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RMI Prairie Step 7 - Riveting and Welding

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PhilC View Drop Down
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Joined: Nov 03 2008
Location: Torrance
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    Posted: Oct 25 2009 at 10:07pm
Well, I finally got a used rivet gun from Ebay for cheap along with the rivet sets. After finally getting my compressor back from a friend that had borrowed it, I was ready to go.
 
rivet gun
 
I had machined a bucking bar at the club from some scrap steel that was able to fit between the metal channel supports in the tender. It is about the size of a 2 cell flashlight and fairly heavy. It worked well with the 1/8" rivets that I have used so far.
 
bucking bar
 
Riveting went very smooth and I was able to get the majority of the rivets inserted in about an hour. The rivets on the bottom of the tender would have to wait until I got help to lift the tender body off the frame so that they could be accessed.
 
Steve Claude from the club offered his help in welding since it has been about 40 years since I have picked up a MIG welder, I took him up on his offer.
 
Steve's first job required him to take the 2 vertical 1/2 round bars that are to be welded to the front of the tender wall to the club to drill a hole in one end so I could thread it for the 1/4-20 bolts. This is a slight modification from the way RMI builds the tender. They weld the bar to the frame as well as the wall of the tender. I do not want to permanently attach the tender shell to the chassis so I drilled a hole under the rod in the frame so I could bolt the rod in place. Other supports will be welded to the sides so that they can be bolted down instead of permanently welded.
 
After Steve brought the rods back I tapped them for 1/4-20 bolts and we bolted them in place on the chassis. The tender body was then centered on the rod and welded in place.
 
welding end caps
 
After the end caps were welded on they were unbolted and the shell was removed from the tender chassis. It was flipped over and the remaining rivets were installed. Most of the rivets are actually structural in nature. Only a small amount of the rivets are there for show.
 
We put the tender assembly back on the chassis and placed the water tank in place and then held  the vertical supports in place to be welded.
 
welding vertical supports
 
Steve made easy work of the welding and before we knew it we had both tanks in place with both dividers installed.
 
steve in tender
 
It was getting dark so we called it quits for the night. It is starting to look like a real tender now. Have some more welding to do, finish the plumbing add a few modifications and then off it goes to paint.
 
tender view


Edited by PhilC - Oct 25 2009 at 10:21pm
I used to be a rocket scientist, now I am just a space cadet.
------------------------------
You only need three tools in life - WD-40, Duct Tape, and a Hammer. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
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Joined: Nov 03 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PhilC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 29 2009 at 9:08pm
We welded the 1/4" steel rod edge guard all the way around the top of the tender which was actually easier then I thought it would be. The radius is nice and smooth and once the tack welds are ground down a bit it will look really nice. Have to weld a few more supports in place and give it a final sanding with a red schotchbrite pad to remove a little rust and she will be ready to go to the paint shop. I can then flip over the chassis and complete the plumbing and wiring while the tender shell is out for paint.
I used to be a rocket scientist, now I am just a space cadet.
------------------------------
You only need three tools in life - WD-40, Duct Tape, and a Hammer. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
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