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Old 02-13-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
Rivet Master

1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 547
What are the ABCs of Patching Please Inform

Hi folks

I am about to patch the top of my 1973 Tradewind after removing the antenna.

I bought some 2024-T3 from Vintage Trailer Supply and cut it to shape. I have my Olympic rivets and shaver at the ready.

What I need to know is the recommended paramater rivet spacing and spacing in the field. How far to from the edge of patch drill holes.

I suspect I am suppose to dab of par bond or tempro on holes before inserting the rivet. Which?

What is recommended as far as tempro or par bond under the patch. full spread? 1/4" bead ? 3/8" bead? edge only? A few zig zags underneath patch?

Anyway anything you could do to help would be appreciated. Success is in the details especially against water infiltration.

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Old 02-13-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1977 Argosy 24
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Milltown , Wisconsin
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,050
Look at the factory seams, see how the rivets are spaced and how far from the edge they are. Then do the same with your patch. I put a bead of Vulcum around the hole in line with the rivets. Then the rivets go through the patch and the Vulcum for a good seal. Drill all the rivet holes then apply the Vulcum and rivet.

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Old 02-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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1960 33' Custom
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,120
Images: 25
For 5/32" rivets you can stay 1.5D (D being diameter) or more from the edge. Ideally it's best make the new rivets tie up in some way with the existing rivet locations, maybe look horizontally and pick some idea up from them. Airstream rivets are spaced crazily far apart but it seems to work so just measure on the your trailer and duplicate. Tip of the day is to layout your holes and drill to #40 or #30 and when you are happy upsize and then draw the outline of the patch and cut down to size.

I would suggest you squeeze your sealant of choice, say Vulkem, on a scrap sheet and roll it over the entire patch with a small roller then install. You do not want the patch to be in contact with the skin without something in-between, it allows moisture to hide and corrode your trailer. Slathering heavy beads of sealant is just a mess really, it's OK on the edge of a skin or patch but too much goop just makes the riveting harder and will deform the skin a bit too.

Hope that helps.
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
Rivet Master

1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 547
Thanks for the speedy answers it confirmed what I thought. I did just what you suggested laying the patch up against a row of rivets and did a take off. I wanted to make sure it was right before I drilled the holes.

Thanks for the goop tips. I will post a picture of the results with any comment from my experience.

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Old 02-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #5
Rivet Master

1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 547
Here are the competed pictures of the patch on the roof. They pretty much tell the story.

I did the full spread as suggested along with dapping a bit into each hole. I used the rivet shaver (my xmas gift) and liked it. I could use the " if you did it like this you get better results" from someone with experience.

The rivets came out good enough but I would want a better job if it was the side. I knew a patch on the roof would be a good place to learn.

I was pleased with results. An over abundance of effort is always needed in the battle again water infiltration.

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Old 03-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #6
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redondo beach , California
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I think they look good

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