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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:38 pm 
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Location: Eagan (St Paul), MN
Hey,

Having never placed a rivet before in my life, I decided to put a cleat on my H17 mast. I purchased this from Murray's:


Image

I also purchased this riveter:

Image

I ran into significant problems:

1. It was nearly impossible to close the handle of the riveter: even using a vise to close the yellow handles, I had to wrestle for over an hour to get the rivets in. (? this type of rivet not supposed to be used with a hand powered riveter. ? I need to take some steroids.)

2. Worse: when the center of the rivet (mandrel) finally popped off, both rivets were loose - one has about .25 cm of movement into and out of the rivet hole. The other has less play but is still not tight.

Now I've got a cleat that wiggles around - pretty depressing given the couple of hours I ended up dumping into this, not to mention the holes in the mast. What did I do wrong? Also: now what? I've been considering getting some Gray Marine Tex epoxy and using that to tighten the seal. Will that work? If not, then what? Lastly, If I'm supposed to remove the rivets, how do I do that? If I drill through the rivet, will a bit of rivet end up falling into the mast and rattle around forever?

Thanks for the help!
Adam

Image

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Adam
e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
Fleet 444


Last edited by bock1 on Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:06 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Quote:
What did I do wrong?


You used an inexpensive rivet tool that's not rated to pull long stainless steel rivets. You need to buy / rent one with a lot more heft to it like this:
Image

You need to start over. The easiest way to remove the rivets, since there's a lot of play in them, it to cut them (carefully) with a hacksaw. Drilling will be useless, since they will spin in their holes and you'll wallow out the holes in the cleat.

Quote:
will a bit of rivet end up falling into the mast and rattle around forever?


Yep. Consider it a reminder of your learning experience.

BTW, why are you putting that type of cleat on an H-17 mast anyway?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:15 am 
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Location: Metuchen NJ
I have nearly the same type of tool and never have problems with it, on stainlees, aluminum or plain steel rivets.

Some things to remember-
you have different 'heads' for the tool, based on rivet shaft diameter.

ensure the shaft does not slip down after each time you compress the handle, it happens often enough.

ensure the top of the rivet stays flat against the object being fastened,
or you can wind up with a loose rivet.

when the shaft is pulled up as far as it will go, that's when the going gets tough, although it should at worst take 2 hands squeezing the tool to get it to pop.

A sharp drill bit can take off the rivet head to start over. I also have luck with a narrow center punch or 8d nail to punch out the shaft to start over.

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'88 H18SE Arís


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:09 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Sorry, but a Stanley MR55 is not rated to pull long stainless rivets, especially when they're in sleeves.

You need a heavy-duty rivet puller - like this:
Image

They're only $20 at Harbor Freight. (www.harborfrieght.com)

DO NOT DRILL OUT THE RIVETS. All you'll do is melt a bigger hole in your cleat.

Pull the cleat away from the mast to expose the body of the rivet, then cut carefully with a hack saw. Punch the tail of the rivet into the mast when you've got the cleat off.

I've been doing this for 35 years - Don't make the same mistakes I've made before.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:43 am 
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Location: Wichita KS, Lake Cheney
I would have drill and tapped and used SS screws. You do not find mast cleats riveted on keel boats.


... or are Hobie masts so thin walled that one must rivet? That I do not know... yet.

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Frank, sailing '02 Getaway in Wichita KS. Lake Cheney
(Hobie 17 RIP, storm of '05)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:05 pm 
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Location: Eagan (St Paul), MN
Thanks for the replies.

MBounds: I'm using the cleat to allow me to raise the mast solo. I'm attaching the twist shackle end of the halyard to the bridle wires and then, after raising mast (via lifting), want to cleat the other end of the halyard to a cleat on the mast to hold it up while I go to the front of the boat to attach the forestay.

thanks again.

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Adam
e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
Fleet 444


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:25 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
Matt,

Just to confirm, are you saying that the riveter you reference from Harbor Freight will pull 3/16" stainless steel rivets? I need to replace my mast cheek block but I haven't done any riveting in my life either so i'm not sure what to use. However I have heard that the average $20 rivet tool will not do the job.

