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Old 01-24-2018, 11:06 AM   #1
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1968 22' Safari
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olympic rivet appearance

I'm new to the forum, my wife and I just bought our first airstream, a 1968 22 foot Safari. I have some , a lot actually, holes that some po made surrounding each window, close to 100 in all. Thought about tig welding but I am concerned about warpage. Then Buck rivets, but I've never done it and starter kit is about $300. I saw a youtuibe video about Olympic rivets and shaving them and they seemed to look like Buck rivets but the video was out of focus. Does anyone have any good quality pictures of finished Olympic rivets and opinions about how good they look vs real Buck rivets? The interior panels are out of the trailer so access is not the issue. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-24-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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Congrats on the 68, they rock !!

Olympic rivet are hard to tell from bucked from a few feet away and if done correctly you will be the only person to every know. Unless you are completely gutting the inside I'd go with Olympics.

I had several "mystery holes" in my 68 as well (different places). I could not justify the expense of a rivet shaver for only about a dozen rivets so I just shaped head with my Dremel tool and a cut off wheel. Basically you are just grinding down the stud is left protruding in the center of the rivet head after you install it to be flush with the rest of the rivet head. If you go that route you might practice on several before you try shaping ones on the trailer. If you are skilled with delicate stuff you can make the olympics look close to stock. Also, if you do mess up on one you can just drill it out and try again.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:35 AM   #3
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You have to really look close to tell the difference between a bucked rivet and a properly finished Olympic rivet. The rivet head shaver is expensive, but you might be able to find a used one. It takes a little practice. You can also use a Dremel tool with good results.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:45 AM   #4
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Olympic is the way to go if you can find them, hard to get right now for some reason, although you are not going to like the cost $300 for what you need to do it right. When completed the only difference is a slightly raised profile on the olympic otherwise hard to tell from true Bucks. I have seen several attempts at shaving the rivets with home-made tools/contraptions and very few turn out clean. Better to get the kit and when you are done put it up for sale in the classified section here!
Picture on the top is Olympic, bottom is factory Buck.
Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
Congrats on the 68, they rock !!

Olympic rivet are hard to tell from bucked from a few feet away and if done correctly you will be the only person to every know. Unless you are completely gutting the inside I'd go with Olympics.

I had several "mystery holes" in my 68 as well (different places). I could not justify the expense of a rivet shaver for only about a dozen rivets so I just shaped head with my Dremel tool and a cut off wheel. Basically you are just grinding down the stud is left protruding in the center of the rivet head after you install it to be flush with the rest of the rivet head. If you go that route you might practice on several before you try shaping ones on the trailer. If you are skilled with delicate stuff you can make the olympics look close to stock. Also, if you do mess up on one you can just drill it out and try again.
Would you explain a little more? Did you just cut the stud flush, or did you shape the head at all?

I have two missing rivet heads on my Excella. I got the 5/32" Olympic rivets from ODM. I will be installing them soon.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:26 PM   #6
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If you get a very fine dremel STONE, you can smooth it down really well after snipping or cutting off the pulling stud. This works well if you're doing a small number of Olympics, and can't justify the shaver.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsaa10bill View Post
I'm new to the forum, my wife and I just bought our first airstream, a 1968 22 foot Safari. I have some , a lot actually, holes that some po made surrounding each window, close to 100 in all. Thought about tig welding but I am concerned about warpage. Then Buck rivets, but I've never done it and starter kit is about $300. I saw a youtuibe video about Olympic rivets and shaving them and they seemed to look like Buck rivets but the video was out of focus. Does anyone have any good quality pictures of finished Olympic rivets and opinions about how good they look vs real Buck rivets? The interior panels are out of the trailer so access is not the issue. Attachment 302935

Attachment 302936
Olympics can leak even if not structural.
If you have the interior skins out, do yourself a favor and buck them. Not to say that bucked rivets are immune to leaking but a properly bucked rivet is far superior.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
If you get a very fine dremel STONE, you can smooth it down really well after snipping or cutting off the pulling stud. This works well if you're doing a small number of Olympics, and can't justify the shaver.
Thanks!
I have some small sanding drums for my Drimel, I'll snip the stud of then use those grind the rivet head smooth.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:21 PM   #9
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I agree with your thoughts about TIG welding. It is uncharted water, it might be in the Airforums search archive somewhere?? I TIG welded my door's inner cast aluminum frame, and the “pot” quality cast aluminum shrunk like a scared turtle. Not something I'd try in the middle of a panel, but where you have tiny holes next to the window frame might be OK. I met a welder who was very excited about "Micro TIG". You can show it to a pro for best advice.


