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Old 01-05-2008, 06:49 AM   #1
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solid rivet size

I searched... a little.

Can someone tell me the size of solid rivet I need to put the shell/ pan/ channel back together.

Does anyone have a riveter to rent for a week or so?
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
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I intended to say does anyone have a solid rivet gun and bucker to rent...
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:24 AM   #3
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Try the local airport. Find a maintanence shop. They may let you borrow one.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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When I attached my screen door I needed to "buck" six rivets. I made a gun from an air chisel. I cut the end of a blade off and put a slight inside curve in it with a large drill bit. I used a 20 pound log splitter as a buck bar. Since the door wanted to swing as we worked on it, my wife and I must have been a sight to watch. It did work, the rivets mushroomed and the door is back on.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
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The part number for the rivets is:
MS20470AD5-X
The X is length in 16ths so the most likely size is a -4 or -5. You need 1.5D, with D= rivet diameter of protrusion from the complete stack-up (or thickness) of the material to be riveted.

Good deals on riveting tools can be found on E-Bay using "Aviation Tools" as the search
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:39 AM   #6
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okay I see that airparts offers those rivets in their catalog MS20470 Universal Head Rivets is it the 1/8" diameter or 3/32" diameter that I need? If I was inclined to purchase my own riveter, what do I need to look for? I see 1x, 3x, 4x... if I am shooting 1/8" that would be 2x? I am a little confused... the olympics are 5/23"which is much larger than the two diameters offered. Does the head widen as it is driven? I also need clecos? the black ones?
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:47 AM   #7
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Here's a breakdown of how the numbers work
MS20470AD5-4
MS= Military Standard
20470=rivet head style, in this case universal head
AD=alloy of the rivet, in this case 2117 aluminum
5=diameter of the rivet in 32's of an inch
4=length of the rivet in 16's of an inch measured from the mating surface of the head

The rivets used on your airstream are what is called a brazier head and are no longer available. They were also 1/8 inch diameter. The replacement rivet is the universal head of which the 5/32 diameter is almost exactly the same head style as the old 1/8 brazier head. So to answer your question you will need to buy the 5/32 diameter.

The most used rivet gun is the 3X for these rivets and the thickness to be shot together. A 5/32 rivet set is also required.

The head of the rivet stays the same size after being shot, only the back of the rivet swells. this is called the bucktail. After the rivet is shot it should be around 1.5 diameters in size.

As to clecos you should get 1/8 and 5/32. 1/8 to hold it all together during the first assembly where you might have to tweak or adjust things a touch. When you are satisfied that you are ready to install the 5/32 rivets, step up the holes to a number 21 install the black clecos and shoot the rivets in.
Riveting tools can be found on E-Bay fairly reasonable using aircraft tools as the search

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Old 01-06-2008, 11:12 AM   #8
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Aerowood,

Thank you, thank you, thank you... I now know exactly what I need. I would send more karma, but I am told to spread it around. I have been learning so many skill sets doing this project that to be honest I am reeling from all of them. Shooting rivets sounds like it will be a lot of fun.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:37 AM   #9
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Great advice from the expert. I would also order some -6 length rivets. If you need to cross two or more thicknesses of skin and a frame rib you will need the longer ones.

I found I used a ratio of about 75 of the -6s for every 300 of the -5s.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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You'll find that these rivets have a gold look to them, but Aerowood promises that it will polish off to a fine Airstream silver.

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Old 01-06-2008, 11:57 AM   #11
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I have been on ebay looking... the tools I see either have about 500 various heads or none. More confusion... do I need something besides this US 3X Rivet Gun and I/R Cyclone Grinder Aircraft Tools - eBay (item 140194580986 end time Jan-06-08 17:51:56 PST) or this Ingersoll Rand Rivet Gun 3x Aircraft tool NO RESERVE! - eBay (item 120205687176 end time Jan-09-08 19:51:31 PST) I think something goes into the tip. Anyone have one to rent for few weeks.
I have been very ill all weekend and the temp outside is in the mid 50's, this is killing me... trying to keep making progress even though I am stuck in bed.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:58 PM   #12
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you will also need a rivet set and bucking bar. like this set.
Brown Tool - Cart: 963255
Either one you have listed will work. you don't need the straight die grinder. I find them haed to control. 90 degree die grinder is far better
Brown Tool - Cart: 963259
Brown Tool - Cart: 963260
You will also need cleco pliers
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:31 PM   #13
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ouch the price of doing it right is not cheap. that is about the same cost as 2 batteries... what would wally do? what would wally do? Hey anyone want to rent a riveter?
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Old 01-06-2008, 02:35 PM   #14
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Basically what you need is a 3X rivet gun and a 5/32 universal head rivet set, and some bucking bars. Bucking bars can be anything made from heavy steel, like a piece of railroad track a thick piece of heavy steel or bar stock. The only requirement is to get a piece of heavy weight square on the back of the rivet before you pull the trigger. My favorite bucking bars are all homemade. You can sub the cleco,s with a small sheetmetal screw also, Just as long as the hole that you shoot the rivet in is a clean 21 before the rivet is installed.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:49 PM   #15
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AeroWood, you raise a question I ask myself now and then--is a #21 drill bigger or smaller than a 5/32" drill? Why? If the rivet is 5/32"? I guess I should go look at my drill box.

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Old 01-06-2008, 10:45 PM   #16
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5/32 is .15625 and a #21 is .159 and gives a 5/32 a little clearance for the rivet to slide into the hole.

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Old 01-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #17
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excuse me for butting in and asking a dumb question:
are you/we required to use "traditional" (bucking) rivets for connecting the shell and belly to the channel? I am not at that point yet but was assuming I could use olympic rivets at this location? not true? Is it a structural reason?

great thread.

thanks, mark
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:13 PM   #18
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My opinion: I would do everything I could to use bucked rivets. They are stronger and less likely to leak. They're also less expensive, enough to justify purchase of a rivet gun and bucking bars.

Can you use Olympics? Yes. Will they fail sooner than bucked rivets? Probably, but who knows whether it will be after 10,000 miles or 100,000 miles.

If your rivet line is close to the floor, you may run into problems with clearance for the legs. I know on my '59, the rivet line was very close to the bottom of the floor channel and there were areas where i would have needed to start a new row if I was using Olympics.

The FAA will not allow the use of Olympics except where specifically approved by the airframe manufacturer.

However, an Airstream is not an aircraft.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:41 AM   #19
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You can also try aircraft tool supply.... I buy most of my sheet metal tools from them.
http://www.aircraft-tool.com/
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #20
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I went and took the plunge, my riveting set is on the way.... I followed Aerowood's recommendation and ordered the set so I will be able to go rivet right out of the box. I am still a few weeks away from doing any riveting, but I want to have it all on hand when the time comes. Now if my gray tank would show up I could be making some real forward progress.
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