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Old 06-21-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
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1956 22' Caravanner
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What's the best way to remove rivets?

I am in the process of fixing the floor in my 1956 26 footer. I have repaired the floor on both sides, and in front of, the door without having to remove any rivets but am not so lucky around the front. My plan is to remove the belly pan and slide a 3 foot section of 3/4 inch plywood in from the outside.

I know I'll have to drill out the old rivets but would like to know how to best prevent from enlargeing the holes.

Thanks, Husker Dave
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
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I have used a dremel and it's easy to grind off the heads and push through, therefore no hole damage, just don't get carried away with the dremel.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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There are at least a couple of threads on this. One size down on the drill. If I remember right 3/32 for 1/8 rivets. I think that may be also a #22 drill. I'm sure some one out there has the sizes at their fingertips. Andy?

If you don't have the patience for a Dremel I have gingerly used an angle grinder, if such a thing is possible. It ain't purdy but gets er done.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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I've been studying up on this since I'm doing the same thing next week. Most threads say #20 but Andy corrected that the size to use is #21.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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To remove 1/8" bucked rivets, drill into the head "only" with an 1/8" bit just to the skin, then use a punch inserted in the hole (or use the drill bit) and with a quick flick the head should pop off. A #30 bit is larger than an 1/8" hole and a #20 is larger than a 5/32" hole.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:55 PM   #6
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rivet removal

You can get a rivet removal tool from the Aircraft Tool Company Aircraft Tool Supply Company. It works like a charm. I used it on way too many rivets renovating our 65 22' Safari.... Tim
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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If you drill them, take a center punch and lightly tap the center of the rivet head first. That will keep the drill from "walking" and possibly damaging the skin. Then drill the head off and use a punch. With a new sharp drill bit, it is easy.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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Thanks to each of you for your responses. The dremel tool and the rivet removal tool sounds like something I might try. Since I'm removing the rivets behind the curved cover strip it will be good practice for later when I start repairing a couple of windows.
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