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Old 09-27-2016, 08:54 AM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
NEW HARTFORD , Connecticut
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Riveter - Rivet remover recs kinda urgent?!

Can someone suggest? I'll need the remover first.
What size do I need? Do I need different tools for the different types of rivets?
I'm sorry if this has been discussed I searched the threads but couldn't find specifics. Im in a hurry to order something today have for the weekend.
I intend to buy a compressor, that I can use for multiple tasks, riveting, minor sandblasting, eventually interior painting- so I need some input on that as well.
What did you use, did it work for you? Do you wish you had gotten something else? I don't want to be stuck with an expensive yet inappropriate tool.
Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:40 AM   #2
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Al2O3

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-497.htm

http://www.yardstore.com/rivet-acces...mber-bits.html

I nabbed one of these a bunch of years ago on sale for about $10 LESS than the above prices, a quick scan of the Internet shows many similar sets for more money but no better deals. The Vintage Trailer Supply unit shown above claims to come with 'Cobalt Alloy' drill bits - that is important since that alloy can drill holes in regular drill bits and in so will stay sharp 10x as long.

Those tools include an adjustable depth-stop to prevent damage to whatever the rivet is fastening, note that these aren't perfect as it is still easy to get the drill aligned off center if you're in too big of a hurry, if you see that happening slow down and relax and maybe take an awl and put a dimple in the head of the rivet to start the drill bit OR at least tap the bit against the head and withdraw to see visually if its centered.

Important: if using high speed air tools keep the guides bearing/bushing surface clean and dry lubricated if possible - remember aluminum oxide is 9 on the hardness scale out of 10 and there will be Al2O3 dust getting into the sleeved bushing and increasing wiggle/slop in an already loose tool.

We drill until the rivet head falls away then use a small center punch to tap the rivet shaft clear of the bore.

If its just a few and you're careful an extremely sharp narrow wood chisel held parallel to the skin and gently persuaded under & through the rivet will work well but gouging the sheet aluminum surface is very likely unless all your lucky stars are aligned.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:49 AM   #3
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Depending on the extent of the job a 1/8 drill bit might be sufficient.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:20 AM   #4
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Good point AWCHIEF - the linked tools are meant for the bucked exterior rivets.

Interior rivets - use a fine punch to push the center mandrel in so 1/8" or #31 drill bit will self-center and cut away the pop-rivet flange free of its shaft, then push the shaft through. Many times replacement rivets will have a steel mandrel pin that is un-drillable, if you try the bit will wander offset and pretty much ruin the bores from getting a rivet back in with any strength, using the fine punch to clear the steel shaft back away from where you need to drill is MANDATORY then, it's even worse to find those when using a chisel as the steel won't give and it stretches/tears the sheet aluminum metal it was clamping to make reinstalling a rivet there much weaker.

Also beware of multiple layers of aluminum that were not clamped tightly when riveted, the little bits of air gap left give the rivet shaft a place to expand other than the blind back side so it's not going to drill and fall away easily. Running into a few of them where two or three layers of sheet metal plus the back frame were not tight will release a batch of comments about Joe Somewhen who installed them, here is where a sharp chisel will speed things up again when it's impossible to drill...
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:20 AM   #5
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-497.htm

http://www.yardstore.com/rivet-acces...mber-bits.html

I nabbed one of these a bunch of years ago on sale for about $10 LESS than the above prices, a quick scan of the Internet shows many similar sets for more money but no better deals. The Vintage Trailer Supply unit shown above claims to come with 'Cobalt Alloy' drill bits - that is important since that alloy can drill holes in regular drill bits and in so will stay sharp 10x as long.

Those tools include an adjustable depth-stop to prevent damage to whatever the rivet is fastening, note that these aren't perfect as it is still easy to get the drill aligned off center if you're in too big of a hurry, if you see that happening slow down and relax and maybe take an awl and put a dimple in the head of the rivet to start the drill bit OR at least tap the bit against the head and withdraw to see visually if its centered.

Important: if using high speed air tools keep the guides bearing/bushing surface clean and dry lubricated if possible - remember aluminum oxide is 9 on the hardness scale out of 10 and there will be Al2O3 dust getting into the sleeved bushing and increasing wiggle/slop in an already loose tool.

We drill until the rivet head falls away then use a small center punch to tap the rivet shaft clear of the bore.

If its just a few and you're careful an extremely sharp narrow wood chisel held parallel to the skin and gently persuaded under & through the rivet will work well but gouging the sheet aluminum surface is very likely unless all your lucky stars are aligned.
If im planning on taking off (and eventually reinstalling all the interior skins, it seems the air drill route with yourabove kit really the best way to go? I don't want to be cheap on tools and "expensive"on my (wo)man hours.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Good point AWCHIEF - the linked tools are meant for the bucked exterior rivets.

