Rivet Gage

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Typical Rivet Gages
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Typical Rivet Gages

There are various companies which provide gages which allow the novice user to judge what size rivet should be used in a given situation, and when driven whether the rivet is properly set or not. Pictured is a typical set.

The rectangular gage with notches is used to judge the correct size of rivet to use in a given situation. Each notch is specific to a given diameter of rivet, and is used by placing the gage on the protruding shank of the rivet after it has been placed in the hole to be riveted. The protruding shank should be roughly the length of the notch.

The other gages are for checking after the rivet has been set. Each of these gages is specific to the size rivet being set. Once set the shop head of the rivet should not fit through the hole. This insures that the rivet was not underdriven. The 'bridge' portion of the gage measures the height of the shop head. When passed over the shop head (as if it were trying to be a bridge), the shop head should not fit under the notch of the bridge. This insures that the rivet was not overdriven.

When the shop head is to be formed against the back side of a dimple (as is often the case when riveting dimpled skins to flanges of ribs or other light gauge metal), it is important to ensure that the height is not measured from the surface of the undimpled skin. Instead, it should be measured from the highest point of the dimple. Using a rivet gage to check the height of the shop head in this situation can still be done, but it is a bit more tricky. Measuring the height of the head relative to the surface of the undimpled skin will result in potentially significantly overdriven rivets, as the height of the dimple itself should not considered to form part of the shop head.