Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

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Kapitän von Klepper

Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by Kapitän von Klepper »

Article and photos by Kapitän von Klepper

Having broken hardware on your kayak can be especially frustrating, particularly if you don't know how to fix it, find yourself in the middle of kayaking season and don't want to send it off, or simply just want to keep your kayaking overhead down. A badly repaired part can lower the value of your toy, be unsafe and even need to be re-repaired or cause the next repair to be larger and more expensive.
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For this demonstration I'm using a broken tongue on a Klepper gunwale. This repair, particularly if you have a work bench, can take as little as 5 minutes :shock: .

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My favourite tools are as clockwise: Drill with bit, hammer (to serve as an anvil), old bolt with concave point, hammer, & spare part (salvaged from a damaged gunwale) and new rivets. New hardware can usually be obtained from your manufacturer. Hardware normally comes with the necessary rivets, but if not, aluminum rivets can be obtained from the manufacturer or from Long Haul Folding Kayaks at Longhaulfoldingkayaks.com.

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Notice the concave "point" of the bolt.

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You may also choose to use the an Osborn Saddler's Rivet Set (Available from Weaver Leather. Klepper recommends removing rivets with a chisel and mallet, but if you're trying to recycle an aluminium part I recommend carefully drilling the old rivet instead.

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The Osborne Rivet Set: Notice both the concave and the hole: This concave doesn't set the rivet point flush enough for my liking and the whole tool is too large to get into fine working areas like you might find on a Klepper snap lock. However, notice the hole to the right. This is necessary to set the "burr" (washer) or in just this case, the tongue (hardware being mounted). If you like, a short, small diametre iron pipe works just as well.

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Removing the damaged hardware: I like to start by dimpling the middle of the old rivet point with a finishing nail set...

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...so that the bit doesn't wander off the rounded rivet point when I drill. I recommend using a bit slightly larger than the rivet diametre to cleanly remove the edges of the "mushroom". If you are salvaging hardware as I occasionally do, be careful not to drill into the hardware, and of course don't drill into the wood.
Klepper recommends using a chisel to knock the "mushroom" off.

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When the drilling is complete, the hardware will usually pry up with a small amount of force. If you're salvaging the hardware be careful not to bend it, -it won't forgive you.

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I use the nail set to push the old rivets through. Notice that I have the part propped up; this is important to give the old rivet some place to go. Very old rivets can be corroded into the wood and can present special problems when trying to extract from the longeruns (long thick wood parts). The best tool for this is a 5/38ths Pin Punch. This tool will cleanly push even the most stubborn rivets through. This tool costs about $6 and you may decide to forgo that purchase. If that is the case, you can use a small drill bit to drill down the centre of the rivet, This will allow you to get a deeper purchase on the rivet with the nail set. Avoid drilling into the wood if at all possible.

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Using the rivet set to set the hardware: As mention before, a small iron pipe could also be used. If a Burr (washer) is being set, this is the same procedure. Notice that I'm using the other hammer as an anvil. Klepper recommends pounding against a hard object such as concrete, but this can badly scar the rivet head and it's not as pretty.

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Rounding (mushrooming) the rivet point: Notice that there is only about 2 or 3 mm of rivet point sticking up. If you have more than this, you can cut the extra off with a wire cutter. Too much rivet point can end up being bent over rather than nicely finished.

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The first finished rivet point. It is sometimes necessary to check to make sure the head (other side) is remaining flush. Also, the hardware or burr/washer can creep up. If this happens while you are "mushrooming" the rivet, Use the rivet set (hole) to push it back down again and flush.

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The hardware is now finished and ready to paddle. Notice how similar to a "Factory finished" this looks. Klepper recommends using just the drive face of the hammer to flatten the rivet but this ends up looking mangled and not so pretty.

On an ending note I should mention that metals such as copper, brass and iron don't mix well with aluminium. In water, particularly saltwater, electrolysis (a similar process to what happens in batteries) will occur, accelerating the corrosion process. For aluminium, nothing but aluminium rivets or stainless steel should be used. For brass or copper fittings, nothing but brass, copper or stainless steel should be used. Obviously, quality stainless steel is exempt from such precautions.

