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Old 04-11-2008, 09:53 AM   #15
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correction noted

Oops -- I get it, the set goes in the gun. I was thinking of the mandrel in the pop rivet category. It's pretty clear I need to get some practice and get out of my head (a very scary place).

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Originally Posted by IndyAnne
So, if you use clecoes, is taping the rivet set (see, I know what it is now-- thanks) necessary?
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:59 AM   #16
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Fortunately, the worst curvature I have to work with right away will be curving under toward the belly pan. There is a set of dents on one of the curved back panels above the back window, but that is so far down the priority list, I'm hardly thinking about it. Probably, if I survive the structural repairs and torn skin repairs, the bathroom floor replacement this summer, I'll begin to obsess about polishing and removing dings. Slow and sure wins the race, at least for this tortoise.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:17 AM   #17
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When you get rivets, they will not look like aluminum due to corrosion protection that's on them. Here's an example of an ongoing project.

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The rivets appear brass or gold. Not to worry. Here's a second panel where the rivets have been "polished" (a little Nuvite on a finger tip, really, didn't take much).

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The point of the photo is that I had to make two panels that were 51" long and 28" high. Crap, won't fit in one 4x8 sheet of aluminum. Instead of buying another sheet or looking for a 4x10 or 4x12 sheet, I decided that a small extension and patch wouldn't look too bad. The joint runs near the front window and will go under the screen at the top end. I decided that I didn't want the rivet heads to raise the screen frame off the skin, so I used flush rivets where the edge of the frame crossed the joint. I also wanted the skin to lay flat on the widow frame, so I reversed the rivets there and put the flush head on the back--the tails will be under the screen frame and will not be visible.

Here's the full joint, which I think is OK. I used 3/32nd rivets closely spaced (3/4") to get what I felt was a good balance. Fewer rivets would have done fine mechanically, but esthetically I think the joint needed the close spacing. Besides, I like the 20,000 leagues under the sea look.

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The area of the joint is pretty tightly curved to match the interior curve from the side wall to the front window and the joint curves easily to fit. That probably wouldn't be true if the joint was more horizontal.

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Old 04-12-2008, 09:58 AM   #18
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Don't let that big octopus git u.

That's beautiful work!
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:58 AM   #19
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I have the lower interior skins out of my AS and for the first time I'm seeing what all these rivets look like from the inside. From this angle (the blind one) they certainly aren't very aesthetically pleasing! I was surprised to see what a buck rivet looks like from inside versus the olympic rivet. I was also surprised at the number of olympic rivets I find. Why would the factory use pop rivets when they could easily have used the solid more substantial ones? I had suspected that the factory used primarily solid rivets but apparently this is not the case. I am finding the olympic pop rivets in windows and in exterior skin. I am also finding lots of leaks around the olympic rivets. Your post has sparked an interest in the advantages of solid rivets. Since I now have access to the interior should I consider replacing these olympics with a buck or solid style?
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:36 AM   #20
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I would definitely replace them if I had access. Check on diameters, I think the Olympics are larger. You need to select the right replacement so that the head diameter is similar to the factory bucked rivets. For example, a 1/8th brazier rivet (the originals) and a 5/32nd modified brazier have the same head diameter, which allows you to redrill the hole but still have the same head size (for appearances).

I also found several places in a '75 Ambassador where the windows were installed with Olympics. I thought for sure it was a repair, but now that you mention it, it may have been the vista view windows and they may have been added as an "option" after the original shell was completed.

I'd be interested if anyone else has found Olympics where they expected bucked rivets and whether or not it looked like a factory original or as a result of maintenance.

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Old 04-19-2008, 12:49 PM   #21
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I didn't find any Olympic rivets, but I did find a few repairs made with exploding rivets.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:23 AM   #22
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Unhappy Scared of the Rivet Shaver

Hi, Zep,

Thanks for the conversation on Airforums (http://www.airforums.com/forums/546901-post1.html) about rivets. I learned a lot and continue to study.

I am kind of scared of the rivet shaver. I can imagine the thing slipping off the rivet head and skipping around on the Airstream skin. I've heard this can happen. I'm adventurous and I try to do a good job once I launch into a project. But, I'm not extremely strong and I don't use power tools every day. As a DIYer and hobbyist, I'm not opposed to taking a project to a pro, but I really want to learn how to do this.

This rivet shaving is one of those gray areas for me. I know I can learn to do it, but I don't want to harm my Trade Wind (too much) in the process of learning.

I am wondering, can I use a Dremel tool for the shaving? It's smaller, lighter, fits my hand better than an air or electric drill, I can get both hands on it to steady, I am already very comfortable using it in my other hobbies and household repairs (stained glass window construction, furniture repair, grout restoration, etc.).

I'm talking now about Olympic rivets that I would use for small skin repairs and missing rivets here and there. I understand that using the rivets without the rubber washers and with plenty of Vulkem is the way to go, without removing inside skin and bucking the brazier solid rivets just for a few small repairs.

I'm willing to buy the shaver and bit, but the point is the manual strength to keep the thing from slipping out of control.

Thanks,
Anne (IndyAnne)
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyAnne
...I am kind of scared of the rivet shaver. I can imagine the thing slipping off the rivet head and skipping around on the Airstream skin.

...I am wondering, can I use a Dremel tool for the shaving? It's smaller, lighter, fits my hand better than an air or electric drill, I can get both hands on it to steady, I am already very comfortable using it ...

Thanks,
Anne (IndyAnne)
Anne, yes.

Any abraiding tool, including a file and sandpaper, can be used.

But you must be looking at a different kind of shaver--mine is enclosed in a cylinder, where you place the circular end flat on the skin with the rivet inside. This holds the shaver at exactly the right height and you can't really "slip." Having said that, unless you're going to do lots of rivets, the dremel is the way to go.

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Old 09-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #24
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Air Compressor Suggestions

Would love suggestions for a portable air compressor to run the ATS Aircraft Rivet Gun. One caveat: I would like to run it off my Honda generator and not off home power. I was hoping I could find a small one that does not pull to many amps and then it would play nice nice with my generator. The gun specs says: 3CFM required at 90 psi. I've noticed that some like Makitas mention Low Amp Draw so that may be where I'm heading.
Thanks all,
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:18 AM   #25
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Hi Zep

Just wanted to say a BIG thankyou for all your concise info on solid rivet sizes - bucking brilliant ! I'm just starting to restore a 53 Flying Cloud

(my Blog is at: Fiftythree Flying Cloud)

and having stripped her out we've decided to lift the body off the chassis, to make a really good job of the chassis & new floor. Then I'll be bucking the two back together. All your info in this thread has answered all my questions, so thanks from the depths of Devon , UK and very best wishes for 2009.

Chris (Alloy Idler - or Aluminium, in the UK!)
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #26
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It is possible to install rivets with a body shop air chisel if you cut the pressure way down. Go real slow with the air gun going "putt putt putt".

3 or 4 "putts" per rivet is all it takes. I rebuilt a Piper Cub this way.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:54 AM   #27
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I've been keeping an eye on this thread and others regarding riveting. We're trying to assemble all the rivets and tools you'll need to do any kind of Airstream repair. Within the next 3 weeks we should have 5/32 modified brazier head rivets (the correct replacement rivet for most "old work" situations") and all the bucking tools you'll need. Let me know if we are missing anything you need.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:51 PM   #28
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Zep
Thanks, your info was very informative! Two thumbs up!
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