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Old 05-30-2015, 01:41 PM   #1
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1973 29' Ambassador
Def , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Poor Man's way of shaving Olympic Rivets

Hey all,

So I didn't really have the desire to spend a couple hundred dollars on a rivet shaver, so I decided to break out the trusty Dremel Tool with the depth limiter on it.

Heres where I had it set to shave off the rivet heads.


After, still needs a little cleaning up.

Overall it worked really well after a couple of trial rivets and a world better than spending the money on a shaver that I would only use for the trailer.

1973 Airstream Ambassador
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Excellent ingenuity. I have done the same without the depth limiter.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:16 PM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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If you can round profile as buck and olympic rivets have not flat faced as pics show would be exc. idea.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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Love the ingenuity. I pretty much did the same thing, although I picked up a real pneumatic rivet shaver on the local CL for about 80 bucks last year. I thought I could find the curved shaver bit but as it turns out, the only one available is for that drill end shaver and they try and rape you for the cost of a replacement bit, around 125 IIRC. I ended up picking up "used" carbide straight cutter bits for around 6 bucks along with the appropriate sized collar. The bits looked brand new to me. Since they are carbide, I really had no way of trying to grind one into the right profile. I set it so they just brushed the head of the rivet for a flush finish.


Ongoing adventures at:
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:40 PM   #5
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1967 17' Caravel
Oak Creek , Colorado
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The bucked rivets I have replaced with Olympic rivets I used a very small fine cut curved file to shape them by hand. After that a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the file marks.
Patience is a virtue when doing it this way.
They look real nice and keep the domed shape of the originals.
I would not want to do 100's of these at a time, but a dozen or so on a patch really is not bad.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Originally Posted by Dingo Girl View Post
The bucked rivets I have replaced with Olympic rivets I used a very small fine cut curved file to shape them by hand. After that a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the file marks. ...
I do much the same thing with a 6" flat file fine cut. With a little practice you can dispense with the sandpaper.
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'77' Minuet 6 Metre, behind a 2005 stock Jeep Rubicon with Equa-L-Zer hitch.
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