Am I trying to mix apples and oranges here? Want to change nickel plated (appears to be brass) gear housing for a solid brass one. Wondering how rivets would be placed to miss shaft and controls . .?? . . . Or maybe I need to have plating removed on one that is there??? . . . . What is best way to do that? . . And could I leave present one riveted to column while doing it? . . Rambling I know, but thinking out loud, late at night.
Flip the brass case over, it is up side down in the picture, then you should see two holes. They may, or may not match up to the other column. Buffing the nickel off would also work.
Ross, if it's the brass look you want, it will be far less work to sand/buff the nickel off the column in-situ, rather than do swaps. I have never found rivet holes which line up in the housings and the gear cases. I believe this indicates that each was assembled and drilled for rivets with the gear case in the column, so every one is different. Besides, riveting the replacement column is a painful task anyway. Bucking the rivets and forming the heads on the angled rivets is difficult.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
What Allan said. I sanded off the old flaking nickel plate, then buffed with Scotchbrite. I like the look of the brass. Color appears whiter than most brass, probably more of a bronze alloy.