© Foldingkayaks.org & Kapitän von Klepper.

Alm

Post by Alm »

I don't have a wooden frame at the moment, but still, suggestion to the moderator: such a detailed manual deserves to be posted in a separate place in "static" part of the site, IMO. It's already in the "Kayak repair", but it is too good to be buried and lost in the pile of routine questions. May be in "Kayak modifications"?

mje
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Post by mje »

I made it a "sticky" post, so it'll always appear at the top of the list in this section.
Michael Edelman
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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

Gee, those photos... everything so straight and carefully laid out... you'd thing they'd been taken by a professional photographer :wink:
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

menedem

Thank you

Post by menedem »

Kaptain,

Thank you for such a detailed post. I'm sure that some day it might come in handy.

Dmitry.

Kapitän von Klepper

Post by Kapitän von Klepper »

Thanks all for your comments and encouragement.

BTW, Dmitry, I had a photo shoot up in your neck of the woods, Wed-Sat over a week ago. I did manage to go to the REI on American Blvd. to check out the kayaking gear before my kayaking trip in WA that immediately followed. They've got a great selection.
I should have tried to look you up.

-Andreas

menedem

Next time, let me know

Post by menedem »

Kapitän von Klepper wrote: BTW, Dmitry, I had a photo shoot up in your neck of the woods, Wed-Sat over a week ago. I did manage to go to the REI on American Blvd. to check out the kayaking gear before my kayaking trip in WA that immediately followed. They've got a great selection.
I should have tried to look you up.

-Andreas
Too bad you didn't -- that store is about 25 minutes away from where I live. I have a couple of boats, could have given you a tour of Mississippi flats just upstream from the Ford Dam -- absolutely beautiful area.

Next time you're in the neighbourhood, drop me a note.

Dmitry.

Philipp

Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by Philipp »

Dear Admins,

Since the links to the pictures seem to work no longer, it would be great if the links could be "repaired" again. This helpful article loosens much of its content without the pics.

Thank you and greetings

Philipp

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krudave
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Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by krudave »

Philipp wrote:Dear Admins, Since the links to the pictures seem to work no longer, it would be great if the links could be "repaired" again. This helpful article loosens much of its content without the pics. Thank you and greetings Philipp
We'd like to, but the images and associated links came from the original poster: "Article and photos by Kapitän von Klepper." He retains the rights to the images and controls whre they are posted.

It would help if you sent von Klepper a PM to spur him to re-link the photos.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

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gbellware
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Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by gbellware »

Many thanks for this invaluable post/sticky. Just used the techniques described here to replace the old, blue rod holders on my 1969 A2. The whole process took about two hours, including breaking down the kayak and storing in bags.

For this repair there is no need to drill the old rivets. I used a pair of wire cutters to first split the old rod holder, then prying (by hand, no tools to make sure I didn't damage the wood) the split pieces of from around the old rivet, and finally snipping the rivet on the small end and prying it out from the large end with a claw hammer.

Thanks!
g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1988 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
BSD sail rig, 24' mizzen + 36' main
39' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

johncawt

Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by johncawt »

Thanks for the post, this had several good sugg. including using a bolt for a die. I found one with the right shape and polished it out with beautiful rivet heads resulting. Nice to know just how long to cut the rivet to also. Almost wants to make me cut off some of the sloppy Klepper riveting from 1990 and replace it! A lot of those were too long and oozed out from under the die forming a flower. Just gonna ignore it and go paddling. Never noticed it anyway before I did this repair.

Anyway, I ramble, thanks again.

Regards,

John

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Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by john allsop »

Have the photos been lost? or is there a way to see them?

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chrstjrn
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Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by chrstjrn »

Kapitan is still on Facebook...
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

mje
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Kapitän's Dry Dock: Hardware & Aluminium Burr Riveting

Post by mje »

Unfortunately I have not had the time to figure out how to restore the hacked photo album. I should make an effort to rebuild part of it this summer.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

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