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Old 04-15-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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Olympic Rivet technique ???

I need to replace a few rivets that have gone missing. If I had a bunch to do it might be worth getting one of the shaver tools but not for 3 or 4. Could one of you Alumaheads out there pass on to me a little about the techniques of sanding / filing the heads after installing the replacement olympic rivets.

Thanks all, See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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I need to replace a few rivets that have gone missing. If I had a bunch to do it might be worth getting one of the shaver tools but not for 3 or 4. Could one of you Alumaheads out there pass on to me a little about the techniques of sanding / filing the heads after installing the replacement olympic rivets.

Thanks all, See ya on the road sometime.
Using Olympic rivets is very easy.

The correct size drill bit to use is # 21

Prior to inserting the rivet, place a small amount of Vulkem sealer around the shaft on the backside of the rivet head.

Insert the rivet and pull the pin until it shears off.

Then, snip the pin as short as you can.

Then dress the rest of the pin down with a Dremel tool.

You can use a sander as well, but if you slip you will damage the skin.

If the rivet is placed next to a rib, the pin will break off sometimes very short.

When that happens, drill out that rivet. Then cut away 1/3 of the new rivet shank and insert the rivet so that the cut away edge will face the rib.

Remove the excess Vulkem with a mild solvent.

Andy
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for getting back Andy. I have a choice of cutters for my Dremel tool. I have sanding, metal grinding, cutting. Which do you think is the best for a beginner to start with. I don't mind it going slow until I grasp the technique rather than risking doing damage.

Thanks again. Appreciate the advice
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for getting back Andy. I have a choice of cutters for my Dremel tool. I have sanding, metal grinding, cutting. Which do you think is the best for a beginner to start with. I don't mind it going slow until I grasp the technique rather than risking doing damage.

Thanks again. Appreciate the advice
Use which ever one you want, but the end result is to have a reasonably smooth surface when done.

Andy
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:07 PM   #5
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Roger,

I've had good success with the dremel metal grinding wheel. Brace your hands and maybe even arms against the trailer to support the dremel tool well and keep it from getting away from you. Practice on a scrap piece of sheet metal or aluminum with a few Olympic rivets in it until you get the hang of it.

Chris
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:22 PM   #6
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Ah, we are on the same page. THANX

It seems that the rivets that have a seal are not recommended. I guess they tend to leak eventually. I see here that putting some sealer around the base at installation and then cleaning the squeeze out works well. Can I just pull the small seal off the rivets and use them or do I need to find some unsealed rivets ??? The ones I have have the seal attached.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #7
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Yup the o ring looks like a good idea today but in a year it will degrade and you'll have a floppy in the hole rivet letting in tons of water. Take off the o ring and use some goop instead. It is Ming boggling just how much a little rivet can leak!
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:19 PM   #8
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I like to use the Dremel sanding drums and flat discs to take down the remaining pin.
Depending on how visible the rivet head is Iíll finish it off by hand with a piece of 400 wet/dry paper. I have 2 inch wide aluminum strip with a hole drilled in the end to fit over the head. Put the strip over the rivet to protect the skin and sand the scratches out with a piece of the sandpaper on the end of a finger.

Tom
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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I have not yet had the need to try an Olympic rivet - but if I did, I think I might waste a couple of rivets on a piece of scrap aluminum just to get a little practice and see what bit and what technique work best with the Dremel before trying it on the AS!

Brian.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:57 PM   #10
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Ah, we are on the same page. THANX

It seems that the rivets that have a seal are not recommended. I guess they tend to leak eventually. I see here that putting some sealer around the base at installation and then cleaning the squeeze out works well. Can I just pull the small seal off the rivets and use them or do I need to find some unsealed rivets ??? The ones I have have the seal attached.
The Olympic rivet with the washer, is the same as the one without.

Just take the washer off.

Andy
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:14 PM   #11
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Thanks all. I brought my rivets home so I can practice before attempting the real thing. Appreciate all your words of wisdom.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:00 AM   #12
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Well. Practice run went well. With a bit of fine sanding it will look good. I can see where this would get tedious if doing more than a few and a shaving tool would be in order in that case. Shame that they are sooooo expensive. But then again .........
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #13
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Well. Practice run went well. With a bit of fine sanding it will look good. I can see where this would get tedious if doing more than a few and a shaving tool would be in order in that case. Shame that they are sooooo expensive. But then again .........
Any thing good or hi tech, is not cheap.

When it comes to Airstreaming, the only thing good (hopefully) and cheap, is the owners labor.

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Old 04-18-2014, 08:58 AM   #14
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Ain't that the truth Andy. I used to work for a guy with a sign on his desk that said
" There ain't no free lunch". I think I live with those words every day.

Thanks all. I think I'm in business to tackle this one.
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