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Old 11-05-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
GlamperGirl
 
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'65 Globetrotter, starting interior removal. seek guidance on tools sizes, etc.

I am going to begin the interior removal and the lower panels. Will do a shell off restore in January.
Woman with limited number of tools, I need some guidance please :->. I have a helper with skills, but this is my project to learn on.

What size bits do I need for rivet removal? And what size rivets do I buy to reinstall? Interior and exterior.

Seeking a pneumatic rivet gun to rent or buy in Seattle. Recommendation would be great.
Are any of you in Seattle to rent one from?

What is the best way to remove the rivets? Have read plenty on interior removal process. Start at the front, save it all, document, measure, photograph, keep everything. Thanks all!


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Old 11-05-2014, 01:28 PM   #2
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1967 30' Sovereign
Chiefland , Florida
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You will need cordless tool set, (drill and saws all, batteries and charger as a minimum) and a big set of screwdriver bits that has all the different types in it. Drill bit set 1/16" to 1/2" and extra 3/16" and 1/8" drill bits. Step drill bit. 1/4" drive socket set. Hammer and heavy duty scraper(For cutting rivets) patience and band aids will be helpful. The more tools you have the easier your life is. Good luck, I have done a few of these and will be happy to answer questions-Rolland


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Old 11-05-2014, 01:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolland View Post
You will need cordless tool set, (drill and saws all, batteries and charger as a minimum) and a big set of screwdriver bits that has all the different types in it. Drill bit set 1/16" to 1/2" and extra 3/16" and 1/8" drill bits. Step drill bit. 1/4" drive socket set. Hammer and heavy duty scraper(For cutting rivets) patience and band aids will be helpful. The more tools you have the easier your life is. Good luck, I have done a few of these and will be happy to answer questions-Rolland


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Thank you Rolland. sawzall!! Why cordless vs. electric.


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Old 11-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
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The positions you have to get into while working and lack of easily accessible power made me go to cordless-I still have and use the corded tools, but for most work the cordless are much handier.


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Old 11-05-2014, 01:38 PM   #5
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Ok and power of the drill set is key too. Got it


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Old 11-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #6
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Because of the price I use a lot of Royobi 18V tools, and throw them away when they wear out(They all use the same batteries) Also have Milwaukee, but they cost a lot more in the long run. Just stick with one brand and one voltage, so you can interchange batteries.


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Old 11-05-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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1965 26' Overlander
Edmonds , Washington
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I'm in Seattle, but we're still early in a full remodel. We got the buck riveting kit from Vintage Trailer Supply (Airstream Buck Riveting Kit), and it's been perfect. We just finished rivoting the belly skin back on and the pneumatic rivot gun worked great, and the Clecos are a must have item.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:36 PM   #8
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Houston , Texas
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For drilling out rivets, interior and exterior, ideally, you would want to use machinists' bits in the appropriate sizes for the rivet diameters. The interior pop or blind rivet diameters will be 1/8", and the exterior rivets should be 5/32". Vintage Trailer Supply has the machinists' bits, and the conversion tables to show you what size you need at the following:

Split Point Drill Bits

For drilling out the interior rivets, I like to use a very short bit with a double end, so that I get twice as much mileage out of a bit, and I can be sure not to drill through my wall, or dimple the exterior panels. I think I got a bunch of these from Grainger.

As for tools, Vintage Trailer supply has a buck riveting kit with everything to get you started:

Airstream Buck Riveting Kit

You may think you don't need to own one yourself, but if you are doing a shell-off, then you may also find yourself replacing a panel or two, and before you know it, you will be using that rivet gun more than you think (more than for a day or two, for sure).

For removal of bucked (exterior) rivets, there are three main ways to do it efficiently: first is to center punch the rivet head with a spring punch, and then drill, while steering the bit to keep it on center, second is to use a fancy rivet removal tool like at the following address:

Rivet Removal Tool

and finally, you can remove lots of bucked rivets by inserting a sharp and stout putty knife between the sheets you mean to separate, and whack the handle with a hammer, shearing the rivets in the process. Some drilling/punching is usually required to get the sheared parts out of the way.

If you have a Harbor Freight Tools in your town, this is a good source for quasi-industrial, cheap, throw-away tools. Two tools that I got some good use out of were an electric sheet metal shear and a pneumatic pop-riveting gun.

Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #9
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$100's burned and tools ordered or borrowed in prep. Have ready my camera, HD Video camera, Notes on word and my project plan is close to being finished.

Waiting on specifics if I have selected the correct wide blade plier from A-Merry-Can (saw him post a pic once that I can't find again) Amerimax 85028 Jaws Metal Bender Pliers 3.5 in. Wide Blade

Next week is going to be a fun one!

Many thanks for the support!
Dena
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #10
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For the interior rivets. I like drilling them out with an 1/8" or 3/16" bit, and then I bang on a scratch awl with a broken tip (that's the perfect size for the rivet shaft) to punch in the remnants. A Dremel tool with a cut-off disk is sometimes necessary to get those stubborn stubs.

Going pneumatic on the riveter is a good idea- I haven't had that many to do, but it seems like the hand-powered pop-rivet tools were designed with an ape in mind. The hands give out pretty quick. I've been tempted to buy this:
3/16" Air Hydraulic Riveter

Start collecting large sheets of cardboard for templates. I'm able to get mine from the guys that sell me the Eurolite plywood that I've been using. You'll get plenty of practice using a cheap drawing compass to get your curves transferred to the cardboard. Let me know if you need pointers on this procedure.

Big Stretch caulking is your new best friend, don't bother with the cheap stuff, it just rips apart the first time you jack up the trailer. A tongue depressor makes for a good fillet, followed by some artistic use of a large sponge.

Good luck, have a blast making your Airstream into mobile art!
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:35 PM   #11
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Two things I could not have done without for the renovation of my '63 Globe Trotter are an oscillating multi-tool and a small hand held grinder. The multi-tool gets into tight spaces without overworking the material like a sawzall does. The grinder will cut or grind metal and remove rust scale with a wire brush attachment. Cordless tools are very convenient but not necessary.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:52 PM   #12
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The Harbor Freight air rivet gun is worth is weight in aluminum. I have one and love it.
Saves a ton to time when installing panels and trim and saves your hands from a thousand squeezes ( I think the arthritis in my right hand is from all the riveting before I bought the air rivet gun).
You can get the sheet metal pliers at HF as well. Order a set of Clecos and the pliars from Vintage Trailer or any aircraft supply house. (Spring Clecos) They are indispensable in getting things lined up when putting panels and trim back in place. They will save you lots of frustration.
Also, when you are at Harbor Freight, pick up one of these (Multifunction Oscillating Power Tool - 1.6 Amp, 120 Volt), Other than my drill and rivet gun I think I used this tool the most when fixing my 68 Trade Wind.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:02 PM   #13
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Cool Rivets

I have built several experimental aircraft with driven rivets and aircraft grade pull rivets. Believe me the pull rivets are a lot easer to install, you need only to insert and using the Harbor Freight $45.00 puller you are done. other wise you need access to the backside of the part you are riveting and a helper to guck the rivet to do the job properly.
If you can stick to the special rivets sold for AS's exterior and just regular pop rivets for the interior. A kit with many very useful length of 1/8" rivets, 500 are also at H F for $4.99, which with coupons can be purchased for 20% off. When installing the exterior rivets there will be a stem protruding, just nip with wire cutting pliers and use the HF 1" wide belt sander to trim the stem down to the rivet head, that takes a steady hand but my daughter and I have a system when working together: we apply plenty of the caulking to each rivet, pull, clean up the squeeze out nip the stem and come back when we are working on soothing that only one person is needed and polish off the remaining stem.

One thing you need at least fifty copper clecos to get anything at all done. When ready to rivet, after fitting the panel reinsert a cleco in every hole. Only remove as you pull the rivet, one at a time or things ( rivets )start not to fit. I was able to fit, drill, and install the aluminum end caps by myself using buckets of clecos and pull rivets in about 45minutesl Of course the new aluminum gores were pre drilled along one edge and one end, the one that attaches to the rib.

If you have an opportunity taka look at Lauren's blog " A trailer named Trouble".
Remember "if the idiots at the factory can build it, "You can fix it" Never let it discourage you, just take each issue one step at a time.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:06 PM   #14
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I agree on the clecos and pneumatic rivet guns-Necessary for re-assembly-I very seldom buck a rivet, I work alone. Look up closed pop rivets on the net, I use these anywhere on the exterior, they don't leak water.


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