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Old 08-25-2004, 07:44 AM   #85
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Greg,
I got all my riveting tools today, and the company sent the wrong rivets. I have about a pound of 'flat head' rivets. The company will replace them, but I want to know how hard it would be to use flat heat counterunk rivets instead of Universal head rivets.
I have a flat head rivet set that came with the kit I ordered, but I don't have a 100 degree countersink or dimpling tools.
I definitely think flat head rivets would add a big 'coolness' factor to my restoration, but I don't want to get in over my head. Any advice?
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Old 08-25-2004, 09:11 AM   #86
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Flush rivets are not all that hard to do. All you need is the microstop countersink.I did one repair with flush rivets on my new belly pan as I made an error in how long it should be in front of wheel.OOPS.
Flush rivets are not as strong as the universal rivets so you would probably have to increase the number of rivets in a joint to maintain strength.
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Old 08-25-2004, 09:45 AM   #87
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Greg

Thanks - I figured I day to remove, a few days messing around cutting/fitting etc - figured one day to rivet - guess I didn't realized it takes longer than I thought to do the riveting.

My goal is to get the floor in, new axles/springs etc and skin before winter sets in. Not crazy about trying to restore in sub-freezing weather . Hope I make it - won't rush it though.

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Old 08-25-2004, 09:57 AM   #88
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Greg,
Thanks for the info. I think I will forego the aerodynamic benefits of flush rivets if I need to reduce the spacing. Also I don't think a microstop countersink is in the budget.

Let me ask the wife. . . . . .

Nope. She says we have plenty of countersinks already. One in the kitchen, one in each bathroom, one in the laundry room. . . . .
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:06 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Greg,
I got all my riveting tools today, and the company sent the wrong rivets. I have about a pound of 'flat head' rivets. The company will replace them, but I want to know how hard it would be to use flat heat counterunk rivets instead of Universal head rivets.
I have a flat head rivet set that came with the kit I ordered, but I don't have a 100 degree countersink or dimpling tools.
I definitely think flat head rivets would add a big 'coolness' factor to my restoration, but I don't want to get in over my head. Any advice?
Don,
I bet you did the same thing I did. I ordered rivets from Aircraft Spruce and by accident ordered the flush style rivet too. I had them send me out the regular rivets with the round head and sent the others back. When I seen your post I thought you may have done the same as I did. The photo on the online catalog shows the regular rivet head on top and the flush head rivet on the bottom and I just failed to see it. It was my mistake, but Aircraft Spruce was very nice about it.

Greg is right about the flush rivet being weaker, the reason is that it does not have the surface to grab onto like the round head does.
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:15 AM   #90
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Hey Greg, what's the deal with this?



I've never seen a nameplate like that before - looks like an aluminum frame around the whole thing (probably just a slightly larger backing plate, that's then rolled around the front edges.) It's really cool - do other AS's from this period have this, or is this a custom thing from the PO?
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:24 AM   #91
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Standard 60's Airstream nameplate, look here Nameplate
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Old 08-25-2004, 02:55 PM   #92
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Don,
I bet you did the same thing I did. I ordered rivets from Aircraft Spruce and by accident ordered the flush style rivet too.
Usually that's the case, but not this time. In fact, I got a phone call from them telling me they had shipped the wrong ones, and they were sending out the right ones with a mailer to return the wrong ones. This was two days before the wrong ones arrived.

How many times has that happened-someone caught the mistake, and rather than wait for the customer to complain, took steps to correct it.

I was very pleased with what I did get from Aircraft Tools. http://www.aircraft-tool.com/ Their prices are good, and the quality looks OK.
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:29 AM   #93
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Greg,

Just want to say that from all the photos it looks great. Looks like you do exceptionally great work. Wish I had someone around here with your expertise.

