A riveting task

Along with a handful of pop rivets in the interior galvanized capping, several solid rivets were missing along the back edge of the roof, even three of the four that hold the hinge mounts for the “cat-flap” door. The holes had been partially filled at some point with bathtub caulk which helped keep the water out but had no structural strength. These were cleaned out and replaced with solid aluminum rivets, blacksmith style.

There were also four large holes in the sides of the roof where something may have been bolted in the past. The caulk was removed and they were filled with plugs handmade from aluminum rod and riveted into place. The largest (shown below) was a long slot which had evidence of a past repair attempt, and being that Birmabright aluminum alloy is notoriously difficult to weld, a Japanese swordsmithing technique was employed to plug this hole.

A plug is first filed into the exact shape and size of the hole, with a very slight taper that stops it from sliding through. Then it is gently peened from both sides to swell it permanently into the opening. It could be done on a smaller scale and countersunk but in this case it has been left proud as a testament to its journey. Finally the peeling spray paint was removed from the roof to reveal fresh aluminum, a few ding repairs, and even a bit of the original remaining Limestone paint.