View Full Version : Rivet type for airplane kit

Bob Baisden
01-18-2004, 07:02 PM

Whats the recommended type and size of rivet for the model airplane? Drill size? Mcmaster lists hundreds of different types. :?
Any tips for marking a uniform spacing?


Wray Schelin
01-18-2004, 07:16 PM
Hi Bob,

You want to use an aluminum head ,aluminum mandrel 3/16" t0 1/4" pull range. I think on George's plane that we built two years ago we used 3/4" spacing on the rivets. You could use 1/2" also , nothing wrong with lots of rivets on a plane. :D


Ron Naida
01-19-2004, 02:03 AM
Any tips for marking a uniform spacing?


Either step the distance off with dividers or use a rivet spacing tool ( looks like a series of "X"s riveted together in the middle) Extend it in and out for different spacing.

Not too practical for the airplane but an old carpenters trick to equally divide a board that is say 4&1/2" into 4 equal parts wide without doing the math. Lay the tape at a diagonal "O" end on the left raise the tape up or down on the right until 4" is on the edge. mark 1 2 and 3 . Gives you equal spaces.

Ron Naida

01-19-2004, 12:22 PM
Hi Bob,
It is not only even spacing that will make a difference in how the plane looks in the end.....It is also nice to make them equal-distant from the edge of the parts being joined.
As Jay has suggested, an easy way is a set of dividers. I used them to scribe a line the entire length of the parts . I made mine 5/16ths away from the edge for the center line. Then I used the dividers and marked off the spacing at 1.5 inches.
Hope this helps,

04-24-2004, 11:06 AM
It depends on where the rivet row is located, the thickness of the skins being joined, and the stresses being imposed on the skins that determine the rivet diameter, spacing, and layout. There is a publication that we use in the aircraft industry to determine all this, and it's called AC43.13-1B. You can find it on the FAA.gov websites... It will tell you everything you ever needed to know about riveting.
Good luck,
John H.