how do you determine rivet LENGTH? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
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how do you determine rivet LENGTH?

I can figure out diameter.
It's the length I don't understand.
Do you just measure the total width of items to be connected?
Does this number correlate to the length listed for the rivet?
Or does the listed rivet length actually mean the pre-compressed length?
I don't want to order a "kit" from the manufacturer. I need to understand how this works so I can buy what I need in person, when I need it.
Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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Not much to figure out. Most places, at least on the web, show the recommended grip range. Heck, even the package of rivets they sell at Home Despot (Stanley brand) show the length and grip range. Grip ranges can differ for different material of rivet.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:23 PM   #3
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The total width of items to be connected must be withing rivet's grip range.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hariph creek View Post
Do you just measure the total width of items to be connected?
Does this number correlate to the length listed for the rivet?
Yes to those those two, simply substituting "grip range" for "length" of the rivet. As noted above all rivet labeling will include that number.

Besides maximum limits, do keep minimums in mind. A rivet will only "squinch down" so far. I've gotten into trouble thinking I could substitute a longer rivet than the work required only to be left with a loose join.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:04 PM   #5
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If you find yourself joining something where you can not find a rivet with the correct grip range you can take a rivet that is too long, gently tap out the pin from the end you would normally put in the rivet tool, cut down the rivet, tap the pin back in then use as usual.

I use a dremal and cut off wheel to cut the rivet but a hacksaw with a fine tooth blade should also work. Little bit of a guesstimate as to how much to take off to yield a specific grip range difference. I just went with "this much too long" and it worked but was a little tight.

Handles the sometimes variable thickness of fiberglass or needing a thick rivet at a shorter grip range than is readily available.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
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So I'll measure items to be joined. Then make sure the grip range listed is appropriate.
That's easy enough and just what I needed to know.
Thanks to all, take care.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
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What about adding a small washer in the inside when you rivet. It helps in preventing the rivet from cracking the fiberglass where the rivet swells up. Makes for a stronger joint.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
What about adding a small washer in the inside when you rivet. It helps in preventing the rivet from cracking the fiberglass where the rivet swells up. Makes for a stronger joint.
Darwin,
I have found it best to use a washer under fiberglass when not attaching anything metal to the inside. Most rivets on FGRVs are attaching another item inside like cabinets. Since the cabinets are also fiberglass the washer is still good practice. Scamp uses acorn nuts slipped over the rivet stem to give a more finished look. The stem expands and sort of pulls the nut into the wall. The nuts don't always seat up tight, so the washer does the holding. To be effective the washers must match the diameter of the rivet stem with only working clearance. The rivet companies make the correct washers.
Russ
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:31 PM   #9
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I have NO idea on a Casita, but RogerDat put together a great list for Scamp owners here: Scamp Rivet Size List

Larry Gamble has a rivet kit at Little House Customs for Casitas. See Rivet Kit almost at the bottom of the page. Since it comes with instructions, I'm betting Larry tells you what size goes where. Not bad for $5.95
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:35 AM   #10
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Love that idea. Never thought about that before but makes perfect sense.





Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
If you find yourself joining something where you can not find a rivet with the correct grip range you can take a rivet that is too long, gently tap out the pin from the end you would normally put in the rivet tool, cut down the rivet, tap the pin back in then use as usual.

I use a dremal and cut off wheel to cut the rivet but a hacksaw with a fine tooth blade should also work. Little bit of a guesstimate as to how much to take off to yield a specific grip range difference. I just went with "this much too long" and it worked but was a little tight.

Handles the sometimes variable thickness of fiberglass or needing a thick rivet at a shorter grip range than is readily available.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:46 PM   #11
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Also worth mentioning is there are special riveting clamps, called Cleco clamps, that you can hold a piece in-place after you get it positioned just right. They're used quite a bit in the aircraft industry and by home-builders.



(Image from How To Use Cleco Fasteners, How To Use Cleco Fasteners - Mustang Evolution)
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:36 PM   #12
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A good explanation for determining rivet lengths & widths to use can be found at Rivet Guidelines - aboveboardelectronics.com
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by peterh View Post
Also worth mentioning is there are special riveting clamps, called Cleco clamps, that you can hold a piece in-place after you get it positioned just right. They're used quite a bit in the aircraft industry and by home-builders.



(Image from How To Use Cleco Fasteners, How To Use Cleco Fasteners - Mustang Evolution)
Worth mentioning, and worth their weight in gold!
Great to have if you do riveting once in a while, and must have if you do a lot of riveting.
Aircraft Spruce sells the Clecos and the tool to install them.
Russ
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