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Old 05-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #1
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Best drill for rivet removal?

I've done a search and can't seem to locate what RPM drill is suggested for drilling out rivets. I've read here somewhere that a pneumatic drill is suggested for the faster RPM. How fast is suggested, where to purchase and how much should I expect to spend? In the few catalogues (Craftsman, Northern Tool, Etc.) that I have checked, the speed 1800 is very close to my electric drill. Still think it would be great if there were a forum listing dedicated to tools!
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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I don't have my notes with me from the vintage restoration rally but you're on the right track. You don't want to use a battery powered drill. Pneumatic or plug in electric are recommended and I believe the RPM was 3600 +. I'm sure one of the vintage guys can be more precise.
-Ken
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #3
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I've done a search and can't seem to locate what RPM drill is suggested for drilling out rivets. I've read here somewhere that a pneumatic drill is suggested for the faster RPM. How fast is suggested, where to purchase and how much should I expect to spend? In the few catalogues (Craftsman, Northern Tool, Etc.) that I have checked, the speed 1800 is very close to my electric drill. Still think it would be great if there were a forum listing dedicated to tools!
The higher the speed, the better the job, certainly at least 15,000 RPM.

We use 25,000 to 30,000 RPM drill motors.

They work with feather touch pressure, and when used properly, they don't create any burrs.

Chicago Pneumatic makes several different high speed drill motors.

Andy
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I've done a search and can't seem to locate what RPM drill is suggested for drilling out rivets. I've read here somewhere that a pneumatic drill is suggested for the faster RPM. How fast is suggested, where to purchase and how much should I expect to spend? In the few catalogues (Craftsman, Northern Tool, Etc.) that I have checked, the speed 1800 is very close to my electric drill. Still think it would be great if there were a forum listing dedicated to tools!
An Aviation tool supply house is your best best.
Browns or Aircraft Tool Supply. You will need an automatic center punch as well. The drill bit will walk off the rivet head so quickly you will not be able to catch it before it damages the skin.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
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Now there's a new one to me, an automatic center punch. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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As DIY'rs we were not interested in buying every specialized tool out there "just because". Not saying we didn't buy a bunch of new tools...but we just used a standard electric (not battery) drill without any problems on the rivets. Another tip is we found if you took the drill bit and by hand, reverse turned it a 1/4 to 1/2 turn or so before drilling each solid/Olympic rivet, you didn't need to center punch every one - it set the bit so it wouldn't wander. Actually, our trailer's solid rivets had little dimples at the center anyways so those helped also. Pop rivets don't need center punching either - you just drill in the stem hole.

Shari
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:20 PM   #7
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Thanks Shari, although I am interested in buying every specialty tool I out there just because I love tools. The reality is that I can't afford to buy them all! If there is a tool that will do the job resulting in far superior results or much easier I'll try to get it. One of the problems I have had while using my electric drill is that the rivet will start spinning which enlarges the rivet hole. So if a faster drill will end that problem, I may have a case for purchasing a new drill.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Using a cobalt drill bit helps to get through them easily. I used a dewalt battery powered drill on the highest speed setting and it worked okay, but faster is better.
Spinning the rivets won't hurt anything unless you really go crazy with them. I just tilt the drill a little to one side so the drill can cut without spinning the rivet. bucked rivets will expand to fill the hole anyway, so being off a tiny bit won't hurt at all. Not the same for pop rivets though. Try to be as accurate as possible with those ones.

Rich
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:44 PM   #9
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Now there's a new one to me, an automatic center punch. Thanks for the tips!
There is a small circle in the middle. It is not there to help you drill them out. It is there for identifying the rivet type. The automatic center punch will make a deeper indent in the top of the rivet.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:21 PM   #10
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Absolutly Go Cobalt.

Aluminum, as a drilled metal, gets "gummy" and clogs the drill bits. Iíve used cobalt drills mounted in a regular-plug in hand drill with good lick. The cobalt drills handle the heat build up better and stay sharp longer. Dull bits seem to have more of a tendency to chatter, catch on the rivet and cause the spinning.
Accuracy is more important than getting the perfect curl of metal off the flutes, but itís a good indicator of the correct speed and pressure of the drill.

Tom.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:44 PM   #11
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my choice

http://www.airforums.com/forums/show...5&postcount=19

I had a similar question and ended up getting the mini air drill as linked. I'm very happy with it and prefer the lower weight and higher speed compared to an electric equivalent.

I used a Hitachi corded drill and a cordless Makita initially before getting the CP.
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