (We have repaired a lot of air tools over the years and seen it all!!). Tank size determines the amount of time the compressor runs to fill up the tank -- so get the biggest tank you have room for. Last, check out how much noise the compressor makes when starting up & running before you buy it. If it's in the garage with you or outside next to the neighbor's bedroom, the noise level might be a big factor.
#3:WHAT ARE "SPRING BACK DIMPLE DIES" - YOU ASK ?? Spring back dimple dies are dies with a special angle machined on the faces of both dies. The male dimple die has a concave angle (negative taper) of about 1 degree on its surface, and the female dimple die has a convex angle (positive taper) of about 2 degrees to its face. This angle causes the material being formed to bend slightly upward (overbend) during forming as the dies are pressed together and bottom out. After dimpling the surface "springs back" to a flat surface to give a better and smoother finish. This slight amount of taper on the dies is not much but it makes a big difference in the surface finish after riveting. (The skill & experience of the riveter / bucker make an even bigger difference, also). Note that due to the (negative) taper of the male die, you will experience a faint / slight marking on the top surface of the part being dimpled, about the size of the diameter of the die. This marking is not deep enough to cause any problems. This slight marking of the surface can be removed with a Scotchbrite handpad in the same manner as you would prepare the surface for painting.
#4:HELPFUL RIVETING TIPS When riveting with a universal rivet set you may experience marks on the head of the rivet from time to time. An old riveting trick is to put one or two pieces of masking tape on the end of the set (sticky side into the cupping) and this will usually help cushion and protect the rivet head. Note the tape will have to be replaced every 4th or 5th rivet as the tape wears out. Also, a piece of masking tape put on the face of a flush rivet set will keep the set from leaving black marks on the surface of the work. This tape will have to be replaced periodically when it wears through.
#5:BUCKING BAR TIPS Bucking bars come in many shapes and sizes. Generally the heavier the bar, the better the bar works for upsetting the shop head side of the rivet. Also, the larger the working face size; the less chance you will slip off the face and damage the work or rivet. Most bucking bars have two surfaces polished, and the rest of the bar will be a rough cast finish. You can get extra versatility out of a bar if you belt sand and polish some of the other cast surfaces -- usually a side, edge, or opposite end. Use a belt sander first, and then a Scotchbrite wheel to finish. In a pinch, you can use any steel object as a bucking bar -- look around your shop & tool box and you will usually find a tool or part that will work as a bucking bar (does not need to be heat treated if just used for a few rivets).
#6:FLUTING PLIER & HAND SEAMER TIPS Fluting pliers are used to straighten ribs flanges and to form curved stringers. The jaws of the fluting plier form the metal in a fashion that "shrinks" a small section of a flange; as a small area is pushed down it pulls the adjacent material into the bend. When this is done close together you end up with a curved section of material -- a quick & neat way to make a curved stringer. Note: Our fluting pliers are capable of forming a flute about 1/2" wide -- so you can do a lot of fluting in a small section. The type of fluting pliers that have molded plastic jaws make a flute about 3/4" to 1" wide and do not work as well when trying to form curves and / or missing rivet spacing. Hand seamers are used like a hand held bending brake. You can bend small flanges, straighten flanges, bend tabs in different directions, etc. with a hand seamer. For aircraft work make sure you get a hand seamer that has a radius on the edge of the jaw so you don't bend too sharp of a radius and scratch or mark the inside of the bend radius -- (both are bad practices for aircraft as fatigue cracks can result). Note that most welding & duct-work seamer pliers have too sharp of an edge for aircraft work and their jaws may be too thin to grind or modify with a radius for aircraft work.
#7:AIR LINE TIPS When making air line connections be careful using Teflon tape. Avoid getting tape on the first 2 threads to prevent stray pieces of tape getting loose in your air hoses and damaging your air tools (stray pieces can stick in rivet guns and foul up trigger mechanisms). It is safer to use a paste type thread sealant. Most air hose fitting are NPT (Tapered threads) - do not over tighten; just tighten up enough to seal off air leakage.
#8:TIPS ON REMOVING DRILL CHUCKS Most drill chucks are threaded onto the spindle of the drill, and are usually 3/8-24 right hand threads. (Note that drills that reverse also usually have a left handed screw down inside the chuck). One way to unscrew a chuck is to tighten a hex (allen) wrench in the chuck jaws and strike the side of the hex wrench with a light tap of a mallet or hammer in a counter-clockwise direction (looking at the chuck end of the drill). This should break the chuck loose in 1 or 2 trys. Another method is to tighten a bolt shank in the chuck and use an impact wrench and socket to break the chuck loose (counter-clockwise direction).
#9:HOLE REAMING TIPS Always use a lubricant when reaming holes. Use a slow turning drill (electric or cordless drill). Start with about a 1/32" undersize hole and finish ream to the desired hole size. (Refer to a drill chart for proper undersize drill). Hold the drill and reamer square. To make a temporary drill or reamer guide for holes in parts that cannot be taken to a drill press, first drill or ream a guide hole in a block of material (wood, aluminum, plastic, etc.) and clamp the block onto your work -- you now have a true & square hole guide, and the reamer will pilot thru the existing hole true.
#10:DRILLING TIPS: NUTPLATES: For nutplates first drill a clearance hole for the screw (should be the same size as the large pin on
#11:TIPS ON DEBURRING TOOLS & DEBURRING Most aircraft parts should have all edges deburred, and all sharp corners radiused. This is a safety feature so you do
#12:HELPFUL DEBURRING TIPS The Scotch-brite wheels listed above are primarily for deburring edges of aluminum sheets. The wheels
#13:HELPFUL AIR TOOL TIPS. Air tools should be oiled daily when in use with a non-detergent type oil . We recommend 4 or 5 drops
#14: MEASURING TIPS FOR AN BOLTS
#15: HELPFUL METAL CUTTING TIP