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Old 02-11-2022, 07:24 PM   #1
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Rivet Size for Re-skinning Bus?

Hey everyone,

I'm in the process of getting ready to reskin the bus. I have 8' length and 3' wide sheet metal on the way to wrap the bus with. I've removed the rivets along the trim piece underneath the windows on the outside of the bus. I can tuck the sheet metal inside the top overhang above the windows about an inch and then tuck in the bottom of the sheet metal underneath the trim piece below the windows with the top row of rivets out. That trim piece has a bend every few inches on the bottom to allow water to drain so that shouldn't be an issue.

I'm struggling to find rivets that will fit the existing rivet holes exactly. The holes appear to be exactly 13/64" as my drill bit fits in there like a glove. I can't seem to find any steel rivets in that dimension though. 3/16" seems to be pretty common but testing the hole with a drill bit that size has slight "play" or "wiggle." I'm guessing that would not be good as the rivets would not hold the sheet onto the frame snuggly and would probably be rattling going down the road. Any ideas? Should I drill the pre-drilled holes bigger and look for larger rivets? I'd prefer not to... or will 3/16" be just fine?

Thank you,
Chris

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Old 02-11-2022, 07:48 PM   #2
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We drill the holes out to fit 1/4-inch stainless rivets, which works really well. I made a roof raise video series and I think this is the segment in which I show the sidewall skin rivets.... https://youtu.be/kJZOA14ZsIo
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Old 02-11-2022, 07:50 PM   #3
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3/16" is what you want for rivets. You need a slight bit of "windage" anyway. In addition to deforming on the inside, the rivets will expand slightly in the hole when you pop them.
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Old 02-11-2022, 09:04 PM   #4
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I just ordered a couple of boxes of 3/16" stainless steel rivets on amazon of two different grip ranges.

18 gauge sheet to hat channel.

window trim to 18 gauge sheet to hat channel.

I'm assuming 3 layers will be too thick for the first box of rivets.
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Old 02-11-2022, 09:40 PM   #5
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.1875" to .1910"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLifts View Post
I just ordered a couple of boxes of 3/16" stainless steel rivets on amazon of two different grip ranges.

18 gauge sheet to hat channel.

window trim to 18 gauge sheet to hat channel.

I'm assuming 3 layers will be too thick for the first box of rivets.
That sounds correct. I did the same. Used a longer grip where there are three layers.

I used 3/16" ss rivets from Jay Cee. 3/16" is the trade name but they are not actually, 3/16" aka .1875", the hole will need to be .1910". You'll also need a (few) #11 drill bits to ream the holes to .1910", check with rivet the supplier, some say .1920".



I suggest drilling to 3/16" and attach the piece with clecos, first. Then ream each hole to #11 as you swap each cleco for a rivet. This will allow the holes to center align, better seal the rivet and help avoid oil canning.

Are you using seam sealer in the lap seam? On the rivets?
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Old 02-12-2022, 01:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
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That sounds correct. I did the same. Used a longer grip where there are three layers.

I used 3/16" ss rivets from Jay Cee. 3/16" is the trade name but they are not actually, 3/16" aka .1875", the hole will need to be .1910". You'll also need a (few) #11 drill bits to ream the holes to .1910", check with rivet the supplier, some say .1920".



I suggest drilling to 3/16" and attach the piece with clecos, first. Then ream each hole to #11 as you swap each cleco for a rivet. This will allow the holes to center align, better seal the rivet and help avoid oil canning.

Are you using seam sealer in the lap seam? On the rivets?

That was going to be my next question I suppose. Is it wise to use some sort of waterproof adhesive/ caulking where the sheet panels overlap? Can I just use standard construction silicone?

And some people mentioned something about self-sealing rivets but maybe I should put a bead of silicone in each rivet hole to make it water tight. Unless that will mess with the application of the rivet.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:14 AM   #7
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Dynatron 550, Sandwiched and Rolled

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Originally Posted by ChrisLifts View Post
That was going to be my next question I suppose. Is it wise to use some sort of waterproof adhesive/ caulking where the sheet panels overlap? Can I just use standard construction silicone?