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Don,

I deal with both Aircraft Spruce and Aircraft Tools and have had similarly good experiences with both. The only difference came when I ordered the sheet of .040 2024-T3 Alclad aluminum needed for repair to the front roadside corner of my AS. Aircraft Spruce was unable to roll the sheet while Aircraft Tools were able to roll it. The difference between the 2 in this instance was the savings where shipping by truck would have been 95 dollars as opposed to the 28 dollars I paid to have it shipped via UPS. The sheet they shipped was in excelent shape and the ends were protected so they didn't scatch the panel at all.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:26 PM   #94
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Just got off the phone with a large rivet supplier talking about rivets. Their tech guy suggested I use the olympics because on a repair they would make a tighter more consistent fit - he said its very difficult to dupicate whats done in the factory and adventually loosen because of the larger tools they have for installing. So now I'm a bit confused - what do you guys think?

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Old 08-30-2004, 12:44 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
Just got off the phone with a large rivet supplier talking about rivets. Their tech guy suggested I use the olympics because on a repair they would make a tighter more consistent fit - he said its very difficult to dupicate whats done in the factory and adventually loosen because of the larger tools they have for installing. So now I'm a bit confused - what do you guys think?

Ken
First, I think he might be trying to up-sell you on olympic rivets for 50 cents rather than solid rivets at 5 cents.

You remember the 'Made in America' video clip? The tools the factory was using weren't all that large.

I think it was here, or on the Vintage forum, that somebody stated the solid rivets make a 'tighter' fit because they both clamp and expand to fill the hole. The olympic apply just a clamping pressure. Either way, a sloppy job is going to be less than satisfactory.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:09 PM   #96
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I thought about the upselling thing, but they sell them for about 19 cents each, so not sure why he would say that........... hmmmm guess the thing that has me concerned more than anything he said was the ability to get a good consistent fastening that will be a good as new. Have to admit that I comfortable with fixing anything on the trailer, but the panel replacement has got me a bit spooked.

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Old 08-30-2004, 01:24 PM   #97
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I thought about the upselling thing, but they sell them for about 19 cents each, so not sure why he would say that........... hmmmm guess the thing that has me concerned more than anything he said was the ability to get a good consistent fastening that will be a good as new. Have to admit that I comfortable with fixing anything on the trailer, but the panel replacement has got me a bit spooked.

Ken
Ken,
I've looked at a lot of rivets, from both sides. I'm sure you have also. If you look at Dan Checkoway's site for 'specs' on blind rivets, you'll see that even Airstream factory rivets aren't all perfect.
I think it's like any other new skill. If you read a lot of information, practice a lot, and don't have a supervisor breathing down your neck, I'm sure anyone with good hand skills can do a job equal to the factory. Will I ever be able to buck 20 rivets a minute? No. And I can't lay 10 squares of roof shingles a day either, but I can do 4 squares a day and it will look and perform just a good.

There are a lot of web sites that have information on how to make riveted joints. Some even have video clips (with sound), which I find very informative. Especially read some of the aircraft building forums, they have lots of discussion similar to this forum abour riveting. Check this site for starters: http://www.rvproject.com/rivets.html

Here's a forum with a discussion of blind vs solid rivets: http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=15349
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:47 PM   #98
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Airstreams are built using convenional rivets. (Most aluminum aircraft are built the same way. Aircraft are repaired using conventional rivets, with the exception of CherryMax rivets in some boxed-in sections.)

Blind rivets are heavier, cost more, have at least 3 alloys increasing the potential for dissimilar metal corrosion, are generally less strong, generally do not expand to fill the rivit hole, provide an extra opportunity for leakage, and require the extra operation of shaving. Vibration tolerance is typically poor due to their inferior yield strength.

Conventional rivets work-harden increasing their strength upon installation (up to MIL-HDBK-5 values), can be installed fluid tight, and tolerate installation in slightly oversized or elongated holes.

I would use conventional rivets where possible - strong, light, cheap, and look right. A pop-rivet, whether CherryMax or Olympic, is still a pop rivet.
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