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Old 11-04-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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Rivet questions

Just became a proud parent of a 66 Caravel and I know very little about anything.
I have some riveting questions.
What is the best and easiest rivet to use (keeping in mind I don't know what the heck I'm doing)?
What is the diffenence between bucked or pop rivets?

Thanks
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by uncledan View Post
Just became a proud parent of a 66 Caravel and I know very little about anything.
I have some riveting questions.
What is the best and easiest rivet to use (keeping in mind I don't know what the heck I'm doing)?
What is the diffenence between bucked or pop rivets?

Thanks
Welcome to the world of Airstreams. The ability to rivet is a key skill to acquire during ownership. Pop rivets are easy to install and only require a manual rivet gun to install and only one person is needed to install pop rivets. Buck rivets, on the other hand, require a person on the backside to hold a bucking bar against the rivet to flatten the backside out. An air rivet gun is used to install buck rivets. Pop rivets leave a hole in the center while buck rivets are smooth and look great. The outer skin of your Airstream is put together with buck rivets. Hope this answers your question.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mello mike View Post
Welcome to the world of Airstreams. The ability to rivet is a key skill to acquire during ownership. Pop rivets are easy to install and only require a manual rivet gun to install and only one person is needed to install pop rivets. Buck rivets, on the other hand, require a person on the backside to hold a bucking bar against the rivet to flatten the backside out. An air rivet gun is used to install buck rivets. Pop rivets leave a hole in the center while buck rivets are smooth and look great. The outer skin of your Airstream is put together with buck rivets. Hope this answers your question.
Good info from Mike.

Just want to add one thing, the inner skin is put on with pop rivets. You can see the hole in them. If you check your trailer, you can see both kinds.

Olympic rivets are kind of a combination of both. They work from one side only, but when finished (preferably with a special head shaving tool) they look like buck rivets.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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This older thread might help...specifically these pictures.

Basically there are three different kinds of rivets:
  • Bucked Rivets - Solid and strong - BUT, you must have access to both sides of the rivet in order to install them. Also, in most cases, a second person to help install them. These are the kind that were originally used on your Airstream exterior.
  • Olympic Rivets - three legged with heads that look like solid bucked rivets, if they are shaved properly - can be installed w/o removing interior panels. These are often used as replacements for bucked rivets when you don't want to or can't dismantled your entire interior to access the back side of the panels being riveted. Not as strong as bucked but strong enough for most small repair projects and/or non-structural uses.
  • Pop Rivets - the kind you can get at the hardware store, they have a stem & hole in the center - can also be installed w/o removing panels but were only used on the interiors of Airstreams. They aren't nearly as strong as the other two types.

Shari
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
This older thread might help...specifically these pictures.

Basically there are three different kinds of rivets:
  • Bucked Rivets - Solid and strong - BUT, you must have access to both sides of the rivet in order to install them. Also, in most cases, a second person to help install them. These are the kind that were originally used on your Airstream exterior.
  • Olympic Rivets - three legged with heads that look like solid bucked rivets, if they are shaved properly - can be installed w/o removing interior panels. These are often used as replacements for bucked rivets when you don't want to or can't dismantled your entire interior to access the back side of the panels being riveted. Not as strong as bucked but strong enough for most small repair projects and/or non-structural uses.
  • Pop Rivets - the kind you can get at the hardware store, they have a stem & hole in the center - can also be installed w/o removing panels but were only used on the interiors of Airstreams. They aren't nearly as strong as the other two types.

Shari
Do you have to use any type of sealant when riveting these, especially where they are exposed to water?
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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It is a good idea to cover the rivet end that goes into the skin with Vulkem or similar sealant, yes.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:48 PM   #7
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Do you have to use any type of sealant when riveting these, especially where they are exposed to water?
Bucked Rivets - No, not on each rivet. We do use Vulkem between the overlapped edges of the panels though and enough squeezes into the hole when the rivet is "bucked". The rivet compresses and fills the hole pretty completely - enough Vulkem oozes into the hole around the rivet from between the panels.

Olympic Rivets - Yes, we dip each rivet in Vulkem prior to sticking it in the hole and pulling it in addition to the Vulkem between the overlapped edges. We then clean off the excess around each rivet with a rag & mineral spirits BEFORE it drys. We NEVER use the gasketed Olympics...the little washers are supposed to help with leaks, which they might do for a short while, but they eventually deteriorate and fail then leave a gap for water to get in.

Pop Rivets - No. These are only used inside the trailer, there shouldn't be a need - the idea is to keep the water out from beween the skins so there it it's sealed on the outside, water shouldn't get inside. The only area I can see an exception is if you are using them inside a shower stall - then yes, you would want to seal them to keep the water from getting into the wall channel space. Water between the skins is the scourage of Airstream owners everywhere - it leads to floor rot.

Shari
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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I like to call Olympic rivets "single use clecoes" although I know Shari and others have had success with them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:19 AM   #9
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You know Utee...some of us don't have a need for a belt AND suspenders...

There is no need to dismantle the entire interior to replace or patch a panel with bucked rivets. We've used both based on the scope of work at hand with great success. FWIW, the Airstream factory uses Oylmpic rivets for non-structural repairs.

Shari
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