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Old 05-31-2011, 05:11 PM   #1
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1968 20' Globetrotter
fair oaks , California
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Rivet Hole Repair

In getting my AS ready for polishing, I removed the AIRSTREAM name plates on the front and rear. When drilling out one of the rivets I must not have had the drill lined up properly and I ended up with a larger hole (see pic). Unfortunately, it was at one of the corners and I am concerned that the nameplate will eventually pull up at this location.

My question: Is it possible to repair so that a rivet will go in securely at this spot or do I just live with the mistake and use lots of adhesive?

Any suggestions will be most appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
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You could use a rivet with a larger diameter shank, but the same size head as the other rivets that hold the nameplate on (first choice...).

Another option is to put a dab of "JB Weld" behind the nameplate where the rivet hole is and then put the rivet through the hole and secure it (second choice). I suspect the JB Weld will seal & secure it OK. It's not like it bears any stresses really.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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1954 29' Liner
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You could use an olympic rivet at all four corners. Properly finished they look almost like bucked rivets. Or if you have the inside skin off put a small piece of aluminum inside the bucked rivet.

Bill

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In getting my AS ready for polishing, I removed the AIRSTREAM name plates on the front and rear. When drilling out one of the rivets I must not have had the drill lined up properly and I ended up with a larger hole (see pic). Unfortunately, it was at one of the corners and I am concerned that the nameplate will eventually pull up at this location.

My question: Is it possible to repair so that a rivet will go in securely at this spot or do I just live with the mistake and use lots of adhesive?

Any suggestions will be most appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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Easy fix, use a washer behind the rivet.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:38 PM   #5
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A SS or AL washer, I guess...
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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Since a name plate will cover this hole in the skin, just use an olympic rivet. The legs of the rivet are more then wide enough when extended to get a good grip.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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1968 20' Globetrotter
fair oaks , California
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In the future, what can I do to prevent making the same mistake?
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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Not to be a smart aleck, but be careful.

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In the future, what can I do to prevent making the same mistake?
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:09 PM   #9
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1960 24' Tradewind
Austin , Texas
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avoiding rivet drilling mistakes

an experienced aircraft worker gave me some advice--
1. use a machinists punch to mark the center of the rivet dome; remove paint or other materials first. get this as accurate as possible so the drill bit doesn't wander.
2. use a small drill say 3/32 or 1/16" to drill through the dome, but hardly into the shank.
3. switch to a 1/8" drill to widen the hole, but stop before going past the head. Don't drill into the shank at all. This will eliminate damage to the sheet metal parts
4. insert a 1/8" punch or old 1/8" drill( the smooth part where the drill chuck grabs it). rock the punch/bit back and forth until the head of the rivet breaks off.
5. punch out the shank.

This would be best practice for a high strength repair. For cosmetic rivets I skip the 3/32 drill step. It takes practice and judgment to get the 1/8" hole the right depth. If the hole isn't centered the head won't break off clean and a small chisel must be used to knock the rest off. That will probably damage the sheet metal..
Vintage Trailer sells 5/32 shank 1/8 head rivets.. clean up the holes with a #20 drill bit which will alleviate the damage.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
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If the interior skin is out, I've had good luck taking a sharp chisel, knocking off the stem in the back and popping the rivet head out with a nail set.
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