Not all pop rivets are created the same

Yes, it's on-topic -- I'm rebuilding my dust collection system using 5" spiral pipe. As an aside, I found a manufacturer in Tucson that builds spiral pipe and fittings and was able to get ductwork for less than half what it would have cost to get it from either Penn State or Oneida, even before shipping charges were added. The pipe is pretty good, the elbows and y's leave a little to be desired in terms of fit and finish -- they are more than slightly undersized, there is quite a bit of silicone seal being used to fill gaps between pipe and fittings (up to 1/16"), but I digress. ...
I'm using pop rivets to hold the fittings to the pipe and had ordered a pop rivet tool from Penn State. The tool came with a sampler of pop- rivets, 15 each in 4 sizes from 3/32 and up. I used up all but the largest size and went to the blue Borg to get some more. The only thing Lowes had was Arrow 1/8" pop rivets. Using the rivets that came with the tool, I had nary a hiccup. First try using the Arrow brand, the stem stuck in the tool, broken off below the guide -- I had to dis- assemble the tool to get it loose. This particular box had what appear to be a brassy stem (looks kind of like coated nails), vs. the silver of the other rivet stems. I tried some from the second box of Arrow brand I had gotten (Lowes only had one box that was all silver, the rest had the yellowish colored stems). While these did not break off inside the tool, the stem will only self-extract to about 1/4", I then need to use a pliers to remove the stem the rest of the way.
My question, has anybody else had similar experiences? Or is it possible the tool manufacturer uses a non-standard rivet, or is it more likely that the brand I bought today uses rivet stems that are much softer than other manufacturers use?
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Yep, you're right. Some are aluminum, some are steel. I have always used the ones Sears sells, just from inertia. Never any unexpected problems in thirty-odd years.
Mark & Juanita wrote:

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Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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says...

much softer than what shipped with the rivet tool.

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This is not the first time, I personally or as in this example, have had problems with Arrow fasteners. I'm beginning to think they are made to only work in Arrow tools.
Erik

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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Sounds like you're short-stroking it. I think if you take little bites, it mushes up the stem. Big, firm bites work much better, and the waste bit almost always drops clear with a firm snap at the end.
I've put hundreds of Arrow pop rivets into stuff. I used a Cheapass pop riveter for a long time, but I traded up for a swivel head model from Sears a few years ago, and the Sears riveter is much better in every way.
The only time things usually go wrong is when I'm trying to use way too long of a rivet for the job. I've found that the proper size usually means no more than three strokes to the pop. More than that, and things get mushy. One stroke probably means it's not quite long enough, and won't hold well. Two strokes is just right.
Some pop riveting tips:
* seat the thing completely before you start to pull it in, and keep the pressure firm and steady
* don't short stroke it... squeeze firmly and completely, then open the handles all the way (sometimes they'll stop short of opening completely, so you have to pull by hand)
* at the end, open the handles somewhat sharply to increase the chances of the waste dropping out cooperatively
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Taken totally out of context, and read with just the right (wrong?) viewpoint, some of this stuff is pretty funny. (No offense intended, Silvan)

-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Get your mind out of the gutter, prevert! :)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 00:20:00 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

We often choose from more than 2.

We always choose from more than 50.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net says...

My technique did not change from the pop rivets shipped with the rivet tool to the Arrow rivets. The Arrow rivets are taking two stroke to pop, while the as-shipped rivets were only taking one, or slighty more than one. The setting mandrels and rivet sizes are the same however.

I think I've been doing this, I'll make sure that is the case

I definitely have been doing this, the only time I have had issues with not getting a full stroke is when the handle retainer clip gets pushed up and catches the handle on the way down.

This I was definitely doing -- will make sure that I really pop them open next time to see if any difference occurs.
What puzzles me is the different results I am getting with the two different Arrow rivets. The steel colored setting mandrels at least have some tendency to pop loose from the handle, the "coated" colored mandrels remain inside the handle, the only way to get them out is to dis-assemble -- a royal pain.
Thanks for your suggestions, they have given me some things to go try.

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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Inserting the next rivet shank will push the one remaining in the barrel through and out.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Nova wrote:

Turning the rivet gun over to let the shank fall out will remove the need to cringe when it goes flying past your shoulder when the next shank breaks loose from it's head. Something like sending your opponents croquet ball flying, but more interesting, once. joe
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says...

In this case, it did not. I could not push the shank out with another rivet, nor with anything else, it seemed to have firmly anchored itself to the sleeve. In fact, as I was trying to push the sleeve with another rivet, the stuck shank actually caused the rivet to separate from the shank on the new rivet.

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I had the same problem but didn't realize it until reading your post.
I had a "Pop" brand riveter that I purchased several years ago to repair the floorboards on my old Mustang. It sat in my tool box until recently, when I went and purchased another box of rivets for something I was working on. I had a few break off before they should have and a few other problems with them too. I remember thinking at the time that I didn't recall such crappy quality rivets the previous times I used it. BUT I had always used the same POP brand and this time I was using the ones available at the Borg.
Next time I think I'll head over to Sears to get my rivets.
-Chris
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