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Old 01-14-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
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Screws vs rivets

Question: if buck riveting is not an option & you have access to both sides, would it be advantageous to use stainless steel screws with locking nuts for strength? I know there would be dissimilar metal reaction. But I am thinking, especially around a belt line that would not be visible, the extra strength may be desirable, all factors considered.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
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Question: if buck riveting is not an option & you have access to both sides, would it be advantageous to use stainless steel screws with locking nuts for strength? I know there would be dissimilar metal reaction. But I am thinking, especially around a belt line that would not be visible, the extra strength may be desirable, all factors considered.
No screws.

Use 3/16 inch pop rivets.

Andy
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:16 PM   #3
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Use 3/16 inch pop rivets.
... unless you're fastening something structural. You don't mention what you're riveting at the belt line, but if it's the shell to u-channel, you need something more solid. You'd be better off with stainless and nylock nuts and be sure to use Locktite Red on the threads.

That said, if it's structural, there is nothing better than a buck rivet. There are all sorts of bucking bars available if you have room constraints.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:04 AM   #4
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Yes it's structural. The rear belt line including entire c-channel and hold down plate (sewing her back up after rear subfloor replacement). I noticed that VTS offers stainless steel rivets where "extra strength" is needed. Again, since bucking is not an option this round was just wondering what harm would be done with SS locking nuts/screws and what problems this may present down the road. I am looking more for strength. Appearance matters none because it will have the belt over it.
I guess a better way to phrase would be, "if buck riveting was not an option, what would realistically be the next best thing for a structural union." By the way I do plan on bucking it one day, but time/finances/resources are just not allowing right now.
Hope this information helps to better guide responses. Looking for theories or experience, any comments appreciated.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:36 AM   #5
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I'll throw my 2 cents in. Pop rivets are not a structural fastener at all. If you can't buck rivet then my next go to option is Cherry Max rivets, they are structural and can be pulled with a hand pop rivet gun albeit with a little bit more effort. They come in a wide variety of materials but a typical one with an aluminum body and hardened steel mandrel would be decent for this application. Here's a pic grabbed for Google images. Be warned though that they are sensitive to material thickness and when they pull up short or long they do not "lock" in place as they should and are harder to drill out being steel in a soft body.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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So, the question I would ask is why buck riveting is not an option? If it is that you don't want to invest in the tools, then maybe you could investigate options such as reaching out to other Airstreamers in your area for a loan or rental of tools, search for what you need on ebay, etc.. All you need for the area you are working in is the rivet gun and appropriate rivet set, some rivets, and a bucking bar (really, a small anvil or large hammer would work fine for this).
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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Not bucking the rivets is a foolish choice. Straight and to the point. Sorry. Find a way to buck them. Belegedhel just gave you fantastic solution to finding the tooling.
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