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Old 04-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #1
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Help me build my Airstream Tool Box

Which rivets should we have on hand?
Which snips or electric snips?
Which rivet gun?

Any other tools you guys can think of?
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Oooo, we *love* new tools. I'm eagerly watching what the local vets have to say.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Will this be a traveling tool kit or for restoration.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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Will this be a traveling tool kit or for restoration.
Restoration....I guess we'll get into the travel part later.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:56 PM   #5
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I think a lot will depend on what you will actually be doing. You may get a lot of suggestions for things that you really don't need for your situation.

First I would divide it up into the areas, like, frame work, sheet metal work, floor cutting and floor attachment, plumbing, shell work (inc. belly pan), electrical, insulation, interior trim, etc..

The question is kind of generic, like "What kind of car should I buy?". If you live in the mountains.. a Subaru. If you live in the city.. a Subaru. Well, that wasn't a good example.

For me so far the most useful were hammer, pry bar, drill, 4" angle grinder, Skil saw with metal cutting blade, ratchet set big screwdrivers.
The most useful was probably the pry bar.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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I think a lot will depend on what you will actually be doing. You may get a lot of suggestions for things that you really don't need for your situation.

First I would divide it up into the areas, like, frame work, sheet metal work, floor cutting and floor attachment, plumbing, shell work (inc. belly pan), electrical, insulation, interior trim, etc..

The question is kind of generic, like "What kind of car should I buy?". If you live in the mountains.. a Subaru. If you live in the city.. a Subaru. Well, that wasn't a good example.

For me so far the most useful were hammer, pry bar, drill, 4" angle grinder, Skil saw with metal cutting blade, ratchet set big screwdrivers.
The most useful was probably the pry bar.
Ha ha Daniel! That was a good example. You're right. Ok. I will clarify more:

We HAVE tools for all carpentry, demolition, drywall, some electric & plumbing as well as any civil sewer & water tools.

So I guess I'm looking for those specialized tools for riveting, cutting metal, bending metal, etc.

How's that?
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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I'm in the same boat as you. So far I've done some sheet metal cutting with my skil saw and angle grinder. Not the most graceful way to go, I'm telling you.. :-) I think that I can make it through with the saw though. All of the sheet metal work that I'm doing is the belly pan.

I'm having to get a buck riveting kit for the handful of buck rivets, and I'll use the hand riveting gun for the rest, then I'll try to sell the rivet gun and what-not.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:59 PM   #8
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I'm in the same boat as you. So far I've done some sheet metal cutting with my skil saw and angle grinder. Not the most graceful way to go, I'm telling you.. :-) I think that I can make it through with the saw though. All of the sheet metal work that I'm doing is the belly pan.

I'm having to get a buck riveting kit for the handful of buck rivets, and I'll use the hand riveting gun for the rest, then I'll try to sell the rivet gun and what-not.
So a buck riveter may be more useful than a rivet gun?? We have both interior, exterior, and belly pan riveting to be done. I was also going to get an electric tin snip/metal cutter tools. I was concerned with the edge it might leave especially in the interior.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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Someone else who knows more should answer about the buck riveting. There are certain places, like the front and rear hold down plates, that should be buck riveted because of the stress.. and the body panels, but from what I understand the pop rivets are ok everywhere else. I'm using pop rivets to attach the lower end of the shell to the C channel. I hope it is ok.

You may not need to buck rivet, depending on what you have to do. You will def. need a gun for pop riveting though.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:06 PM   #10
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I have a set of these Wiss MetalMaster Aviation Snips, (Straight, Right, and Left Cut) that I bought at Home Depot for way less than shown in the link. That was just the only place I found a photo of all three. Even at Amazon, you can buy them individually cheaper than the set in the link.

The Right and Left Cut models really come in handy even when not cutting curves. For example, when I replaced the original vent in my Excella's bedroom with a Fantastic Vent I had to make the corners of the opening square. Getting the corners squared would have been difficult with the straight cut snips, but using the right and left snips made it a piece of cake. Use the right snips to make one cut into the corner and the left snips to finish from the other side.

Wiss is a quality brand. I also see Klein snips on HD's website now. Klein tools are professional grade tools so you wouldn't go wrong with them, but they may be more costly.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:37 PM   #11
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Here's one of about 30 threads on tools. You may want to do your own search on 'tools' in thread title.

Riveting tools
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielB View Post

The question is kind of generic, like "What kind of car should I buy?". If you live in the mountains.. a Subaru. If you live in the city.. a Subaru. Well, that wasn't a good example.


What kind of car should I buy if I have to tow an Airstream? A Subaru. Just open the trunk and strap the tongue to the spare tire!

You really crack me up Daniel!
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:52 PM   #13
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I was also going to get an electric tin snip/metal cutter tools. I was concerned with the edge it might leave especially in the interior.
Any recently cut edge on sheet metal should be stroked a time or two with a flat file. They're all sharp, no matter what you cut the metal with. Just run the file lightly down the edge, and it becomes much safer to handle.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:01 PM   #14
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A pneumatic rivet gun sure is nice if you are going to do a lot of riveting
a set of cleco sheet metal holders in the various sizes will help in holding alum sheets in place while riveting. A cleco plier will help install the cleco fasteners. olympic and large flange rivets. 1/8 white rivets for interior work a boat load of 1/8 inch drill bits . a center punch to help start the drill when drilling out old olympic rivets. a rivet head shaver or a drimel tool with a griner tip for finishing the olympic rivets, and and a 4 inch angle grinder to help remove the elevator bolts. This is what I found to be the most useful and oddest of the basic restoration tools.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:19 AM   #15
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Tool Kit

Recommendations for outfitting a traveling tool kit?
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:41 AM   #16
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I'm using pop rivets to attach the lower end of the shell to the C channel. I hope it is ok.
Daniel Daniel Daniel, it is not OK to use pop rivets to attach the shell to the C channel. They don't havr the shear strength that solid rivets have plus they have a hole in the middle from the mandrel. You might as well drill the shell full of holes and use duct tape to attach the shell.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:43 AM   #17
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Dang!
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:50 AM   #18
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Dang!
Like this?
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:20 AM   #19
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Tracer covers most of the items I used the most on my TW.Here is my list:

1)Dremel too- cut off wheel and scotchbrite buffs used the all the time
2)Cleco's- they will hold the wall channel for the bulkheads and wall panels in place so you can rivet them.
3)Harbor Freight version of the multimaster vibrating saw and sander- could not have done the floor replacement without it.
4)Harbor Freight pneumatic rivet gun and a good manual version
5)A hole bunch of good quality 1/8 drill bits- you will use them all
6) A good high quality battery powered drill
7) Angle grinder and some ferrous metal and aluminum cut off wheel and several different grits of the flapper type wheels.
8) Set of aviation tin snips
9) Good digital VOM meter
10) if you are doing any cabinet repair or building any cabinets, the KREG jig is a must. I used it more than I ever dreamed I would.
11) a storage box with many compartments and a big selection of #6,8,and10 sheet metal screws of various lenghts.
12) a selection of 1/8 pop rivets in all the "grip ranges"- Buy them before you start and it will save you from having to stop in the middle of a project to go buy some,
13) A bag of olympic rivets
14 Elevator bolts and the self tapping floor screws if you have floor work to do.
15) a "mouse" type sander - used all the time

That is my short list of most used items. These things I used often. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:53 AM   #20
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A power or hand nibbler can be useful.
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