And some people mentioned something about self-sealing rivets but maybe I should put a bead of silicone in each rivet hole to make it water tight. Unless that will mess with the application of the rivet.
‐--------------
Yes. You should absolutely use automotive seam sealer, between the panels, before riveting. Most folks use Dynatron 550, which is about $17 per cartridge at Autozone <$15 in bulk, on-line. Without using seam sealer, you will have leaks.


The rivets ought to be water tight. However, ought, doesn't guarantee 100% of the holes are perfectly aligned or even round. I chose to roll each & every rivet in Dynatron prior to pushing them into the hole. I don't have any leaks. I borrowed this idea from Musigenisis.


Please consider reading my Roof Patch tutorial, where I've detailed the steps taken to prep the steel, drill with oil, seal seams, clamp with clecos, and install wet rivets.
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/c...tch-37445.html

The read may spark a few ideas that make you work easier and/or finish cleaner.
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Old 02-12-2022, 06:12 AM   #8
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I second what DeMac says. When I first started on my bus, I built a waterproof box out of sheet metal and then experimented with cutting holes in the bottom and riveting patches over the holes, then filling the box with water. I expected that tightly riveting patches over the holes would work, but they always leaked. I was also surprised when the rivets themselves always allowed water through the drilled rivet holes. The leaks were small, but even tiny pinholes will allow an astonishing amount of water to accumulate inside. Only seam sealer around the edges of a patch and around the rivet holes themselves (the latter is called "wet" riveting) made for complete watertightness.
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Old 05-07-2022, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I second what DeMac says. When I first started on my bus, I built a waterproof box out of sheet metal and then experimented with cutting holes in the bottom and riveting patches over the holes, then filling the box with water. I expected that tightly riveting patches over the holes would work, but they always leaked. I was also surprised when the rivets themselves always allowed water through the drilled rivet holes. The leaks were small, but even tiny pinholes will allow an astonishing amount of water to accumulate inside. Only seam sealer around the edges of a patch and around the rivet holes themselves (the latter is called "wet" riveting) made for complete watertightness.
Any reason why people aren't using closed-end rivets? My understanding is that they're made for water-tight applications. Obviously your wet riveting technique would better seal the hole around the rivet, but could this also be remedied with a snug fitting closed-end rivet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
We drill the holes out to fit 1/4-inch stainless rivets, which works really well. I made a roof raise video series and I think this is the segment in which I show the sidewall skin rivets.... https://youtu.be/kJZOA14ZsIo
I had the intention of doing the 1/4" stainless closed-end rivets until I tried to actually find them. I've checked a bunch of different online retailers (Amazon, Albany County Fasteners, Jay-Cee, Marsh Fasteners, Grainger) and nobody has that rivet. They stop at the 3/16 size. Same question: is there any reason you don't prefer closed-end?
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Old 05-07-2022, 03:40 PM   #10
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Any reason why people aren't using closed-end rivets? My understanding is that they're made for water-tight applications. Obviously your wet riveting technique would better seal the hole around the rivet, but could this also be remedied with a snug fitting closed-end rivet?
I did use closed-end rivets for my experiments (as well as on my bus). The closed end prevents them from leaking through the mandrel hole in the center (where open-end rivets obviously leak), but they still allow leaking through the hole in the material that the rivet is placed in, and the edges of the patch will allow leaking as well.
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Old 05-07-2022, 03:48 PM   #11
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Most Do Use Closed-End. Right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon Ent Titty View Post
Any reason why people aren't using closed-end rivets? My understanding is that they're made for water-tight applications. Obviously your wet riveting technique would better seal the hole around the rivet, but could this also be remedied with a snug fitting closed-end rivet?

I had the intention of doing the 1/4" stainless closed-end rivets until I tried to actually find them. I've checked a bunch of different online retailers (Amazon, Albany County Fasteners, Jay-Cee, Marsh Fasteners, Grainger) and nobody has that rivet. They stop at the 3/16 size. Same question: is there any reason you don't prefer closed-end?
----------------------

I don't believe the statement, "people aren't using closed-end end rivets", to be true. Although I did not bear witness to any significant majority, I believe that most skoolie.net readers are using closed-end rivets


(copied from Jay-Cee's site)
Click here...
https://www.rivetsonline.com/pr810ffph
...for 1/4" closed end stainless steel rivets w/ .501-.625 grip range.


