Russell was kind enough to stop by and lend us his riveting skills. Buck riveting takes two people, so it was a huge help to have a skilled helper. Russ is A&P mechanic (Airframe and Power Plant), and learned how to rivet on airplanes. Work went much faster this weekend thanks to his help.
But first, some practice on the old bellypan material that we aren't reusing.
And now, for the real thing. We reattached the awning bracket, plugged a bunch of screw holes left from removing the old air conditioner, riveted the sides of the shell to the f-channel attached to the subfloor on the sides of the coach, added a patch over the holes from the old antenna, and replaced a few leaky rivets. With the exception of the plumbing vents, refrigerator vent, and few other odds and ends, the Airstream is mostly sealed up.
Here's Russ holding the bucking bar. I'm on top with the rivet gun, hammering away on a rivet. Russ is giving the rivet something to hit on the other side, which causes the shaft to flatten and widen, to create a water-tight seal.
Riveting the front hold-down plate. The black pegs are called cleco fasteners. They fit in a newly drilled hole to temporarily hold multiple sheets together while you're riveting nearby. Very helpful.
Moral support dog.
Leanne the Riveter.