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tinystream 05-19-2018 02:50 PM

Looking for someone to teach me how to use a rivet gun (NYC area)
Hello fellow Airstreamers!
I am looking for help with learning how to rivet. I currently live in NYC but my 1975 Argosy is back in CA. I am heading back this summer to work on it and one of the larger projects is to replace the curbside window (I have a replacement). I have all the supplies ready to go but am terrified of messing something up because I have never used a rivet gun or worked with rivets before.

I thought I'd put a message out in this forum to see if there was anyone in the NYC area (drive-able distance) who would be willing to teach me how to do it.

I'm also open to any other suggestions for how to learn this. I have watched some YouTube videos, but I'd like to get some hands-on practice.

Thank you!


uncle_bob 05-19-2018 03:49 PM


This sort of thing is one reason to look into the local WBCCI chapter. They likely have rallies and *lots* of people to help you with this and that. One advantage of a more general dialog on stuff is that you also get answers to the questions you didn't realize you needed to ask :)


PKI 05-19-2018 04:27 PM

If you come up dry, check out HARP at Floyd Bennet field. Might be able to work a deal with one of their volunteers. Aircraft work is likely not the same, but may give you enough hands on to adapt to what is required on your coach.

There are some active aircraft renovation groups in the Bay area and you might get some instruction from one of the Fairfield Dealer techs or maybe from Vinney's over in Winton.

It would seem that you might build an aluminum battery storage box, a tool box, or some other project for practice. You might pick up the Prepare to Win book by Carroll Smith. It's about race cars, but his information is transferable. Talks about eliminating stress risers and how to fabricate brackets. Not bad information to have if you are the hands on type.

Hope you figure out the plan. Good Luck. Pat

polarlyse 05-19-2018 04:41 PM

In a few weeks ( 31 May to 3 June) Region 2 WBCCI is having a rally in New Paltz, NY. There will be a really good technical guy there from Fishkill, NY. It's not too far out of NYC so stop by and check it out. Regular rivits used on the inside are very easy to use. The Olympic rivits used on the outside are easy to install but there 's another step to shave the rivit stem that's a bit of a challenge. The bucked rivits used by the factory on the outer skins is another thing altogether.

bibbs 05-20-2018 09:37 PM

A real help to installing a window are cleeko's these are temporary rivets gadgets, that hold everything in place. You can get a good fit before you start permanent rivets. I love my Stanley rivet gun. Cost about $20. Oh yes, Cleekos need a special pliers, to install and remove. I shave the rivets with a 2” disk sander in my cordless drill, or a hand file. It’s not all that hard to do. More like fun.

JLGT5107 07-09-2018 06:40 PM

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I am in Fairfield Ct. 1 hour train or drive. I am working on 65 Globetrotter. Have all the gear and could help you out and play with gear if still interested. email =

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