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 Post subject: Mast base replacement
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:53 am 
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Fellow Wave sailors, I will be attempting to replace my mast base this weekend and am interested in any tips and tricks for the process.

I'm fairly sure I can get the old one out - but the rivets are stainless so any thoughts on that would be good.

Also, I was surprised to see the new casting does not have any holes, so I assume I need to drill those. Do I use a 3/16 drill bit for a 3/16 rivet?

Since I have never worked with stainless rivets before, is my cheap riveter going to work or do I need something special for SS?

Last, there is the question of electrolysis - it sounds like I need to coat the rivet in Lanocote or something?

Any help would be much appreciated!! Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:35 pm 
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mistro wrote:

I'm fairly sure I can get the old one out - but the rivets are stainless so any thoughts on that would be good.

Drill the heads off. I usually use around a 1/4" drill bit. Having a sharp bit makes all the difference. Once the head is off, use a hammer and punch to drive the shank into the mast.


Quote:
Also, I was surprised to see the new casting does not have any holes, so I assume I need to drill those. Do I use a 3/16 drill bit for a 3/16 rivet?


3/16" bit or possibly one size larger like a 7/32". It doesn't have to be a really tight fit because the rivet expands as it's pulled. When drilling the holes, use the existing holes in the mast as a guide to mark the base. Then use a center punch so the drill bit stays centered on your mark. It will be easiest to drill with the base mounted in a bench vice.


Quote:
Since I have never worked with stainless rivets before, is my cheap riveter going to work or do I need something special for SS?

The cheap hardware store rivet guns are designed for aluminum rivets. They will work, but you have to pull really, really hard. If you don't have strong hands, you won't be able to do it (and I highly recommend wearing safety glasses if you use one of these guns). Harbor freight sells a very nice high power rivet tool for about $25 that will pull stainless steel rivets easily.

Quote:
Last, there is the question of electrolysis - it sounds like I need to coat the rivet in Lanocote or something?


Wouldn't hurt, but not absolutely necessary, especially if you sail in fresh water or rinse the mast off after sailing in salt water.

sm


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Awesome, thanks for the quick reply srm! Very helpful.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Quote:
I usually use around a 1/4" drill bit.


Be VERY careful to drill off the just the rivet head. If you drill into the extrusion with 1/4" you are in trouble using 3/16 Rivets to re-attach the casting.

Safest to use a 3/16 bit and wallow the hole to get the head off. Just depends on your comfort level with a power drill.

Quote:
I was surprised to see the new casting does not have any holes, so I assume I need to drill those.


Because manufacturing drill fixtures can vary with the job setup and year model of boats over time... safest to have the casting holes drilled when installing. Then you simply run the drill though the existing holes in your extrusion as a guide. Makes for a better fit on a variety of masts.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:31 pm 
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mmiller wrote:

Be VERY careful to drill off the just the rivet head. If you drill into the extrusion with 1/4" you are in trouble using 3/16 Rivets to re-attach the casting.

Safest to use a 3/16 bit and wallow the hole to get the head off. Just depends on your comfort level with a power drill.


If you use an oversized drill bit, the head of the rivet will shear off from the shank before you drill into the extrusion - at least that has been my experience. I've gotten into trouble in the past trying to drill out a 3/16" rivet with a 3/16" drill. What will often happen is you will drill through the rivet head and into the body of the rivet, but the rivet head will still be attached to the rivet. As the drill drifts off center, it will wander into the extrusion which will wallow out the hole in the extrusion.

In any case, yes, you need to be careful that you don't damage the extrusion or make the holes in the extrusion larger - definitely don't drill through the mast with the 1/4" drill. The objective is to separate the head of the rivet from the rivet shank and then drive the rivet shank into the extrusion using a punch. Its best to have a variety of drill sizes handy.

sm


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