I use closed-end, stainless steel rivets with stainless mandrel. ECCB uses the same. Choose 3/16" for new rivet holes. Choose 1/4" (ream hole) to replace existing factory rivets.



The Holes: Pilot the drilling points with 5/64" bit. Once the patch piece has been piloted, all layers are drilled concurrently, through the patch (template). For a perfect seal, center align the holes with a 5/64" drill bit then step up, aka ream the holes (I use five different size bits). This makes a perfectly round hole. The holes should be oil drilled. Cleco each hole as you drill.
Use clecos that are smaller than the finish hole size......
More info & detailed instructions here:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/c...tch-37445.html

Also, read Musigenesis's Rusty87 thread. I copied his leak-free riveting method.
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Old 05-07-2022, 03:57 PM   #12
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I believe that most skoolie.net readers are using closed-end rivets
I've never seen anyone using open-end rivets on their skoolie.
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Old 05-07-2022, 04:05 PM   #13
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I've never seen anyone using open-end rivets on their skoolie.
(Me neither)
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Old 05-13-2022, 03:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I've never seen anyone using open-end rivets on their skoolie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
I don't believe the statement, "people aren't using closed-end end rivets", to be true. Although I did not bear witness to any significant majority, I believe that most skoolie.net readers are using closed-end rivets
Apologies gents. This is my first attempt with riveting, and I had confused "closed end" with "solid" rivets. I pictured "closed end" rivets looking like the factory rivets on the bus where the outside facing edge is ... smooth/flush/"closed". Just another piece of terminology I was unfamiliar with.
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Old 05-13-2022, 04:39 PM   #15
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I'm using open end, zinc plated steel rivets, size 3/16", various lengths depending on the thickness of the riveted layers.
Using polyurethane PL3X adhesive (on all exterior sealed areas including around the window frames (coach style), roof patches, etc. Any rivet hole that doesn't have enough sealant when I pull the cleco out gets a dab on the hole.

The Clecos go into a jar of acetone as soon as the patch is made so that the polyurethane can be cleaned off.
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Old 05-13-2022, 06:05 PM   #16
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Seems like clecos work better once there coated in a bit of dynatron550. I still pick at the "boogers" when I next use them, even months later. Maybe the urthane acts as a preservative, idk but it doesn't seem to hinder the action.

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Old 05-13-2022, 08:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon Ent Titty View Post
I had the intention of doing the 1/4" stainless closed-end rivets until I tried to actually find them. I've checked a bunch of different online retailers (Amazon, Albany County Fasteners, Jay-Cee, Marsh Fasteners, Grainger) and nobody has that rivet. They stop at the 3/16 size. Same question: is there any reason you don't prefer closed-end?
Sorry...I missed this earlier. All we use are closed end rivets...and I get them from Jay-Cee or Byler, from both places in 1/4-inch size. So I'm not sure why you can't find them. Jay-Cee has them listed on their website which is rivetsonline.com I think
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Old 05-15-2022, 12:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Seems like clecos work better once there coated in a bit of dynatron550. I still pick at the "boogers" when I next use them, even months later. Maybe the urthane acts as a preservative, idk but it doesn't seem to hinder the action.
Well that's good to know. I'll just wipe them with a rag and call it good. If I find they're glued up and worthless I'll come find you....with a bill in hand.... GRIN
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Old 05-15-2022, 07:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon Ent Titty View Post
Any reason why people aren't using closed-end rivets? My understanding is that they're made for water-tight applications. Obviously your wet riveting technique would better seal the hole around the rivet, but could this also be remedied with a snug fitting closed-end rivet?



I had the intention of doing the 1/4" stainless closed-end rivets until I tried to actually find them. I've checked a bunch of different online retailers (Amazon, Albany County Fasteners, Jay-Cee, Marsh Fasteners, Grainger) and nobody has that rivet. They stop at the 3/16 size. Same question: is there any reason you don't prefer closed-end?
There are closed end rivets in 1/4" stainless. I have a giant box of them. https://rivetsinstock.com/rivets/bli...nd-rivets.html
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:16 AM   #20
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If going with 1/4 rivets make sure your rivet tool can pull them before you get everything drilled and sealant applied. They will take a little more pulling force than the 3/16.

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