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Cadets Find Squeezing Aluminum Riveting

Maj Heller explains tools
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Maj Marty Heller Explaining Riveting Tools to NC-170 Members. PHOTO CREDIT: Maj Kathy Nicholas, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Brunswick County Comp Squadron has riveting AE meeting

11/17/2016––Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Brunswick County Composite Squadron’s monthly Aerospace Education meeting featured a hands-on rivet demonstration. Considering rivets are the primary construction method of most aircraft, Deputy Commander Major Marty Heller arranged the event with the help of several local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA 939) members. Rivets are basically squeezed metal, often aluminum. They are often used for semi-permanent installation, are lighter than screws and do not back out. Joining all sorts of metal or fabric, including tanks, boats, bridges, rain gutters, airplanes, frying pans, clothes and jewelry, rivets aren’t noticed until one points them out.

After a brief presentation, cadets and senior members rotated between five work stations to learn about the process. One station displayed riveting and deburring tools. The next station showed how to dimple and countersink the holes. Then the squeezing began: the third station demonstrated “blind“ (a.k.a. “pop”) rivets. A fourth station allowed members to hand-squeeze, countersunk rivets. The most popular station was the last where members used a pneumatic rivet gun and bucking bar on “universal” (or mushroom head) rivets.
"It was a nice change to get into a hangar and learn a skill," exclaimed Cadet Josiah DeJesus. A first time visiting youth stated, "if this what you normally do, count me in!" Senior members enjoyed the evening as well. The evening ended, “not with a bang, but with a burrrumpt,” the tell-tale sound of the rivet gun.
The Brunswick County Composite Squadron meets the first four Tuesdays of the month at 6:30 pm. Youths ages 12-18, and senior members (older than 18) are welcome. For more information contact Major Kathy Nicholas, Squadron Commander at (757) 639-7893.