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Old 01-16-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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general questions about riveting

Ok, so we are very new to the process of exterior AS work (interior, too
and need some answers to some basic rivet questions:

If we are going to cover some blemishes with some aluminum designs what is the best method to use? We don't want to take the interior down to the metal. Do we use a bucking bar and what kind of rivet machine?

We have a cheap rivet gun for things interior-wise but what is the best method for working on the outside?

For example, I want my better half to install an exterior plug outlet. We also have a couple of bullet holes on one of the exterior sides and thought it would be nice to cover with a patch.

Forgive me for the long post. If there is another thread that can explain all of this for us, please point me to it. I looked but honestly don't know what I am looking for Help!

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Old 01-16-2010, 02:36 PM   #2
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I'd do this

From what I understand....I'd just use olympic rivets and vulcum sealant. I think Franks (Flash Intro Page) has made up some great aluminum patches. Maybe you could check on them or find them elsewhere....or just make som yourself. Caution...a nice patch riveted on looks great....a bad patch looks like hell.

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Old 01-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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Hello Holder310,

If you want to rivet something to the exterior skin without removing interior skins you'll need to use olympic rivets.

Here are some threads on riveting that may help you.

Best of luck,


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 01-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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I too am trying to learn a bit about Olympic rivets - to prepare for the time when i may need them!

I have read that in a pinch, rather than spending big $$ on a rivet shaver, you can use a dremel to dress the rivet by hand if you just have a few to shave.

If I were to try this, I am wondering ..............

(a) what sort of a bit would be best to use in the dremel?

(b) I would have a real concern about slipping off the rivet heard with the dremel and skating across the surface of the panel!!!

Seems to me you could use a thin sheet of aluminium with a hole in it the size of the rivet head to act as a shield to protect the panel in case the Dremel slips. Is that what people do?

(c) anything else I need to know?

Thanks .............. Brian
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion! We have already been in contact with Frank. He hopefully will be making up some cool patches.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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Thanks Kevin245... That is EXACTLY what I was looking for and just didn't know it. That is some wealth of information and should keep my husband very busy.... now if we could just find a cheap shaver! Ha!
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:10 AM   #7
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Holder310... sorry I was not more prompt in emailing back. My wife went out of town. Being Mr Mom to my two daughters has distracted me a great deal. I have been thinking about your project and have some great ideas for you. I promise to email all the details today. To do what you want, Olympic rivets are the perfect fit. There is nothing structural, and the heads, once shaved will just blend right in.

Caution, opinionated statement to follow:
many have used a Dremel to shape the heads of olympic rivets in order to make them look shaved. It is my personal(yes mine, me, I) opinion that it looks very poorly done when completed. A shaver makes the olympic head look to be a solid bucked rivet. I have had to shape some where the the head of the shaver cannot fit and I am always unhappy with the way they look. The most difficult part of using a shave is spending the $200 or so to buy it.

If it is just a few rivets then perhaps you can borrow one. I bring my rivet kit to every rally I go to and I often lend it out during the event. I am fairly sure if you put the word out, someone in your area will have one.

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