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Old 04-13-2018, 09:13 AM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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Patching holes, tears in skin

Hello all,
As you can see in attached photo, my grab bar handle next to door is no longer there and the resulting tears in the skin require some form of repair prior to a new handle being installed. I see a product at Vintage Trailer Supply called alumi-pro welding which is designed to repair with a torch. Has anybody actually used this and what was the results? I fear nothing but the worst and see melting burned, tarnished skin. What would you recommend I do? Thanks so much for any advice and direction here! Greg
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:31 AM   #2
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How about a couple of nice hearts? Or stars? Or something like a kitty-cat head? Or a cut-out shape of Iowa? Or, well, whatever you want! Use your imagination, cut them out of aluminum, drill nice holes, and use some Olympic rivets to mount them. (Use some Vulkem as a sealant.)


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Old 04-13-2018, 11:08 AM   #3
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I like Lynn's idea. But with the original rivets so close to the areas to be patched it may be difficult. If you could remove the original rivets and match the holes with the new piece/pieces it may be workable. Maybe you can fashion a template of some sort to match / transfer the original holes to the new pieces. And as Lynn said, use Vulkem to seal the edges and rivets.

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Old 04-13-2018, 11:11 AM   #4
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One of the most inspiring threads in the forums may be of help to you here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...hes-68104.html
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:45 PM   #5
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When you've got a tight spot like that, try to think up a figure with some kind of point to it. Say, a line drawing of Daffy Duck looking off to the side. If you're handy, use your simple metal engraver to give it some more shaping.

https://smile.amazon.com/Engraver-El...engraving+tool


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Originally Posted by Farmer Dan View Post
I like Lynn's idea. But with the original rivets so close to the areas to be patched it may be difficult. If you could remove the original rivets and match the holes with the new piece/pieces it may be workable. Maybe you can fashion a template of some sort to match / transfer the original holes to the new pieces. And as Lynn said, use Vulkem to seal the edges and rivets.

Dan
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:17 PM   #6
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Get piece of scrap AS clear coat aluminum, remove some rivets to and make patch for each hole to blend in, use olympic rivets, vulkem or parbond to seal. Imo would not repair any other way espec. welding of any sort, would screw up clear coat and skin.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:34 PM   #7
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I would get a new grab handle and attach it to two pieces of aluminum and attach these patches to the skin.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:49 PM   #8
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The alumipro stuff is not going to work here. I'm with everybody else, get some Allclad aluminum, make some patches, and rivet it in. Do you have tools to buck rivet? This being right between a door and a window, it might not be too big a job to get access to the inside of the wall. If not, Olympics will suffice. I'd definitely drill out the rivets in the area and replace them through the patch so that the patch can sit flush against the aluminum behind it. Definitely needs sealant behind the patch.

If you need a couple of small scraps of AllClad, I have some in my tool box if you want to pay the cost of shipping. Just pm me.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:00 PM   #9
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Thanks so much everybody! Great ideas, and wow what artistic imaginations!!! Still looking for a handle that'll fit there with the 10" centers already there, maybe I'll get lucky and the width will be sufficient to cover the holes..Naw, I know I was dreaming there for a second! lol Thanks again everybody and have a great weekend!
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:11 PM   #10
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Their may be a handle with built in pads. Check your local marine supply store. Defender, West Marine ...... Good Luck. Pat

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp...201&id=3692018

Carrol Smith has authored Prepare to Win, Drive to Win, and Tune to Win. Believe the Prepare to Win book has a section on sheet Metal repair and prep to improve reliability. Might well be worth the ~$25 as a resource for how to group rivets to minimize stress. Amazon seems to carry the series.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:14 PM   #11
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I have seen some pretty cool patches. Get creative
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:09 PM   #12
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I would use a large plate and rivet it with olympic rivets...this will enable you to use a handle of your choice with a different hole spread. It would need to be installed on the plate first and you could make appropriate clearance holes in the old skin before installing the plate with the olympic rivets.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:44 PM   #13
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Another way to consider would be first, install a piece of 2024 to hide the holes as mentioned and second, install the handle using rivnuts and 8/32 screws. Iíve installed a handle using rivnuts and appears just as strong as the aluminum itís attached to. So, the patch would have to be well attached. Good luck, Bubba
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Old 04-14-2018, 03:24 PM   #14
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Olympic rivets for repair

Olympic rivets are only used for one reason on airstream trailers. This being their appearance to the uninformed. They appear to be bucked rivets, but are less labor intensive to install. They are a very weak rivet. I have attached two files. One from the vintage trailer supply catalog and the other from the McMaster Carr Catalog. If you notice the shear strengths, cost and water sealing capabilities for Aluminum Domed Head Sealing Blind Rivets with steel mandrels in McMaster verus Olympic rivets. Olympic rivets may not be your best choice. McMaster Carr has a page of information concerning pop rivets. I had a skin replacement done at the AS service center and they used the dome sealing type rivets in several places ?

[URL="https://www.mcmaster.com/#rivets/=1cev7vaOlympic"] page3404

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-179.htm

With the interior skin off on my trailer I found many of the olympic rivets failed to open properly due to their closeness to vertical members which did not let one wing expand. this resulted in a weak rivet that ends up pulling at an angle instead of straight.

The choice is strength and water tightness or appearance.

Mark

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