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'86 H16 #91487


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
My Hobie dealer sold one like this to me and it makes short work of the rivets.

"Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I will move the world."
-Archimedes


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:12 am 
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Location: Banana River , Fl
I too added a new cleat to my mast and I tried to use the same cheap handheld riveter as you after my more expensive air riveter crapped out. What I found was the the particular cleats I had, the rivet holes were too deep and narrow for the nose piece of the riveter to fit down tight against the rivet prior to squeezing the handle. Thus resulting in a poor bond.

Not all cleats are alike obviously, but I ended up drilling and tapping. I used S/S screws that I pacified by dunking in Phosphoric acid and used plenty of anti-seize.

Good luck

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Last edited by Rockets on Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:29 am 
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If the rivets are to recessed inside the cleat holes use some nuts or similar to fill the space, so the rivet gun can still push on the rivet while pulling the rivet shaft.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:06 am 
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mb87 wrote:
Matt,

Just to confirm, are you saying that the riveter you reference from Harbor Freight will pull 3/16" stainless steel rivets? I need to replace my mast cheek block but I haven't done any riveting in my life either so i'm not sure what to use. However I have heard that the average $20 rivet tool will not do the job.


I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself. (Watched Ken Hilk re-mount his mast cheek block on his H-16 with that exact tool about two weeks ago.) Probably won't last as long as my $125 "Big M" scissor tool (my first picture) that I've had for 20+ years, but for $20, it's tough to go wrong.

Air powered rivet guns are the best, but I like having something I can take to a regatta with me - without bringing an air compressor along.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:01 am 
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Quote:
1. It was nearly impossible to close the handle of the riveter: even using a vise to close the yellow handles, I had to wrestle for over an hour to get the rivets in. (? this type of rivet not supposed to be used with a hand powered riveter. ? I need to take some steroids.)

2. Worse: when the center of the rivet (mandrel) finally popped off, both rivets were loose - one has about .25 cm of movement into and out of the rivet hole. The other has less play but is still not tight.


Before getting new rivet guns and other tools, I would look at the four issues that OlderBowman mentioned.

Plus, I am certainly no expert riveter, but I do know that you must have everything fit together/seat down tightly and securely before you even get the rivet gun out. In other words, the cleat has to seat to its spot without rocking, the holes in the cleat have to center over the drilled holes, the rivets need to seat in the holes easily and snugly, etc.

Once that is done, the rivet gun essentially clamps the pieces together using the rivet. If you let the gun or the rivet womble around as you pop the rivet, you're usually sunk. It's a lot like putting vice grips on something. You gently put it in place, try not to move anything, and then clamp down smoothly to prevent anything from slipping or jumping.

Best to practice with cheap rivets and light scrap metal if t has killed your confidence.

I used to do a lot of riveting of sheet metal ductwork when I had my "shop job". 30 gauge sheet metal is easy to work with (although it is sharp).

Also, as MBounds says, if the bad rivet is too loose, you're going to have to cut it off. Necessary, slow and tedious work, but drilling is just going to spin the rivet in the hole and do damage. A single-handle plumber's hacksaw is cheap.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:36 am
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Location: Eagan (St Paul), MN
Great information. Obviously I've got the wrong rivet gun and I might need to use some washers inside the cleat's rivet hole to raise the rivet closer to rivet gun tip. Which raises the question a number of people above have raised: why not just screw the cleat in instead of dealing with the riveting issues (buy/rent new gun, use washers, etc)? Is there a problem with using screws?
thx
Adam

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Adam
e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
Fleet 444


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:19 am 
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Er, wait...

Those sleeves?

And the length of those rivets in that first picture?

Is that what they really look like...?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:29 am 
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Yep, that's what they look like. Below is the page on Murrays that shows them. I did wonder if they were longer than is needed for the job and if that was adding to the problem but that's what Murray's was selling and they know more than I do.

http://www.murrays.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MS&Product_Code=01-1019&Category_Code=

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Adam
e-mail: ab at medjet.net
H17S, Hobie Bravo, A cat
Fleet 444


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