Rivets… Definitely buck if your inside skins are off.


How 'bout countersink the holes and use flush bucks. That way the irregularity, randomness, misalignment, and improper spacing of rivets will be less noticeable. I think you could blend them with the same time and effort as an Olympic. Then you don't have the redundancy and disrupted schedule pattern with two same brazier heads right next to each other. Aerowood is the most respected riveter on this forum, he'll surely respond with appropriate advise..


If you're going to use it for a deer camp, or food cart, it doesn't matter. If you are going to conserve, preserve, restore... Those holes are a bit of an issue. Looks like someone sheet-metal screwed covers over the windows. How awful.


There are a lot of nice features about a '68, and Safari is a nice size. Good Luck


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/a...od-129180.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f454...nt-111812.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/p...ce-128019.html
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:19 PM   #10
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I used a fine toothed small file to take the stud off and shape it.
Put a couple layers of blue tape around the area in case you slip.
Learned this the hard way.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:32 PM   #11
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Hi and welcome to Airstream Forums. Your Safari looks pretty good in the photo. Chances are it will keep you busy for the next several years. Old Airstreams have a lot of needs. Make it better and its value will likely go up.

I have installed Olympic rivets on my vintage Airstreams. They are goofy things but work well for cosmetic jobs. They are called "tri fold" blind rivets as their little legs squish down somewhat like a drywall anchor when you pull them tight with your rivet tool.

Here is a picture of one on the back side after installation just for your information. Sometimes they tend to break during installation if there is something blocking the legs from folding up; like a window frame. You just cuss a bit, drill it out, and try again.

Olympic tri fold rivets make good hole fillers for bucked rivets that might have broken, or been removed for some reason.

David
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:34 PM   #12
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I love the range hood. Thanks for sharing! Gorgeous work.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:01 PM   #13
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the rivets under your name is a picture of an Olympic rivet. I took it in 2002 and it was adapted as the official Air forum rivet.
One important tip for successfully using Olympic rivets: Do not use the little rubber washer some olympic rivets come with. Pull them off and use vulkem instead.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:15 PM   #14
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Golly I didn't realize my five rivets under my name were Olympic rivets. It appears they were well shaved.

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Old 01-26-2018, 06:28 AM   #15
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Golly I didn't realize my five rivets under my name were Olympic rivets. It appears they were well shaved.

David
Yes David and all these years everyone accepted those olympic rivets
Here is part of the sequence I posted in 2002 showing the rivet in question
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:27 AM   #16
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It is very hard to tell Olympic from bucked and IMO just as strong. AS uses them on a lot of skin repairs. I no what to look for to tell dif. avg. joe doesn't have a clue. You can rent shaver then return get deposit back. Amount that you have I would rent. I have my own shaver used plenty well worth money, but I pur used for $75.00 plus box of 100 rivets from neighbor that did not have use for. No I will not rent or sell. Out of Doors Mart sells for $249.?? rent return with in 30 days will refund all but $40.00. No fooling w/mickey mouse grinding head.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:23 PM   #17
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Buck rivet if the interior panels are out. You can used guns online
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:11 PM   #18
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Buck rivet if the interior panels are out. You can used guns online
+1. All the olympics in my trailer leaked. Always use buck rivets if you have the option. Olympics are only for if you have no other choice.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:21 PM   #19
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+1. All the olympics in my trailer leaked. Always use buck rivets if you have the option. Olympics are only for if you have no other choice.
Really? JC replaced 2 damaged panels with Olympics in 2011....never a leak. However, I am picking my as up from JC Monday, after the SAME two panels were damaged by a tree limb. So the Olympic experiment will start over. I think Olympic repair success depends entirely on the skill of the installer.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:26 PM   #20
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Really? JC replaced 2 damaged panels with Olympics in 2011....never a leak. However, I am picking my as up from JC Monday, after the SAME two panels were damaged by a tree limb. So the Olympic experiment will start over. I think Olympic repair success depends entirely on the skill of the installer.
I bet they didn't have access to the back side to buck rivets, did they? Cause if they did, that's what they would have done. There's a reason they don't construct new trailers with Olympics. Bucks are better if they're an option.
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