Thoughts on using bolts instead of rivets for top gussets on elevator to make removing carriage easier

Wondering if it is a bad idea to bolt instead of rivet the top gussets of an elevator so they can be unscrewed instead of having to drill out the rivets. We’re thinking it might be easier to work on the carriage if it can be taken out. Having trouble with big picture analysis on this since we have never made one.

Unless you have something inside the tube, there’s probably no problem using bolts instead of rivets for an elevator. That being said, you probably won’t need to remove the carriage from the elevator once it’s in place (if you do, not more than once). So I don’t know that it’s really something you need to worry about. I’d suggest rivets just because they’re lighter and there’s no need for bolts. Is there a reason you think there would be a problem using one over the other?

We did our first elevator last year and it came apart more than a couple of times. If you design it so the mech attached to the carriage is easily removed, then you’re probably OK with rivets.

A few 10-32 bolts on one end of the elevator will cost you a bit more weight, but save you a lot of time and mess if things need to be fixed.

I’ll disagree with @AriMB about being unlikely to remove the carriage, but agree with him about using rivets. As long as you have the replacement rivets on hand, it’s just as fast to drill out the rivets and replace them when you’re done. You may wish to remove the rivets from the horizontal tube rather than the risers because it’s easier to dump out the rivet remnants. (realized that won’t work)

No need to disassemble the structure to remove the carriage.

Per your previous postings I’m assuming you are using the AndyMark kits. To remove the carriage you simple unbolt the bearings on a given face and it will fall out the other side. The other option which I think would be much harder to reinstall is to remove the bearings on one side of one face along with the nylon rollers on that side.

I’m not a fan of bolts through tubes as excessive force can crush and distort the tube unless you fill the portion of the tube where the bolts pass through with something. I know some have used wood in the past but many plastics would work well too, though that will be more expensive and most likely heavier too.

Thank you all. This has been very helpful.

Yes! we sheared off 15 1/8"rivets when we tried to lift last year, do NOT use 1/8" rivets please!

We like using PEM nuts instead of rivets for applications like this.