Home > VansAirForceForums

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

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > RV Building Tips/Techniques
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-22-2021, 02:14 PM
htx9a htx9a is offline
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 16
Default Solo riveting fixture (AKA look 'ma no hands!)

After nearing completion of the wing top skin riveting, there are a few that I just can't quite reach. It turns out that back-riveting is actually very easy if you combine a back-riveting bar with a large rare-earth magnet covered in tape. In my case, this is a stack of magnets extracted from old hard drives.

The bucking bar appearing to float mid-air as if by magic:

More pictures/detail
RV-9A: wings in progress
Build Blog
Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2021, 02:18 PM
Norman CYYJ Norman CYYJ is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 1,436

Very cool idea!
Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2021, 04:41 PM
wilddog wilddog is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
Posts: 657

Please explain how you do this. Guess Iím dense but canít figure it out.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 06:26 AM
RViator60 RViator60 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Southport, NC
Posts: 87

It's an interesting idea, but I'm having trouble seeing the process as well. I don't see how the magnet stays positioned over manufactured head while you're back riveting the shop head.
Marty Guinn
Based at KSUT, Southport, NC
- flying 1973 PA28-180 (N55087)
RV14A Build Log
Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 07:30 AM
sbal0906's Avatar
sbal0906 sbal0906 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 221

Very cool idea! To answer the question above, the magnets appear to be on the shop head side and stuck to the back rivet bar on the manufactured side with the skin between them. There should be enough room beside the magnet to place the back rivet set on the shop head side.

As a caution to anyone that wants to try it. Rare earth magnets can be very powerful, even dangerous. You could risk denting skins if you're not careful with placement.
Shamit Bal
Working on wing - fuel tanks.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Last edited by sbal0906 : 06-23-2021 at 07:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 08:24 AM
htx9a htx9a is offline
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 16

Instead of snapping the magnet directly opposite the bar, place it above flush with the skin and then slide it down until it pops into place just above the shop head, leaving room for the rivet set. This seems to work best in the vertical configuration because gravity helps lever the bar against the skin. These hard drive magnets are also nice because they have a bit of a curve that naturally leaves a spot for the rivet set.

There's a fine line between a strong-enough magnet and a dangerous finger-pinching menace. I haven't dented anything yet! It also tends to attract the rivet set so it will need a bit of guidance.

RV-9A: wings in progress
Build Blog

Last edited by htx9a : 06-23-2021 at 08:25 AM. Reason: add pic
Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 10:06 AM
vlittle's Avatar
vlittle vlittle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria, Canada
Posts: 2,361

I'm on the BOD of Iris Dynamics. We make computer-controlled high power linear actuators and deal with rare-earth magnets all the time.

These magnets need to be treated like handling a rattlesnake. We treat them in the lab as hazmat and have strict handling procedures to prevent them from 'jumping' to other magnets or ferrous objects nearby.

They can shatter like glass and chips can fly in the air, so protective gloves and goggles are a good idea. Wear a mask as well.

Perhaps dipping them in plastic or wrapping them like the OP is a good idea. Just treat them with a lot of respect.


V e r n. ====
RV-9A complete
Harmon Rocket complete
Part of EAA award-winning OnSpeed team
The VV in
Victoria, BC (Summer)
Chandler, Az (Winter)
Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 11:58 AM
htx9a htx9a is offline
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 16

I actually work for a company that builds AC permanent magnet motors and inverters for electric vehicles, so I definitely agree on the safety aspect. Inserting a magnetized rotor into a stator can require a special jig because of the forces involved.

It's very convenient that the majority of the airframe is aluminum and my other bucking bars are tungsten, and thus not magnetic. I have a designated magnet spot (on my refrigerator :-) when I'm done with it.
RV-9A: wings in progress
Build Blog
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 09:49 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.