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Old 02-28-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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1948 22' Liner
1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
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Rivet Drill Tool

Is there such thing as an alignment tool / attachment for your drill, that keeps the drill bit centered to drill out the skin rivets ?

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Old 02-28-2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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Yes, there is. They are widely used in the aviation industry and are usually available as surplus. Mighty handy when you have a lot to drill out.

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Old 02-28-2014, 05:09 PM   #3
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Vintage Trailer Supply sells one. I mainly use it to START the hole in the rivet then finish with a standard drill bit. It's very fast to run down a row of rivets popping them then come back and drill.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:15 PM   #4
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Ah, I've always used a spring loaded center punch to start a tiny hole. It has worked every time.

This one is from Amazon, though I picked one up at Harbor Freight.

SE - Center Punch - Automatic, Brass Body, 5in. -

WBCCI 21043
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:21 PM   #5
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I've never seen one used in aviation, not saying it does't happen just that I've not seen it. The centre punches did get used by students but never on the job, weirdly I have heard that the centre punch technique actually can make it harder, literally, as it hardens the rivet head, but only at the point it impacts. If you've not drilled many rivets before and you don't plan on drilling a million it sounds like a smart purchase.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:31 PM   #6
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1948 22' Liner
1989 34' Limited
long beach , Mississippi
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i like the tool from VTS. does anybody has an idea, as to where else you can get something like this? i like to see, if there are different designed tools, before i purchase one..
I do have A LOT of rivets to drill though.

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Old 02-28-2014, 09:39 PM   #7
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Try HANSON RIVET Co. they have about everything you could want.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:11 PM   #8
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Aircraft Spruce has them , you can order their catalog online. If it is rivet tool they have it. Great service also!
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:27 AM   #9
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long beach , Mississippi
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thank you guys. I’m getting ready to order bunch of 2024T3 from aircraft spruce. might get the tool from them.

thanks again for the help
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #10
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I have a tool like the one from VTS, I have had mine a lot longer than VTS has been in business, works just fine on the few hundred rivets I have drilled out. Where it really comes in handy for me is to not wallow out the holes when using pop rivets. I also have a spring punch for areas where I can't get a clear straight on access with the rivet removal tool.

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Old 03-02-2014, 07:13 PM   #11
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I have not tried one, but looks like an interesting tool that probably could have helped me in the beginning.

I have now found that the more I do, the better I have become at carefully drilling center. I think after drilling a few hundred, it gets easier to center punch and get that bit dead center. I have done thousands now and almost all of the ones I drill out are very centered.

Also, remember that the rivets swell quite a bit when bucking them back in so I dont think they have to be as perfect as an aircraft. That said, I have been upsizing to 5/32 so even with an off center hole, I'm drilling a new hole in anyway.

However, I do feel confident that I could be re-using the 1/8 hole if I wanted.

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