Pop rivets
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  • 8 Post By First opel 1981
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Thread: Pop rivets

  1. #1
    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Pop rivets

    There's no purpose to this thread. Have at it.

    I like to buy stuff at auctions. I'm not all into buying items in general but I enjoy buying pallets of hodgepodge stuff. Don't know why but it's been lucrative. I still have MachIII razor blades left from a purchase 14 years ago. No joke. I'll run out in another 5 years or so.

    At a recent auction, liquidating a metal outdoor decking company, I made a single purchase.
    My latest purchase was a small pallet of miscellaneous stainless steel and aluminum fasteners, including over 2000 pop rivets. It brought back a few memories.

    When I was about 9 years old my friend and I decided we'd make a lemonade stand and we needed some basic construction materials. Including nails.
    My dad had this awesome tool box. Mind you, I never saw him use anything but a hammer from the tool box, but it was awesome. Nine-year-old-kid awesome. It had all kinds of stuff in it and I wasn't allowed to even look at it, let alone touch it. But we needed nails and I knew there were probably some in there.

    Keeping in mind that I have no reason why my dad even had the tool box, because he NEVER did anything mechanical. I would have to wait MONTHS for my bike tire to be repaired if it popped, which gave me all of 8 days of bike riding a year, living in SoCal. My record was getting a flat on the test ride after my dad fixed my tire.
    Part of why "Mike" was my best friend. He was 13 and I was 9 and that made him a smart kid compared to me. He fixed my bike tire once when my dad was on his third month of "next weekend". Of course Mike screwed up fixing my bike and them my mom and dad got into an argument because Mike wouldn't have fixed my bike if my dad had just fixed the tire months ago, blah blah blah, and then my dad had to take my bike to the shop to get it fixed. Bikes aren't that complicated. My dad should have been able to fix it with all that awesomeness in the toolbox I wasn't allowed to even look at.

    Anyhow, I asked my dad if he had any nails. He said there might be some in the garage and if I could find them, I could use them. I looked everywhere but the toolbox and couldn't find any. I finally figured the worst that would happen is I get the belt, so I looked in his tool box. VOILA! I found some nails. They were weird because they had little hats on them. I assumed this was to protect them or something so I proceeded to carefully remove all the hats off the nails before delivering them to my friend.

    The nails sucked! They would bend when you looked at them with a hammer in your hand so my friend told me to forget it. We'd find some other nails. So, I delivered the nails back to my dads toolbox hoping he'd never notice and that would be that. I even tried to put the little hats back on them but hurt my finger putting on the first one so I just left them off.

    Quite a while (months) later, my dad came into the house from the garage, furious. He asked if I was the one messing inside his toolbox. Of course I hadn't been in it in the last day or so so I said "no". That wasn't a good enough answer. He went back out and came in with his handful of nails and hats and asked "Did you do this?!!". Well, I admitted to it and he came unglued. I had to explain what I did and my mom came in and almost laughed. My dad was finally seeing the humor of the situation and, luckily, I didn't get a whoopin.

    He explained that the nails weren't nails and the hats weren't hats. And with the hats off the nails they were worthless. And they were EXPENSIVE. In 1974, pop rivets were a special item and the only reason he had them was to make quick repairs on the semi truck he drove. So, he reassembled a couple and showed me how they worked while he fixed the step on his truck.

    It wasn't until 9 years later that I'd actually use one myself.

    When I was 18 and I was working on First Opel, I needed to reassemble some metal. The B-pillar on the driver side was horribly disfigured and moving it back into place tore the metal pretty bad. The same thing happened on the front marker and headlight areas. For the patches, I used coffee can metal (it was free and readily available) and the salvaged pop rivets from my dads toolbox, which my mom retained in the divorce. I couldn't believe how awesome they were after I used them on the Opel.

    That gives an idea of how much my dad used his tools. For those pop rivets to still be there almost a decade later. He talked a good game but he had to have a buddy come over to replace the "chain" on our toilet. Shortly after the lemonade stand thing, my mom was the one that rebuilt the engine in my dads truck. My mom also replaced the long bolts on the First Opel front suspension right after we got it. She was the mechanical one, part of why she got to keep the toolbox.

    The toolbox was like this one, only my dads was red. You can see why a 9 year old would think it was awesome.




    So, now I have a couple thousand pop rivets. I need something to so with them.



    I also have about 500 pounds of other fasteners.

    I need an intervention, or so my son says.
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  3. #2
    1000 Post Club Vincent's Avatar
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    Great story!
    soybean likes this.

  4. #3
    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    That was a nice read, thanks. I remember those tool boxes, my grandpa had one and his was red as well.
    Dan
    soybean likes this.

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  6. #4
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Wonderful, wonderful, story!

    My brother is like your dad, only worse. He's only had 3 tools for as long as I've known him, which is my whole life: Hammer, flat screwdriver, pliers. The last time I saw them they looked brand new. Bro don't fix nothing. He's lived with his wife and kids in the same house for 30 years and he's never done a thing to it. I'm a psycho crazy gardener with palm trees in my front yard, he has only mowed his lawn and trimmed his ancient yew bushes for 30 years. He's never planted or fertilized a dang thing. My Dad was pretty handy around the house.

    Maybe my dad is actually your dad and your dad is actually my brother's dad?

    soybean likes this.

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