I am no expert at riveting, but I have had some good advice from an expert. He has had years of experience in the aircraft industry. Prior to this cannon project I would have inserted fewer than a dozen rivets. You cannot beat experience. And knowledge.
As you look at these photos, and grimace, bear my inexperience in mind. Actually, my results improved as the day wore on.
I learned a few lessons as a result of this session of riveting.
- Riveting is a manual and knowledge based skill, which must be studied and practiced.
- Items which are riveted change their dimensions. Components which fitted perfectly when machined and bolted together develop gaps and warps after riveting. Not surprising, considering the hammering of relatively unsupported pieces.
- The tools must be perfectly designed for the job. The snaps must be the correct shape and size for the rivets.
- Rivets from different manufacturers differ in dimensions, even when supposedly the same.
- Soft components like aluminium can deform and break when riveted.
- Retired gynaecologists should not rivet. Stick to nuts and bolts.
I am hoping that the bruises and cracks and deformations which I have caused with the riveting will be camouflaged by the paint job.
Surprisingly, the carriage still sits flat on a surface plate. And the barrel sits squarely in the trunnions.