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  #1  
Old 02-04-2014, 09:26 AM
Walt's Avatar
Walt Walt is offline
 
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Default Tip: Drilling out Rivets

Thought I'd start a new thread so as not to get lost in the SB thread.

How to remove a rivet without "drilling out the rivet"

For what it's worth here's the basic process I use for drilling out rivets:

1. Make sure you expose the rivet head (especially csk) remove paint (I use a scotch brite wheel on a high speed grinder).
2. Use a 3/32 or #40 drill for a 1/8" rivet, drill to approx 90% of rivet depth, do not go all the way through!
3. Go back with a #30 to the depth of the head only then pop the head off.
4. Use rivet dolly/bucking bar next to or over rivet tail and then punch rivet out with a 3/32 punch.

if necessary you may step up the size of the drill slightly which is ok as long as you don't go throught the side of the rivet if it won't come out. 99% of the time they will come out with just the #40 drill.

The goal is to not break through the side of the rivet to avoid damaging the rivet hole.

For drilling out 3/32" rivets use the same process just smaller tools/drills as appropriate.
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EXP Aircraft Services LLC
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Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
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Last edited by Walt : 02-04-2014 at 04:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2014, 02:19 PM
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JanRV6UK JanRV6UK is offline
 
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Default

Some of you tool buffs out there may have seen this drill type before



I found them on eBay in UK ... the guy selling them called them STD 334 'one shot rivet removal drills' .. Apparently they are used in the RAF ? They have the STD 334 marking on the shank - what is so special about them is the very pointy tip and the profile on the spiral .. Using them to remove rivets are like night and day. The drill does not want to move (wander) when you drill - it is also almost impossible to drill to deep as the drill will jam in the rivet .. sounds strange but if you have low air pressure the drill will 'stop'.

Someone told me they look like plexi glass drills with the pointy tip ? Maybe they will work as well ... not tried it ...

You almost 'want' to remove rivet with this type of drill ... Maybe someone know a US source for them ??
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2014, 02:41 PM
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agirard7a agirard7a is offline
 
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Location: Newport, RI
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Default Interesting

Seems like these pointy bits in combination
with Walt's recommendations would be a no brainer.
The pointy bits make a lot of sense for centering.

Anyone know where to get these? I have not found
#30 and smaller plexi bits.
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Last edited by agirard7a : 02-04-2014 at 02:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2014, 03:09 PM
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Default

With enough attention paid, you can easily "steer" a standard jobber bit to the center of the rivet. I almost exclusively use machine screw length drill bits these days for superior control. If you just close your eyes and pull the trigger, you aren't paying enough attention . I recently had an epiphany that I needed to be using reading glasses for such tasks.
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2014, 03:41 PM
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agirard7a agirard7a is offline
 
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Default Steering the bit

I hear ya about steering the bit as it seems more often
than not this must be done and not always with great results.
How great would it be to get it dead nut center every time
without having to focus on steering the bit! The obtuse angle
on the standard bits seem to be the source of wandering
off center even with starting with high speed and low pressure.
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Last edited by agirard7a : 02-04-2014 at 04:58 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2014, 03:51 PM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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Default

What is a rivet dolly?
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2014, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LettersFromFlyoverCountry View Post
What is a rivet dolly?
Ha! Yeah, Walt. I'm guessing Walt did auto body work sometime in a past life .
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  #8  
Old 02-04-2014, 04:56 PM
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Walt Walt is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LettersFromFlyoverCountry View Post
What is a rivet dolly?
Any heavy object with a hole in it for the rivet tail to back up the structure while you're beating the rivet out!
A bucking bar next to the rivet can work but does not give support all around the rivet you are attempting to pursuade out.
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EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 1700+ hrs
Website: ExpAircraft.com, Email: walt@expaircraft.com, Cell: 972-746-5154

Last edited by Walt : 02-04-2014 at 05:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-04-2014, 08:42 PM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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Default

I have used Walt's procedure to remove thousands of rivets. When I'm in "production" mode I can remove approx. 10-20 rivets per minute. I will also ruin a hole once in a while.
If you take your time, you should achieve error free results executing this part of the SB. It is also a lot easier on .032 skins than .025.
Use a sharp drill. I also use a pin punch the size of my drill to pop the top. Make sure it is sharp.

Keep in mind, the hole will be slightly larger after rivet removal especially in thin skins. Rivets swell when set. The hole still should be well within tolerance. However, if you get a rivet that just seems sloppy, fatten it slightly by gently squeezing it, then reinsert it in the hole and set it. That will make it easier to set. A sloppy rivet likes to hangnail.

Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2014, 08:46 PM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanRV6UK View Post
Some of you tool buffs out there may have seen this drill type before



I found them on eBay in UK ... the guy selling them called them STD 334 'one shot rivet removal drills' .. Apparently they are used in the RAF ? They have the STD 334 marking on the shank - what is so special about them is the very pointy tip and the profile on the spiral .. Using them to remove rivets are like night and day. The drill does not want to move (wander) when you drill - it is also almost impossible to drill to deep as the drill will jam in the rivet .. sounds strange but if you have low air pressure the drill will 'stop'.

Someone told me they look like plexi glass drills with the pointy tip ? Maybe they will work as well ... not tried it ...

You almost 'want' to remove rivet with this type of drill ... Maybe someone know a US source for them ??
I will kill to find some.
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RV1 - Proud Pilot.
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