Originally Posted by mdboucher
Thank you guys very much--I've bought a rivet gun today. Is placing the rivets a job where I need a second person inside the camper? Any tips or things to watch for with drilling through the camper? The idea of it freaks me out justa little bit.
No need for person inside. Rivets work by rivet gun pulling center shaft while you hold pressure to keep head pushed against work (hinges/latches in your case). Center shaft has ball shaped end inside rivet tube, as rivet gun pulls shaft toward gun the ball expands the tube so rivet won't come back through hole.
When rivet get pulled tight shaft breaks off inside rivet. May have to release handle and slide gun down to head and give a second squeze to get rivet tight enough for shaft to break.
Much of the point to rivets in construction is not needing access to back side to hold a nut, can be done by one person.
I agree with Donna's suggestion to duct tape it all in position. Which might be easier with a second person to help.
After taping in positon I would also suggest drill first hole and rivet hinge/bracket, then do same on other hinge(s) idea is don't drill a bunch of holes then come back to rivet them all. If anything shifts between holes some holes won't line up. Drill one, rivet one and all holes will line up.
Drill bit sharp, drill slow and gentle, you don't want to "bust" through suddenly and have the drill chuck hit the work (trailer). Hole should be a snug fit for the rivet, 1/4 inch rivet gets a 1/4 inch hole. You can drill test hole in block of scrap wood to see if rivet fits but is snug with the drill bit you plan to use.
Do wonder if one wants to put an acorn nut on the inside, like they do at kitchen? Might give it a finished appearence or be more obvious than small rivet. Doing acorn nut someone holds nut in place inside pressing it on the rivet while someone outside works the gun. As rivet expands it grabs nut and pulls it tight too.
Donna has been there and done that
so what she did and how is your best guide. I'm just drawing on lots of repairs and factory work over the years.
Your welcome and I'm sure you can do this, the neat part is every time you use or look at that guard you get to take some satisfaction from you work.