Took a couple of photos for a fellow 14 builder today to show a couple of tips I discovered on the net when it comes to those first few nervous rivets. I scoured all the blogs when I found that I kept slipping off the rivet head when using the flat head on the gun. It turned out to be more technique than equipment. The gun is the important bit which means that you can relax a little on the bucking bar. I found the heavy tungsten bar really good for this as it will set the rivet quickly without a lot of pressure. I make a point of concentrating on the gun to the point that I will stop if I think I have bucking bar tunnel vision. A great tip from another builder was to hold the gun like this:
Placing your thumb in the back of the gun encourages you to hold the gun not only firmly on the manufactured head but also helps to brace your wrist so that the gun stays perpendicular. Placing a bit of masking tape (builders tape if you are from across the pond) on the mushroom head helps with securing the gun again still the skin. Change it before it looks like this though:
I’m by no means an expert but I have consistently set better rivets since adopting the above advice from other builders. Vans advise against using the flat head with a rubber guard or a swivel head. Bet I get a smiley the next rivet I set!