how to join aluminum edges

Hi all,

I'm building a truck shell (also called a cap, topper, or canopy) to put on the back of my truck to replace that crappy Leer thing I used to have, and I'm trying to figure out how I can join the edges of the aluminum sheet metal "skin" that I'm going to put on the outside. The thickness that is affordable is 0.032".

I learned today that welding is impossibly expensive.

I notice that at the hardware store they have L-shape aluminum poles that could at least cover a seam, however how would I attach those? I dislike glue, but would screws make an airtight seal?

If I don't mind letting the seal be visible then I suppose I could just fold one piece of aluminum onto the other and use screws (the frame is wood).

But is there another better way?

Thanks.

Reply to
Saturday7
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Why don't you try rivets? You can get aluminum rivets and a rivet gun a most home center stores quite inexpensively ( < $30 ) and drill and rivet your shell together.

Thanks, jw

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Reply to
James Walsh Jr.

Think aircraft skin. Rivets, that's the ticket! And when you're going to make a hole to put a rivet in, don't even think about drilling. Think "punch" as in Whitney hand punch. You can get a good quality knockoff of the Whitney hand punch (I think it's the No. 5) for under $20 at many sources for cheap tooling. Ah, yes:

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If you're going to be serious about this, go google on "Cleco". Illumination will soon follow.

Grant Erw> Hi all,

Reply to
Grant Erwin

Illumination

The pop rivets that I've used aren't weather proof in the center where the anvil pulls up .Are there such animals?

Reply to
Lane

Solid aluminum aircraft rivets would be my choice. There are countersunk versions that will give a flush finish.

You will need the right tools: rivet gun, appropriate rivet sets, bucking bars, air supply.

There are also "pop rivet" style aviation fasteners like Avdel SR that are water tight.

Reply to
Footy

And one assistant to hold the bucking bar while you run the rivet gun -- unless you have arms like Plastic Man. :-)

Good luck, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

Yes, they are called blind pop rivets.

west

Reply to
west

Lane, There are, we call them Cherry rivets or Cherry max rivets dipped in Sealant. Usually PRC or Pro-seal aviation sealants. There are many variants PRC (expensive) but and good exterior grade thin sealant would work. YOu need thin to run into the small spaces. Cherry Max rivets are structural. A little over kill, and a little expensive but they are great for everything.

If you do use rivets and sheet aluminum make sure you seal the seams. Water in the seams will cause corrosion. Water can wick " or capillary into the seams.

Michelle (Aircraft Mechanic)

Lane wrote:

Reply to
Michelle P

Available in both aluminum and stainless steel for the marine industry.

Gunner

"There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism - by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide." - Ayn Rand, from "Foreign Policy Drains U.S. of Main Weapons"

Reply to
Gunner

Many thanks.

Lane

Reply to
Lane

Michelle I'm well aware of Cherry rivets, as I used to work for Boeing on the 767 wing line and used a lot of them. However they won't work in my little hand operated pop rivet puller. Was just wondering if there were any that would fit it.

Lane

Reply to
Lane

Yes. Do a google search on pop rivets and you'll find that there are many kinds of pop rivets, some are designed to produce a watertight joint.

Gary

Reply to
Gary Coffman

Reply to
Don Stauffer

Very useful info.

I love it when people put long quotations in their signature.

Here's mind:

"The West is now on a similar extremist ideological path [to communism]; the difference is that we are captive to detached and unaccountable corporations rather than to a detached and unaccountable state. It is ironic that the closer the corporate libertarians move us toward their ideological ideal of laissez faire capitalism, the less responsive the economy becomes to the real needs of people and planet." - David Korten

Reply to
Saturday7

That's not in Gunner's signature, it's in the body of his message.

Tim

p.s. Gunner, put a "-- " line before your "signature".

Reply to
Tim Auton

I guess I know how you feel.

"The West is now on a similar extremist ideological path [to communism]; the difference is that we are captive to detached and unaccountable corporations rather than to a detached and unaccountable state. It is ironic that the closer the corporate libertarians move us toward their ideological ideal of laissez faire capitalism, the less responsive the economy becomes to the real needs of people and planet." - David Korten

Reply to
Saturday7

So, how about those Cubs?

"The West is now on a similar extremist ideological path [to communism]; the difference is that we are captive to detached and unaccountable corporations rather than to a detached and unaccountable state. It is ironic that the closer the corporate libertarians move us toward their ideological ideal of laissez faire capitalism, the less responsive the economy becomes to the real needs of people and planet." - David Korten

Reply to
Saturday7

Hey, did you see that Bourne Supremacy flick?

"The West is now on a similar extremist ideological path [to communism]; the difference is that we are captive to detached and unaccountable corporations rather than to a detached and unaccountable state. It is ironic that the closer the corporate libertarians move us toward their ideological ideal of laissez faire capitalism, the less responsive the economy becomes to the real needs of people and planet." - David Korten

Reply to
Saturday7

One of the most exciting morning drives I've ever had was watching the aluminum topper on a small truck ahead of me peel up and off. I lost a headlight, but another car had the shell come right into the windshield.

So fasten it securely!! Pete

Reply to
Pete Bergstrom

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