So someday when I get to do some riveting, how important is it to purchase the riveters with specially ground heads? Would any hand riveter work?

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any standard riveter will work but the heads need to be ground to properly form the rivets. I did a video early (forgive the bad quality I need to redo this information) on showing how to easily grind the heads. https://youtu.be/GlDEQW1eXqo 

Or Zenith will do it for you very in affordably.

Thanks Dan nice video

The reason is that Zenith does not give you standard rivets with the kit. The rivets are actually meant to be used where the material is chamfered and the rivets are flush after being pulled. Zenith came up with their own process where they use the flush rivets and the special head to form it into a dome. I don't know why they do this, as other rivets are available with heads that are already domed. Bottom line is if you use the Zenith supplied rivets and do not use the special head, the results will be completely unacceptable.

When the Avex rivets are pulled and forms the dome they are ment to form a tighter seal around the outer diameter and will give more holding power than the rivet provides if they are in there standard countersunk form. while there are other domed rivets available they are either more complicated to install such as buck rivets where there is more of a learning curve and in some instances would take 2 people or they are more expensive.

Thanks Ken

Hi Robert,

You can easily make the special heads yourself with a propane torch, a large 135 degree drill bit and some emery cloth. They are cheap enough just to buy from Zenith, but they are  a bit of a confidence builder to make your own. Just be sure you are satisfied with some practice rivets before embarking on a lot of them on your plane. Hand riveter is fine for a few A4's or a couple of A5's in a tough spot, but you will get to appreciate an air rivet gun when sinking a hundred or so A4 and anything over 5 A5's. I have two Stanley hand riveters, one with modified heads, one with standard, and an air riveter with modified heads for my 701. Also made modified heads for some of the rivet guns we used on RAA Chapter 85 750 Cruzer. If you are building a 750, you will need to do one for 3/16 A6 rivets in the wings as well, but there are only a few of the latter.

For blooper rivet removal, cannot say enough about starrett automatic punch to drive back mandrels and protect the holes you have drilled. Works especially well for A5 and A6.

There are several thousand rivets to pull in your kit.  I can't even try to imagine pulling them all with a hand rivet gun.

The 601HD I bought was completely assembled with a hand riveter. They gave me a fairly new riveter with the plane, since they wore out the first one.

Dan Hill writes - "When the Avex rivets are pulled and forms the dome they are ment to form a tighter seal around the outer diameter and will give more holding power than the rivet provides if they are in there standard countersunk form."

Unless you dimple and/or countersink your skins and substrates like I'm planning on doing? What do you think about that? Love your videos, BTW!

You are asking beyond my scope of knowledge. As I understand it (and I may be wrong) is that it was originally designed with the heads reformed which gave them more "holding power"? Than they originally had when installed in there original countersunk configuration. Avex rivets are not considered to be a structural rivet like a cherry rivet would be, but when reformed give sufficient strength for our application at a much lower cost and easier instillation than a comparable rivet. I personally would not be comfortable using them in a countersunk application. Bear in mind this is my understanding and I could be wrong. Thanks, Dan.

I understand what you are saying. I would like to see this test done with the A4 and A5 Zenith rivets which are only rated to 110# and 180# shear respectively. I probably will either get someone to do it or do it myself before I decide if I want to do it. Like to see the test with both flush and domed versions. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAVYtx5dvUA

I have two...one for A4 and the other for A5...saves a lot of time.

Ken

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