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Old 10-01-2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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Bucked versus Olympic rivets?

I know solid rivets are way stronger but are olympic strong enough for a complete rebuild?

I tend to like things over built and would not use the olympic rivets except for one thing- having to have a second person on the bucking bar. I would be riveting at odd hours and would not always have access to a second person when I need to be squashing rivets.

Thanks for all the input in advance.....
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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If you're doing a complete rebuilt and have access to the interior of the outer skin, there's no circumstance ever when you'd consider an olympic over a bucked rivet. Bucked rivets are stronger, more durable, cheaper, don't leak, look better, and did I mention cheaper?

Olympics really are only for temporary external repairs where there's no access to the rear of the piece, for interior work, and for use in protected dry locations.

People use them widely for all kinds of reasons, but water is the enemy of Airstreams and olympics leak. It's like a built-in flaw.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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My experience is that it just isn't hard to recruit a bucking partner. It's fun to do and it's very quick. Plan your work so you can have a bunch of rivets ready to shoot at one time and you'll only need your bucker for an hour or so. Also, there will be many you can reach both sides of and do by yourself.

cheers,
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:20 PM   #4
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A gasket under and a touch of caulk atop
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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I hear ya Dave, but my fear is that when I do round somebody up to help rivet they might not be as attentive as I would like. I would cry if I started hammering on a rivet and they had the bar 4 rivets down and I ended up gurrring up a $400-$800 panel. To compound my situation I have a crazy work/travel schedule so I might be stuck with less than the optimum person to help when I do get the time to work on it. And I don't want this to turn into a "couple of months till completion" to a "couple of years". :-/
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethowens View Post
A gasket under and a touch of caulk atop
I thought that any gaskets/o-rings will deteriorate over time and cause leaks? Of course using vulkem or equivalent is a given.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:01 PM   #7
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JD (I just love that I can call you JD!)

If you're using clecos and you only put in the rivets you're bucking, it should be reasonably error-proof. When I've done this, I've always gone over the game plan:

"Ok, so, see there's clecos every third hole? I'm going to go down and do the hole below each cleco first, so every third one *points* then I'll come back up the other way doing the ones above the clecos *points* then I'll take the clecos out and go top down on the remaining holes. Repeat that back to me."

I know it sounds OTT, but it's the only way to be sure on a 1-time job like this.

If I were less broke, I'd drive to Alabama right now just to give you a hand.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:38 PM   #8
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I think Dave is right on this. Unless you're stuck with a total idiot for a helper, it's pretty easy to set up a method where you avoid the axidents.

Just make very sure the bucking bar holder has very good light. They will see which rivet you put in and they should be able to know which one to hold the bar against. If there is any question, have them try to push the rivet out a little while you hold the rivet set against it. That's a good way to verify you're both on the same one. Make sure they aren't pushing too hard on the rivet when you start the bucking.

You can't put in more than one at a time anyway, as soon as you start the rivet gun the rest would fall out.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:45 PM   #9
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I always put them in one at a time following an agreed pattern.

I put one in, position the air riveter, then wait to feel the clunk of the bar against it (a little tap) then it just takes a 1.5 second burst and it's perfect. My buck bar has a little slot in one end for checking if it's bucked enough - each one is checked before doing the next, which is signaled by the bucker putting their finger over the next planned hole to signal to me to go back and give the last rivet a little more.

I always like to use the little rubber guard that protects the skin.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #10
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Dave
can you please elaborate how can you tell if a rivet is bucked enough? What kind of bar do you use?
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
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My bar is about 4" long and about 3/4" wide, with a flat head at one end. The other end is like a pry bar, with a small notch cut into it, about 1/12" high or so. I never measured it thought. It's not heavy, and doesn't take much pressure...

It's very like this one, but with a small notch in the top right edge.

As to how I tell a rivet is bucked enough? I've only done a couple of thousand, so I am not vastly experienced or properly trained, but after the first ten or so, it "clicked" for me and I got very consistent.

The ideal bucked rivet will be even on the outside with no marks or half-moons. Inside, light, even pressure. By feel, the two pieces will pull together and the sound will change. On examination, the inside head should be flattened enough to touch the skin all the way around it, but not TOO flattened (weaker).

It's the weight of the bucking bar that does the work, so simple "hold and keep flat" pressure is all that's required of the bucker.

I'm "out of action" for proper riveting after lending my airgun out and not getting it back yet - I'd buy another if it were economical but I can't find one at a sensible price, or people point me to air POP riveters which are a whole different machine.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:03 PM   #12
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Thanks Dave for all the advice, and thanks for the offer to drive down and help. I actually don't even have the trailer yet, going to look at it tomorrow. If I happen to win the lottery in the next few days I will FLY you to Bama and put you up in a 5 star hotel. Errrr, well...... maybe I would just buy a fully loaded classic of the lot if that happened but who knows? I have never been a multi-millionaire.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:54 PM   #13
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thanks for the info I think I'm overdoing it with the riveter...more practice
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #14
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It's far more common for people to over-squeeze the rivet than under-squeeze it. The strength of the rivet is greatest before it is mostly flattened out on the inside. If you undersqueeze it you can always add a little more, but if you oversqueeze it, you can't back it off a bit
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