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Thread: Looking for assistance with riveting a new aluminum panel. Portland Oregon area.

  1. #1

    Looking for assistance with riveting a new aluminum panel. Portland Oregon area.

    Hello everyone,

    I've got a quick story, and then I'll get to the ask.
    I'm hauling my bosses Airstream from Alaska to Portland, and I managed to damage the skin in the process. He's cool about it, but the Airstream dealer is not. They quoted me a reasonable price for the part, but their labor and "additional parts and supplies" number was absolutely outrageous.

    I was wondering if there was anyone in the Portland area that would be willing to help me replace the panel. I can do the disassembly and prep on my own, but I'm not familiar with flush rivets. I will be happy to pay for your time and knowledge.

    If anyone is willing to help me out, that'd be AWESOME. Please feel free to reply or dm me here, and we can exchange contact information.

    Thank you all.


  2. #2
    Eric Page's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Toledo, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFastMatt View Post
    I'm not familiar with flush rivets.
    I dont have the equipment or skills to help with the repair, but thought Id point out that your trailer does not use flush rivets. The rivets in the photos are universal head (sometimes called button head) rivets. Just wanted to prevent you buying a bag of the wrong fasteners. Good luck with the repair!
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox Series 5
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL | Comm: SEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  3. #3
    You are absolutely correct. I dont know why I thought that. I was reading vintage AS forums last night, and I think that's where I came across the mention of flush rivets. Thanks!

  4. #4
    wallda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Central Wisconsin
    While the actual riveting will be easy, it may be a fair amount of work to get to the repair may be extensive. Also, it looks like this is a two curve bend which is going to require getting a panel cut to match, then match drilling and even then may not lay flat. There is a lot of unsupported panel.

    I suspect that there is something to seal water out from between the panels.

    Also thinking down the road. Are you willing to take on responsibility if the replacement panel leaks?
    It's the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without a plane.

    -Charles Lindbergh

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Clarklake, MI
    I think he purchased the skin from Airstream but yes, there is a lot of ancillary work to replace that panel.

    Airstream decided to make their trailers with Brazier head rivets, AN 455/456. Make sure you got the right rivet set or it will make a mess.

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