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Old 12-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Rivet removal!

I've pulled out the closet and a few overhead compartments in my '78 Sovereign, which has left me with quite a few unsightly rivet holes and stems. I am going to be repainting the walls and need to cover these up and/or make them flush with the rest of the wall. My questions are 1) What can I use to make those stems flush with wall (clipping them off hasn't been working well)? and 2) Can I used regular spackle to fill in the holes? I will be using an oil-base primer and latex paint over it.


By the way, I don't want to put more rivets in. The pattern would be distracting.

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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, Minnesota
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You need to do it just like sheetrock. Use a ballpeen hammer to make a depression, then sand off the paint, fill with bondo (not spackle), and sand it to match the surrounding surface.

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Old 12-10-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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1968 30' Sovereign
1959 18' "Footer"
1954 22' Flying Cloud
Brussels , Wisconsin
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Posts: 592
Fill it with a Rivet

Use an Olympic rivet, sand it down or shave it. I think the the flexing and movement of the trailer any kind of filler will crack and fail.
I'm NOT an old man.............
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
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There is a good chance that you unknowing also removed rivets that hold the inter skin to the ribs! I would replace all the rivets with pop rivets! They will look fine after paint, besides you have a aluminum trailer rivet are cool!

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Old 12-10-2009, 06:24 PM   #5
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I haven't had a proper bondo job crack and fail yet, on things that flex more than a trailer. We're talking about repairs the size of a quarter, not a quarter panel.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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1999 25' Safari
Fairburn , Georgia
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How would everyone feel if the airlines repaired their aluminum aircraft with bondo instead of rivets?? Would you feel safe?

The correct way to remove rivets is to drill them.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
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Planning to fly your Airstream at 35,000 ft with a couple hundred passengers? We're talking about a cosmetic repair, hardly a critical life safety issue.

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rivet, spackle, stem, hole

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