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Old 01-22-2010, 08:37 PM   #15
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Sorry,Not a typist! Meant to say Vintage 60s AS will have 1/8 int. rivets from factory?
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:45 PM   #16
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Sorry,Not a typist! Meant to say Vintage 60s AS will have 1/8 int. rivets from factory?
Steve.

Airstream still uses 1/8 pop rivets in the interior.

Andy
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:55 PM   #17
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I quickly and not too accurately measured the interior rivets in our 2008 trailer and they appeared to be 1/4". There doesn't seem to be a 1/4" rivet, so I guess they were actually 5/32", or maybe the head isn't the right measurement. If those are called 1/8", that must mean something else than what I can see.

Then heads have popped off two of these rivets and from what I have read it appears I have to drill out what's left with a bit, but can't tell what size to get (or what rivets to buy) until I understand what size the rivets are.

There is a line of rivets over the door and kitchen upper cabinets that go from back to front. Two have popped off over the door at different times and been replaced under warranty. Now two have popped over the cabinets. I am wondering why these particular rivets have been popping—is there more stress at this place? No other rivets have failed.

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:13 PM   #18
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Rivet size refers to the shank, not the head of the rivet. I'd bet you have 1/8" rivets in the interior.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #19
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I can only add to that to buy the good ones. Cheap drill bits break and dull quickly, especially the 1/8 variety. I spend $ 4.00 a piece, and they last quite some time. Look for Cobalt drill bits. And even those will break, so buy plenty of replacements. I get 10 at a time, and usually need 6-8 per interior job.
American Vermont has a unconditional guarantee on their bits. Their carbide bits last longer but snap more easily. I have sent a few back with no questions asked. One could theoretically buy one bit and get infinite replacements.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:57 PM   #20
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drill bit sizes

There are 3 drill bit sizes for the rivets that Airstream has used for many years.

1/8" rivets use #30 drill bit

5/32" rivets use #21 drill bit

3/16" rivets use #11 drill bit.

A #20 drill bit is a double oversize for the Olympic rivets, and should not be used as it does not fill the holes as well as the #21 drill bit.

If your going to buy the drill bits, buy the correct sizes.

The use of the #20, is a huge MYTH, and does not do an excellent job nearly as well as the #21 drill bits.

The Olympic rivets are .15625 in diameter.

#21 is .159"
#20 is .161"

Some people use a 5/32 inch drill bit, and wallow out the hole, when using Olympic rivets.

That's not a good idea when doing sheet metal work, unless you kick quality and precision to the curb.

Water leaks can happen, in spite of top quality, let alone begging for leaks.

Andy
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:23 PM   #21
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Thanks guy'. That clears it up.

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Old 03-02-2010, 10:23 AM   #22
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What the heck size is #20 and #30 bits? I have been using 9/64 on most of the interior rivets. When I go to the store I can never find bits labeled #20 or30
Great question. I have often wondered the same about bit sizes.
Thanks for getting to the answer. Thanks to all for solid answers
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:30 AM   #23
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Try this:

Drill bit sizes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:36 AM   #24
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I went to an Ace Hardware yesterday and they had a large variety of numbered bit sizes.

They also had a variety of 1/8" pop rivets—bigger and smaller heads and strengths. I hope I got the right ones.

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Old 03-02-2010, 11:42 AM   #25
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tools and parts

Generally speaking, when your working on something special, like an Airstream, the place to find tools and parts, is a "special" store.

When working on common things, then the common parts stores are the places to go.

Drill bits for Airstream work, are available from some dealers.

Andy
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #26
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I just noticed this old thread and see a lot of good info in it. However, the "huge myth" described below about #20 bits for 5/32" Olympic rivets is a false alarm. The best authority for what size bit to use with Olympic rivets is the company that makes Olympic rivets, Gesipa. Here's what they spec:
Item # RV6607-5-5, Aluminum Rivet/Aluminum Mandrel on Gesipa Fasteners USA

Frankly, a #21 bit is good too, as long as the rivet doesn't get burred as it is inserted in the hole. Happy riveting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
There are 3 drill bit sizes for the rivets that Airstream has used for many years.

1/8" rivets use #30 drill bit

5/32" rivets use #21 drill bit

3/16" rivets use #11 drill bit.

A #20 drill bit is a double oversize for the Olympic rivets, and should not be used as it does not fill the holes as well as the #21 drill bit.

If your going to buy the drill bits, buy the correct sizes.

The use of the #20, is a huge MYTH, and does not do an excellent job nearly as well as the #21 drill bits.

The Olympic rivets are .15625 in diameter.

#21 is .159"
#20 is .161"

Some people use a 5/32 inch drill bit, and wallow out the hole, when using Olympic rivets.

That's not a good idea when doing sheet metal work, unless you kick quality and precision to the curb.

Water leaks can happen, in spite of top quality, let alone begging for leaks.

Andy
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #27
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Whatever rivet you use be careful buying from a local hardware store, most of what they have are aluminum with a STEEL mandrel, these will rust eventually and are alot harder to remove.
Greg
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #28
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The Airstream factory, has very recently come out with a "Official Airstream Rivet Kit".

Amoung other things included are #30, #21 and #10 drill bits.

A #20 allows a little extra "slop" that should never be used when doing Airstream sheet metal work.
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