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Old 08-23-2010, 08:21 AM   #1
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Cheap rivet polisher

I am not an expert by any means. Try this at your own risk. Faced with years of salty corrosion around the rivets, I tried many different things. Neighbor who restores motorcyles suggested taking a piece of black vacuum tubing and putting it on a bolt that had the head cut off. Secure it to a drill and then put a dab of polishing compund on the end. The tubing is about the same size as the head of the rivet. 4 seconds of polishing and the corrosion disappeared. The same principle as what a dental hygenist uses to polish your teeth. Only used a dab of marine 3M polishing compund and the areas around the rivets and the rivets shined like a new dime. May expertiment with other polishes. Needless to say this saved me alot of rubbing with bronze wool. Hope the pics show my results. Jack
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:46 AM   #2
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Houston , Texas
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Arrow Sweatshirt salvation

Interesting. Thanks for the tip. (no pun intended)

Seems though that the center of the Rivet head would not get touched by the open area in the rubber hose. Leaving sort of a dull bullseye.

How far from the polishing end of the device do you have before the inserted bolt. (i.e. the recess)?

Does the rubber seem to wear away quickly?

Maybe rubber is a secret material to polish Airstreams all over..??? Thus conserving the world's sweatshirt population.

____ d'drummer ____

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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Looks great, thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:51 AM   #4
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They make hard felt polishing mops for this kind of thing.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:56 AM   #5
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The recess is about one half inch. So on a one inch piece, half of it is on the bolt. Used the first one on about thirty rivets. It appears that the inside edge of the tubing does wear down with use. Takes about 2 seconds to replace with a new piece. I spend about eight seconds on each rivet and not the four I orginally stated. Have not noticed any bullseye effect. My main goal was to remove the corrosion from the recessed area between the edge of the rivet and the AS. Attacked another area that was worse than the front. It took two passes to remove the corrosion. Will try to use "Mother's" to see if there is more shine. Hard felt pads are an idea, but I bet they are not as cheap as the tubing or easy to find.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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Seems like Dremel would make a bit/tool that could do this to.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:34 AM   #7
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Yes they do make attachments for a Dremel, but found they do not last and are expensive compared to vacuum tubing. Used the buffing pads and at $2 each, it was going to get costly for 28 feet of fun.

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