From looking at the forums, I know I *can* use the Harbor Freight rivet gun to build a Zenith, with the mods to the tip.

If you did use the HF gun for your build, I'd like to hear your experience with it - good, bad or ugly.



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Good so far. You must buy the "more expensive" option from Harbor Freight that can pull one size larger than the cheaper one can.  (or send those tips to Zenith to machine). Built my entire tail with it. (You do however need a hand riveter for some tight spaces and I bought that one from Zenith)

Got two of the cheap rivet guns from Harbor Fright. Set one up for the A4 and one for the A5.Used a 20% off coupon on each one so about $50 for the two. Only have the Flapperons left to build and they have been going strong the hole build. No matter what brand you get the main thing is to make sure that the rivet tail falls out before you try to pull the next rivet DON"T try to use them with the neat little plastic tail catcher on it will end up plugging up on you. I used the ball end on a dremil grinder an modified the tips to make the heads the way Zen wants them.

And whatever you do, DONT follow the instructions that say to open up the thing and pour oil in it to prime before the first use...  I learned that the hard way but forgot to tell a friend of mine before he did the same thing. 

I think I paid less than 25 bucks for mine and I have built two airplanes with it.  I have the more expensive one but have never had the need to use it.  I made my own rivet tips by modifying a worn out drill.  Have never looked back.


i got one about 25 years old. everybody around here has borrowed it...the thing has probably pulled at least 100K rivets. maybe double that. buy it.

Used the one in the pic below from Harbor Freight to build my entire plane. It worked well for me.


I used one to build my plane.  Worked great.  No Problems.

750 nearly complete - gun worked great.

I've had a heck of a lot less issues with that gun (although I got mine from Princess Auto but it is the exact same gun as Dave shows in his picture) than I did with my high end hand rivet gun.  I did have to modify the rivet heads (I used a drill to get most of the volume out and then a round grinding tip (like a dremel tool) to "shape it".  

I have the rivet gun and machined heads that Zenith provides, but I'm considering getting a second gun so as to set one up for A4 and the other for A5, rather than switching one gun back and forth repeatedly. Will the Harbor Freight rivet gun (SKU 93458) accept both the A4 and A5-sized custom heads (is "head" the right term for the little piece that threads into the business end of the gun?) provided by Zenith?



Yes. That type gun will take both A4 and A5 heads. I use two guns set up for each size.

Good point, but ZAC has modified the head (machined) to allo the rivet to form a cone. How do we ask for such item when buying at HF?


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