Recommendation on Rivets (Probably blind) ?

I'm a woodworker helping my son construct some road cases for his band. The construction is essentially 3/8" plywood laminated with an
ABS plastic skin. Corners and valences are all extruded T-5 aluminum. The whole thing is held together by rivets. Rivets will go through alum, ABS, plywood, alum. The extrusions on this page may give you an idea how it's constructed:
http://www.crtvworks.com/ccase/HARDWARE/extrusions.htm
Pro case mfr's (Anvil, Calzone, etc) typically use split steel rivets. I'm assuming that the equipment for that is well beyond my budget. I'm considering using blind 'pop' type rivets.
Questions:
- What materials. I need the aluminum extrusion to pull very tight and pinch the plywood/abs laminate. I assume aluminum body / steel nail rivets would be best? Alum/Alum work just as well?
- Rivet Type - Is there are particular type that would work best for this?
- Gun - Used PRG510 from ebay? Gun from Harbor Frieght?
Thanks all,
Folk...
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I would stick with the pop-rivet for now. while the tubular are nice they are harder to use and could be a problem when trying to assemble a case like that. As long as the inside area is not going to have items pressed up against the back of the rivet. I just finished a project using 3/16 SS rivets. I borrowed a air riveter and my hands thanked me for it :-) Even using the bolt cutter style riveter with the 18" handles it took two pumps to get them set, and it was still a bit of exersion. I only had 200 rivets to put in but I will definetly buy one next time I need it. You may want to make up a little fixture for predrilling the extrusions. Something to fill the gap so it doesn't bend on drilling and support from below. Then have a pin set over for the distance you want to seperate the holes by to keep uniform and so you only have to mark the first hole. Then all you have to do is slip the ply in and drill it throught the existing holes.
Folklore wrote:

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Thanks Machineman. The jig idea is a definate.
Can you tell me much about the different properties of rivets. EG, why would I use an all aluminum vs all steel vs alum/steel? Differences in nail, monobolt, interloc, etc.
Thanks,
Folk...
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Aluminum rivets should be adaquate for the purpose, especially since you are sandwiching the wood between the extrusion. The SS rivets take a lot more leverage to set and depending on the type of ply you are using it could possibly crush slightly. But you would have to try it for yourself. If you use a all hardwood ply like Baltic Birch it is unlikely to compress. The SS rivets will hold up a lot longer but I don't know what kind of stress you are going to put on the cases. The type of draw stud should not matter, but you want one that will plug the hole and seal it if you want the cases to keep moisture and dust out. Will the cased be painted after assembly or the wood treated first and then assembled? You can also get closed end rivets.
Folklore wrote:

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I tried to email you but it didn't go. I am a shop teacher and I can help. Email me. Ron
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snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net (Ron) wrote in message

Have a look at the rivet selection guide on http://www.marsoncorp.com/SelectRivet.htm
The economical tool that saves your fingers is a "lazy tom" see http://www.toolworks.com.au/automotive_riveter__rivets.htm they call it a concertina rivetter.
Glenn www.metalbashatorium.com
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We use ATA cases everyday and I'm surprised that you can't get a case built for about what your materials and labor would be. Sure you can save money from Anvil / Star / R&R and Calzone (Owned by Anvil) but there are literally dozens of companies than make cases. Look at Georgia Case, Indy Case etc. The labor involved for doing one offs is more than enough of a headache to have someone make it for you. If you do go the route of making them yourself use at least 1/2" plywood not 3/8". The first time a fat roadie stands on your 3/8" case you'll understand why (or simply stacking heavy cases).
If you do decide to make these cases here are a few tips. 1) Use the best hardware you can find. IE stay away from overlatches or any latch that does not have a recessed dish for the locking hardware to ride in. If you have surface mount latches the latch will be torn off after a few gigs.. 2) 1/2" or thicker plywood and 13ply would be the better material to use. (I know it costs) You can even buy the plywood and laminate (fiberglass is better) premade thus saving you time and effort. 3) heavy duty through rivets with backing washers. You are going to use dense closed cell foam to line the case right? As long as you use DENSE foam (Ester 2000Lb Foam) the through style pop rivets will be fine but make sure you use a backing washer. And for your own sake use a pneumatic riveter. Even one case can have over 100 rivets so it is worth the money. 4) Get the heavy duty casters with roller bearings, steel hubs and poly surfaces. DO NOT but home depot casters or you'll end up replacing them after just a short time. Use the blue or red style polyurethane wheels as they don't tend to mark the carpets up. 5) If it is a multi use case and just carpet lined for cables and such use blind (or closed end) rivet. Smaller area to deal with on the back side. Use good Ozite style carpet and pay careful attention to your glue coverage.
There is a company that has all the components you need http://www.penn-fabrication.com/ and we buy components all the time from them.
Good luck on your project.
Pedroman

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    [ ... ]

    I just *had* to look at that one. I work on English construction concertinas, and most do *not* use riveted reeds.
    I now see why it has that name, at least. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
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