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Old 04-25-2008, 11:03 PM   #1
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3 Minutes to Drill-Out a Rivet?

I spent the morning drilling out 36 solid-type rivets that secure the metal plate behind the lower foremost exterior skin containing the 7-way connector socket. It was taking quite a bit of time and so I began musing over how long it takes exactly to drill-out a rivet? I even put a stop-watch to the problem and found that it was taking me about 3 minutes each. I put in a sharper bit and found I could shave time off that number. The type of drill probably makes a difference. I was using a 3/8 inch 14.4 volt cordless Makita. A fresh battery and I was shaving a few more seconds off that time. I'll probably have a lot more rivets to drill out and so I thought somebody else might be interested in this problem too? What's your quickest time? Slowest?
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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3 minutes each? it's been awhile since i've drilled a rivet out but it took about 3 seconds each with the help of a rivet removal tool Rivet Removal Tool
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:25 PM   #3
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rivet removal tool

David, three seconds! I'm ordering one of those right now!

Am I the only one here still doing things the hard way?

Seriously though three seconds with one of these tools?

Still, I wonder, how fast or slow does it take without them there new fangled devices?
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
David, three seconds! I just ordered one of those! Am I the only one here still doing things the hard way?!

Seriously, three seconds with one of these tools?
it's really quick, however it takes more time to figure out how to use it. i don't think there were any instructions. it took me a little trial and error before i got it right. practice if you can on a few not so noticable rivets.

the larger black piece fits just over the rivet head so you just place it there and squeeze the trigger of your drill and push and voila. you do need to set the depth of the drill bit so you don't penetrate too much. after you get it dialed in, it's superfast. i still swear it only 3 seconds although i never timed it. let us know your time
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:36 PM   #5
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Thanks David! What's your slowest time ever?

Now, on the other hand, are these devices kind of like training wheels for rivet removal?
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
Thanks David! What's your slowest time ever?
longer than 3 minutes for sure. i spent a day trying to do that and then i discovered the rivet removal tool.

it's funny the link i posted above was the first one that came up on google search Rivet Removal Tool notice the price is $40.

i bought mine at aircraft spruce supply (actually drove an hour out to corona to get it because i couldn't wait) and i paid $60 RIVET REMOVAL TOOL from Aircraft Spruce

not sure why the $20 difference, they look exactly the same. you saved yourself $20 bucks by ordering through the yardstore, not to mention a whole lot of time
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:46 PM   #7
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Assuming, just for fun, these devices are like training wheels for riveteers what's the world's record for hand-drilling out a solid-type rivet on an airstream? Let's say, for example, using a 1/2 electric drill! Probably over kill but surely power matters in contests of this kind?
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:11 AM   #8
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Todd,

Something isn't right. You should be able to remove 100 rivets per hour without breaking a sweat.

The size of the drill motor doesn't matter. A 1/4" drill will work just as well as a 3/8" or 1/2" drill. It might even work better because it's easier to control.

I suspect your problem is dull drill bits. Try switching to a new, high quality split point drill bit. Titanium bits are nice, but regular HSS bits work fine, they just need to be sharpened more often.

If your bits are sharp, it shouldn't take more than a dozen revolutions of the drill to cut the head off. You should get a nearly continuous chip maybe three inches long. If you're making aluminum dust and the rivet heads are getting hot, then your drill bit is dull.

Also, look at the tip of your drill bit under a magnifying glass. The cutting edges should be sharp and the point should be centered. Sometimes there will be a buildup of aluminum right on the cutting edge. You can usually break it off with your thumbnail or the tip if an awl.

The rivet removal tools are great, wish I had one. They need sharp bits too.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:02 AM   #9
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A agree that your bits are probably dull. Another thing could be the use of cheap drill bits. A poor quality bit with cut pretty well to begin with, but it will dull quickly and make life miserable. An extra couple of dollars for a good quality bit that will last several times longer than the cheap ones is money well spent.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:25 AM   #10
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I picked up my bits at a local industrial bolt and fastener supply so I can't imagine the bits are the problem.

At 100 rivets per hour that's 36 seconds per rivet not using the training tool. I'd still be interested in how fast others can drill out a solid-type rivet --or how slow.

I may hold the forum record for the slowest rivet removal! At 3 minutes per rivet it took me one hour and 48 minutes to cut out 36 rivets not including breaks.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:34 AM   #11
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36 seconds, that includes a nice coffee break, set up, bathroom breaks and skylarking.

I've found it easiest to set the bit on the dimple and give it 1/4 turn by hand to start the chip. Then give the drill a little juice. If you're using a sharp bit you don't need to centerpunch the rivets, just set it in the dimple by feel. This only works with split point bits, and 135 degree points are best.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:42 AM   #12
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Mark, these little rivet drilling secrets should out help a lot. The secrets to rivet drill-out success are in the details!

My 36 rivets at one hour and 48 minutes stretched into the entire morning. By the time I took out the stop-watch and got interested in the timing problem and speed...well I was losing overall time!

Surely I'm not the only one out there taking 3 minutes per rivet! Won't somebody else jump into this contest! The prize for slowest ever is here for the taking!
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:08 AM   #13
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The only time it takes me 3 minutes to drill a rivet is if the rivet starts spinning in the hole so the drill can no longer cut...or if there are access problems or something similar.
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:16 AM   #14
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Those Nasty Spinning Rivets

Maybe that's my problem too many spinning rivets! I wondered why I was getting dizzy! Fyrzowt, what's the fastest under ideal conditions without training wheel devices?
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