Interior rivets - use a fine punch to push the center mandrel in so 1/8" or #31 drill bit will self-center and cut away the pop-rivet flange free of its shaft, then push the shaft through. Many times replacement rivets will have a steel mandrel pin that is un-drillable, if you try the bit will wander offset and pretty much ruin the bores from getting a rivet back in with any strength, using the fine punch to clear the steel shaft back away from where you need to drill is MANDATORY then, it's even worse to find those when using a chisel as the steel won't give and it stretches/tears the sheet aluminum metal it was clamping to make reinstalling a rivet there much weaker.

Also beware of multiple layers of aluminum that were not clamped tightly when riveted, the little bits of air gap left give the rivet shaft a place to expand other than the blind back side so it's not going to drill and fall away easily. Running into a few of them where two or three layers of sheet metal plus the back frame were not tight will release a batch of comments about Joe Somewhen who installed them, here is where a sharp chisel will speed things up again when it's impossible to drill...
Thanks for the info. The fine punch you mention is that done by hand?
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:22 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, get one of these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brass-Automa...3D182089693165

I've not used my rivet remover tool for a long time. But this little gem stays in my pocket, and I use the proper-sized bit with either a right-angle drill or a cordless. I like being able to see the hole as it is drilled--easier to adjust any wandering of the hole.

That said, there are many effective ways to deal with rivet removal. All of the above work well.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:36 PM   #8
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You also asked about an Air Compressor, an oil less compressor is quite a bit louder then an oil sump type compressor. The oiled compressors last longer then an oil less compressor. I would suggest that you buy a fairly large compressor. Check the circuit size that the compressor will operate from. If you will be using 115VAC, buy the biggest compressor that will run on that circuit. I have heard many complaints from people that buy a new vane type motor air tool, that will not operate with the low CFM compressor that they themselves bought for a rivet gun.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
You also asked about an Air Compressor, an oil less compressor is quite a bit louder then an oil sump type compressor. The oiled compressors last longer then an oil less compressor. I would suggest that you buy a fairly large compressor. Check the circuit size that the compressor will operate from. If you will be using 115VAC, buy the biggest compressor that will run on that circuit. I have heard many complaints from people that buy a new vane type motor air tool, that will not operate with the low CFM compressor that they themselves bought for a rivet gun.
I'll second that advice. I've had a 4-horsepower, 25-gallon compressor for twenty years which works fine for most air tools, but I've often wished it were larger capacity, to run air drills, sanders, metal shears, etc., and a sand blaster and powder blaster. For these types of air tools you need a large air reservoir for best results.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormbornSG View Post
Thanks for the info. The fine punch you mention is that done by hand?
umnnn.... maybe?

A punch has a flat face so it will not expand the rivet shaft or get bound up by needling its way into the center mandrel pin bore. Four out of five times the remaining husk will either drop through or easily be pushed through with little or no effort, it's the one in five or one in ten that happened not to be drilled cleanly or something hidden is grabbing that forces using a punch, then it's more like tap-hammer blows for a negotiated separation. Places that would require an honest hammering would be on vintage belly skins where everything is corrosion welded from weathering great age and dissimilar metal actions. If you're having to seriously whack at a drilled interior rivet there is something wrong, see the part about gaps between clamped pieces...

EDIT: if you're seriously removing a great number of interior rivets the flanges will build up on the drill bit along with metal shavings other razor sharp edges that will bite the hand that feeds them for sure. I still have drill bits ringed with 1972 vintage aluminum rivets, sometimes they are loose and sometimes they try to weld themselves on - here is where an old fashioned pair of pliers, the kind with the big-teeth jaw section inwards toward the pivot, clamp over the outer rivet rims there and gently reverse the drill will get three, five or more backing off the drill bit at a time without much blood loss.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:31 PM   #11
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Aircraft Supply has a self-centering rivet remover which is bulletproof.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:42 PM   #12
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The VTS tool works great on all kinds of rivets, it's all I use.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:00 PM   #13
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I use narrow metal putty knife when removing rivets, it will slide under head with sharp tap of hammer, less prone to damage or mar skin than chisel will. Former AS factory repair tech taught me this trick. after head falls off simply push remainder of body in, no drilling needed.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:33 PM   #14
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I'll try that too, thanks! I'd be worried about damage but if an AS guy does it, it's worth a try. Yiu find it faster/easier than drilling?
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