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Old 01-12-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Little Compton , Rhode Island
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Rivets and tools

I'm just beginning restoration of 1972 27' Overlander. A total newbie. I need to rivet some hinges and trim on a couple of the outer compartments. Where should I get them and what should I get for Rivets and tools. I am familiar with simple riveting from my younger years doing gutter installs and basics from Metal Shop in school.
There is a pretty good Industrial fastener company nearby. Should I buy from them, I'm just not sure what I need. Maybe there is a kit that has what I need. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks. Jim O'Connor

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Old 01-12-2015, 09:17 AM   #2
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1971 27' Overlander
Dickinson , North Dakota
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If you want to be sure just go to Vintage Trailer Supply's website and get them there. If you can not access the back to buck in rivets then you will need some sort of blind rivet, either pop or olympic. If you get pop rivets locally just make sure they have aluminum heads and aluminum mandrels. Olympic rivets are used to duplicate the exterior appearance of a bucked rivet if you are replacing any on the skin that may have disappeared. They do need to be shaved and dressed up to complete the appearance though.

Most likely for trim and various bits you'll need standard blind pop rivets. The size you will need will have to be determined when you drill the old ones out and see what size hole you are left with.

Good luck!

Ryan Jilek
WBCCI 7165 | TAC ND-3

Ms. Streamy - 1971 Overlander Restoration Blog
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:22 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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So there are pop rivets (or "blind" rivets), which are used here and there on the exterior, and extensively on the interior. Any of the $5-10 hardware store manual riveters will work, but if you intend to remove your entire interior, I would suggest getting a pneumatic riveter (Harbor Freight sells one for about $30 that will do the job). For solid rivets, or "buck" riveting, you can buy a kit from Vintage Trailer supply that has everything you need (rivet gun, bucking bar, rivets, rivet cutter, etc.). I bought one of these, and it has worked well.

good luck!
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:43 PM   #4
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1964 22' Safari
1962 28' Ambassador
enosburg , Vermont
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#ONE, use all aluminum rivets. Many pop rivets may have an alum body but a steel mandrel [pin, nail, center, ect.] bad news. Buck rivets for anything structural, pop rivets for interior skins or light duty connections. Most everything is 1/8th inch dia. holes. Carefull on the drill out, use a 1/8th bit, don't "oval" the existing hole. If you do you may have to re bore up to 3/16ths and use a 3/16 rivet. Research & use the proper lenght rivet for the thickness you're joining. To long, loose grip, mandrel can break off long. V.T.S. is a V good supplier. Aircraft spruce is great for alum and rivets. Order a catalog from jay-cee sales & rivet supply, lots of useful info, Rivets by Jay-Cee | Rivets In Stock - Rivets & Rivet Tools . Be prepared for "spinners"' you bore and the rivet spins. If you angle the bit you oval the hole, you spin long enough you wear the hole. Either way you re-bore to 3/16ths. A thin sharp spring steel putty knife with the blade all the way through the handle will shear those off nicely with moderate hammer strikes, tap the body of the rivet through with a punch. Heads up on a drill. Probably the best tool I bought was a common cheap 1/4 inch variable speed 110 Volt drill. Light and easy, for this application way ahead of the "better" 3/8 or 1/2 inch loaded with options! Buy a box of 1/8 bits. At the first sign of wear use a new bit. Worn bits have a nasty habit of walking off center and screwing up a hole. Sometimes around hatches, doors ect you will find a small crack in the skin. You can use an aluminum backer on the back [small washer made for this purpose] to stabilize the problem. No need for concern, odds are if you hit a snag someone here has before you and they have a solution, just ask.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:49 PM   #5
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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A well supplied hardware store will also carry 5/32" rivets. You don't have to go all the way to 3/16" if there is an oversized 1/8" hole.
Most packages identify the mandrel type. You should look for ALL ALUMINUM rivets.

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