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Old 08-22-2017, 08:32 AM   #1
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Buck Riveting Versus Olympic Riveting

Ok.... my first time on the forum! Life is good!! I purchased a 1972 Safari Airstream July 2016. Much work done - Much to do!!! But loving every second.
The interior is gutted and I've been advised to "buck" or "olympic" rivet before I install new insulation and wiring?
Talk to me.....I know nothing about either!
I've loved every step so far...but don't know how I got along without you!!
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:42 AM   #2
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The outer skins are buck riveted.

Simply, this type of rivet requires access to both sides during installation.

The rivet looks like an oversized nail. It is placed through a hole and the head is hammered against an anvil placed on the inside. The inside is mushroomed in the process to create a strong mating of the materials.

Think bridges, iron girders, and ship hulls.

POP style and Olympics can be placed where no access to the back side is available, like the inner skins. The backside is mushroomed by a mandrel being pulled through the center of the rivet.

In the case of Olympics, the mandrel can be shaved off to create the look of a solid head.

With pop rivets, the mandrel breaks off and leaves a hole.



Regards,

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Old 08-22-2017, 08:52 AM   #3
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Question regarding buck riveting

Thanks for the reply...and that is so helpful.

But help me see what I am looking for - do I visually inspect the existing rivets to see if they need replacement? What would indicate that?

Is there a test to see if there is no existing water leakage?

I have removed all interior walls, insulation and wiring. So I have total access.

Thanks for all info....
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:17 AM   #4
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Use buck rivets. Vintage trailer supply has everything you need.
Unless you are replacing panels or patching you do not need to replace rivets. The exception would be loose rivets or rivets that don't look seated to the skin. To find leaking rivets you can do the water test or pressure test. Your main issues will be the condition of the floor, frame and windows.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:19 AM   #5
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Post some pics of what you have. Also include frame and floor pics. Everyone likes pics here!
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmadonna99 View Post
Thanks for the reply...and that is so helpful.

But help me see what I am looking for - do I visually inspect the existing rivets to see if they need replacement? What would indicate that?

Is there a test to see if there is no existing water leakage?

I have removed all interior walls, insulation and wiring. So I have total access.

Thanks for all info....


As mentioned, the only need to replace buck rivets is if one is loose (very rare) or perhaps leaking, although Acryl-R seam sealer will seal a leaking rivet.

Typically, a buck rivet is there forever, that is why they are still used.

Look for corrosion around the rivets to find a leak, spray it with a garden hose to make sure....

The area where the walls sit on the floor is the most prone to leaks, but that has nothing to do with rivets.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:39 AM   #7
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All Very Helpful!!

I was told this was the place to find answers!! Thanks....I'll be back!!!
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:49 PM   #8
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I consider bucked rivets to be much stronger and more stable than pulled rivets. Bucked rivets are used almost exclusively in aircraft construction. There are a few home built designs that use pulled rivets. The engineering was done to take into account the differences.

"Smoking rivets" is a phrase used to describe loose rivets in an aircraft. They, or the attached parts, move and this causes a small amount of aluminum to be released giving the smoking effect.

I watched a repair to an aluminum wing. Smoking rivets were the clue that something was wrong. Only one or two people were small enough to get inside the area to buck rivets but it was done. A variety of bucking bars and other steel objects were used to buck the rivets. An air hammer was used to set the rivets. Each rivet was inspected after bucking to be sure the shop head, as it is called, was satisfactory. Hearing protection was very important.

If anything can be placed on the shop head end of a rivet then bucking them is the best way.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:22 PM   #9
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Also,
If your trailer is like mine, almost all of the rivets that hold the interior panels in are pop rivets, with the exception of where the panel(s) meet the door frame.

Here the rivets need to be buck rivets because the back side of the rivets need to have the door seal glued to it, and pop rivets are too irregular and bumpy for this.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:48 PM   #10
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Airstreams are like aircraft .. butil with the same materials and fasteners... I suggest that you go to the FAA site... and look up a manual... free for downloading... called the AC43-13... https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...AC43.13-1b.pdf their it has all the info you need to know about riveting and selection... otherwise I would go to the local airport and enlist the aid of a good aircraft mechanic that does sheet metal (airframe) work...

What your asking for can't be explan'd here on the web... it would take 6 months of training... and in the end you would be able to see and tell if the driven rivet is good or bad.. as they have standards to guide you...

As to materials and fast'ners.. its cheaper to get them through the aircraft material supply store... I wrote on this subject back a ways.. under GMAirstream... check out the thread... but, you can go on the web and see the materials and equipment used to drive or pull rivets.. http://www.aircraftspruce.com/
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:01 AM   #11
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Grateful for the input

I have looked at the materials and tools that need to be purchased in order to do any buck riveting myself. I know of several rivets that need to be replaced and will continue to examine all as they are exposed now.
But, I am inclined to take the trailer to a RV center I trust to have the work completed.
Once the interior walls are replaced, I don't think I'll have an ongoing need - or one that would justify owning the tools.

Would you disagree?

All the input I have received here has been so helpful. I am so glad to know that I have this source of help.
Grateful, C
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:40 AM   #12
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Buck riveting is very simple. You could always sell the tools once your done. Or if there is another airstreams near by maybe the could assist you. The price you'll pay someone may justify the initial cost
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:39 PM   #13
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Yep... you should go take it over to 'em... and when they tell you the cost of repair... we will laugh when you come back... last time I heard anyone doing the same thing... it was a crisp 5K bill... Most places are $100 bux/hr/man... and it takes two to shoot and buck rivets... go figure...

so you still want to have a repair place do it... the trailer repair cost will exceed the value of the trailer...
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM Airstream View Post
Yep... you should go take it over to 'em... and when they tell you the cost of repair... we will laugh when you come back... last time I heard anyone doing the same thing... it was a crisp 5K bill... Most places are $100 bux/hr/man... and it takes two to shoot and buck rivets... go figure...

so you still want to have a repair place do it... the trailer repair cost will exceed the value of the trailer...
Of course you could head over to the airport and see if you can enlist the help of a aircraft mechanic ... student... probably save about half the cost... and still get good work done... but you would have to probably take the trailer over to the airport for them to work on it... Don't think that just because it says Airstream on the business front that your going to get a good job... worst work I have seen came from a airstream repair place... it was so bad that we sold the trailer and bought a different one... and told the repair place that they were lucky we didn't sue them for performance... they went out of business about a year later.. so I was told...
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:42 PM   #15
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Thanks to all for the input! I've learned so much and I'll keep you posted!
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