pop rivets or machine screws? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-30-2007
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pop rivets or machine screws?

I will be attaching spreader lights to a 1.25 inch diameter round aluminum spreader arms.

I want to pop rivet, my buddy wants to use machine screws.

Which is better?

Is there another, better way that I have not mentioned?

thanks,
gh
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Old 05-30-2007
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If you're going to ever have to remove the spreader lights, you'll be wishing you used screws. Pop rivets should only be used for hardware that will generally not need replacing, like padeyes. It is difficult to wear out a padeye or upgrade a padeye.... since they're relatively low-maintenance and very difficult to damage.

As an alternative, you could pop rivet a base mounting block to the aluminum spreader arms, say made of starboard or something similar, and then use screws to attach the light to the mounting block.
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Using a clamp mechanism around the spreader and attaching to it would be stronger and not damage or weaken the spreader by drilling holes in it.
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Old 06-01-2007
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What about duct tape ???
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Old 06-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
If you're going to ever have to remove the spreader lights, you'll be wishing you used screws. Pop rivets should only be used for hardware that will generally not need replacing, like padeyes. It is difficult to wear out a padeye or upgrade a padeye.... since they're relatively low-maintenance and very difficult to damage.

As an alternative, you could pop rivet a base mounting block to the aluminum spreader arms, say made of starboard or something similar, and then use screws to attach the light to the mounting block.
I don't see what the problem with removing pop rivets is. Just drill them out...
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You can drill them out, but it's a lot easier to undo a screw when you are sitting in a boatswain's chair hanging off a halyard...and rest assured that if you are going to have a problem with them, it's going to wait until your mast is up and you're ten miles off-shore to mainfest itself
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You haven't tried to drill out a 3/16" stainless steel pop rivet while you're 35' in the air with not much of anything to brace yourself against. Drilling out stainless steel is a PITA to begin with—doing it while hanging from a line and swinging in the breeze makes it close to impossible.
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I second the notion of not drilling holes to begin with. Your spreaders are structural elements that will be weakened by drilling holes in them.
My boom broke right at the spot where the previous owner added a padeye for the preventer - the crack ran neatly down the line of screw holes just like perforated paper. I had to have new spruce spreaders manufactured this year, because the previous owner drilled into them to mount eyes for signal halyards and spreader lights, and they started to rot and crack around the holes. You won't have the rot problem with aluminum, but you will have the point stress problem. When I put lights and halyards back onto the spreaders, I plan to use bands or ropework.
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