Flush Pulled Rivets and Polished Aluminum

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Alan_VA, Nov 21, 2019.

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  1. Nov 21, 2019 #1

    Alan_VA

    Alan_VA

    Alan_VA

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    I am in the planning stages of building a Thatcher CX5, to be finished "in the bright" as it were. The design calls for pulled rivets and I really like the look of dimpled rivets, which would also be more compatible with the act of polishing the sheet aluminum than would a simpler set of "proud" rivet heads. My question is this: The act of polishing the aluminum will end up filling the mandrel holes with black polishing detritus. I don't want a polka dot airplane. So, is there a material that can be used to fill the mandrel holes and which can also more or less blend in with the polished aluminum sheeting?

    Alan
     
  2. Nov 21, 2019 #2

    GeeZee

    GeeZee

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    Hi Alan, are you sure about your assumption? “The act of polishing the aluminum will end up filling the mandrel holes with black polishing detritus.”. My hangar neighbor has a polished Zenith 650 and doesn’t have this problem. I’ve seen quite a few polished Sonexes and haven’t noticed any “detritus”. Maybe it blows out?
    As far as filling the holes I’ve know a few people that have filled them with a smear of JB weld but that was prior to painting.
     
  3. Nov 21, 2019 #3

    robertl

    robertl

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    If you're going to use flush rivets, and I'm thinking the kind that will need a hammering rivet gun and a bucking bar, there won't be a hole, the rivets will be solid. If you're using something else that will have a hole in the center, just use a spray nozzle on the water hose, that should flush out any polishing compound.
    Bob
     
  4. Nov 21, 2019 #4

    ScaleBirdsScott

    ScaleBirdsScott

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    Well he specifically referred to flush pulled rivets, so the ones with holes in.

    I'd be curious to know the answers to this myself. Thinking to do flush pull rivets on our leading edge possibly, and this plane will be in the bright for at least a little while.
     
  5. Nov 27, 2019 #5

    Alan_VA

    Alan_VA

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    I apologize if I’ve presumed a problem that doesn’t actually developed in real life. I’m waiting for our house to be built so this winter is the “trying to think thru a bucket of possible problems before I begin construction” phase of the project. I was remembering that whenever I’ve failed to wear gloves when polishing aluminum car wheels, it’s taken a ton of Go-Jo to clean my hands. Maybe in the case of polishing airplane wings/fuselage, the buffer head collects the crud.

    Alan
     

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