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Old 10-22-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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#20 drill bits

What the heck size is #20 and #30 bits? I have been using 9/64 on most of the interior rivets. When I go to the store I can never find bits labeled #20 or30
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
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They are more like 1/8" and 3/16".
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
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A #20 drill is .161" in dia. a #30 drill is .1285" in dia.

A 9/64" drill is .1406" in dia. a 1/8" drill is .125" in dia. a 3/16" drill is .1875" in dia.

These are available at any industrial or machine tool supply.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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I don't see them listed in any catalogues around here.

The Service Manuals I have (1974 and 1977) refer to them frequently.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:59 PM   #5
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Try Enco, Grainger, Fastenal. The aircraft supply outfits listed else where on this forum will have them.

If you go to Sears or Harbor Freight they will have a 115 piece drill bit set that ncludes 1/16" to 1/2" in 1/64" increments and #60 to #1 and letter sizes A to Z. Your local Ace hardware can get them but they mght have to order them. They are not really hard to find.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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I have no problem finding number drills at the Ace Hardware stores here outside of the Chicago/Milwaukee megalopolis. I suspect it's the old volume vs. demand conundrum.
Our Ace is very good at accessing the chain’s national supply network and special ordering things in.
I don’t know what, if any, non-big box hardware stores are in rural Missouri but I would definitely ask if your local Ace, True Value, Do It or Hank stores will order in for you. The bits are cheap so order enough of the sizes you need to make it worth the effort to the owner.

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Old 10-22-2009, 09:22 PM   #7
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I can only add to that to buy the good ones. Cheap drill bits break and dull quickly, especially the 1/8 variety. I spend $ 4.00 a piece, and they last quite some time. Look for Cobalt drill bits. And even those will break, so buy plenty of replacements. I get 10 at a time, and usually need 6-8 per interior job.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:25 PM   #8
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#30 is ~4 thousands over 1/8". 9/64" is ~16 thousands over 1/8".

So a #30 is bigger than 1/8" by about 1.5 times the thickness of a human hair.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:43 PM   #9
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I just use 1/8th, 5/32nds, and 3/16ths.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:13 AM   #10
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drill bit sizes

The correct drill bit sizes for Airstream rivet work, is as follows.

For 1/8 pop rivets use #30 drill bit.

For Olympic rivets use #21 drill bit.

For 3/16 inch pop rivets use #11 drill bit.

A #20 drill bit for Olympic rivets is too large.

A 1/8" drill bit for 1/8 pop rivets, is too small.

Dimensional drill bits are "all" wrong.

The above "to use" drill bits, will give you the finest job that you could possibly ask for.

Caravanner Insurance speced those rivet sizes for Airstream work, in 1970.

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Old 10-23-2009, 08:15 AM   #11
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Ask or look for screw-machine length drills, shorter and easer to use for sheet metal work.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:29 PM   #12
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I'm with Dakota's Dad on that. And if the rivet doesn't quite fit, I'll wiggle the drill bit a little... Haven't had to do any Olympic rivets for the exterior yet so maybe an exact bit might be good there since you want a watertight seal.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:37 PM   #13
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I'm with Dakota's Dad on that. And if the rivet doesn't quite fit, I'll wiggle the drill bit a little... Haven't had to do any Olympic rivets for the exterior yet so maybe an exact bit might be good there since you want a watertight seal.
Sorry, but when you "wiggle" the drill bit, your then far from making a precision hole, which is asking for water leaks, big time, on the exterior, and if used on the inside, things will quickly fail.

If a dealer did that when replacing sheet metal on your trailer, and you then , had water leaks, you would severely challenge their mechanical abilities and raise all kinds of devil.

If the factory did that when they built your trailer, you would have a piece of junk, inside and out.

Doing any job correctly, from the start, may cost a little more in tooling, but that's what gives a person considerable "pride in workmanship". Yes, numbered drill bits are a little harder to find and cost 2 to 3 cents more. WOW!!!

If I personally resorted to that kind of metal workmanship, I would have quit 43 years ago.

Granted, "good enough" is standards for many people as well as businesses, but in my book, "meeting factory standards or better," goes a long long way towards quality workmanship,and customer satisfaction.

There always has been "the correct tool" for any job, and there always will be. Using the wrong tool is usually caused by someone not knowing "what is the correct tool." This Forums is a great place to learn what to use and why.

Yes, I even hear that someone changed out a segment, used lots of Vulkem, to hold it in place, and no rivets since they cost way too much money.

I am reasonably sure that the next owner of that trailer, will be very disappointed.

Correcting water leaks caused by poor workmanship, is an absolute waste of everyones money.

Water leak in any Airstream product, can still happen, for a variety of reasons, but drilling a wiggled hole for rivets, on the exterior, is inviting water leaks, on a "RED" carpet, "BIG TIME".

But, to each his own.

Andy
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:36 PM   #14
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Andy,Thanks for clearing this up.I have attempted to remove interior rivets w 1/8 bit and I always get a little remainder left.Some stock AS int. rivets will be 1/8 and I will uss a number 30?
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:37 PM   #15
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Sorry,Not a typist! Meant to say Vintage 60s AS will have 1/8 int. rivets from factory?
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:45 PM   #16
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Sorry,Not a typist! Meant to say Vintage 60s AS will have 1/8 int. rivets from factory?
Steve.

Airstream still uses 1/8 pop rivets in the interior.

Andy
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:55 PM   #17
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I quickly and not too accurately measured the interior rivets in our 2008 trailer and they appeared to be 1/4". There doesn't seem to be a 1/4" rivet, so I guess they were actually 5/32", or maybe the head isn't the right measurement. If those are called 1/8", that must mean something else than what I can see.

Then heads have popped off two of these rivets and from what I have read it appears I have to drill out what's left with a bit, but can't tell what size to get (or what rivets to buy) until I understand what size the rivets are.

There is a line of rivets over the door and kitchen upper cabinets that go from back to front. Two have popped off over the door at different times and been replaced under warranty. Now two have popped over the cabinets. I am wondering why these particular rivets have been popping—is there more stress at this place? No other rivets have failed.

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:13 PM   #18
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Rivet size refers to the shank, not the head of the rivet. I'd bet you have 1/8" rivets in the interior.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I can only add to that to buy the good ones. Cheap drill bits break and dull quickly, especially the 1/8 variety. I spend $ 4.00 a piece, and they last quite some time. Look for Cobalt drill bits. And even those will break, so buy plenty of replacements. I get 10 at a time, and usually need 6-8 per interior job.
American Vermont has a unconditional guarantee on their bits. Their carbide bits last longer but snap more easily. I have sent a few back with no questions asked. One could theoretically buy one bit and get infinite replacements.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:57 PM   #20
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drill bit sizes

There are 3 drill bit sizes for the rivets that Airstream has used for many years.

1/8" rivets use #30 drill bit

5/32" rivets use #21 drill bit

3/16" rivets use #11 drill bit.

A #20 drill bit is a double oversize for the Olympic rivets, and should not be used as it does not fill the holes as well as the #21 drill bit.

If your going to buy the drill bits, buy the correct sizes.

The use of the #20, is a huge MYTH, and does not do an excellent job nearly as well as the #21 drill bits.

The Olympic rivets are .15625 in diameter.

#21 is .159"
#20 is .161"

Some people use a 5/32 inch drill bit, and wallow out the hole, when using Olympic rivets.

That's not a good idea when doing sheet metal work, unless you kick quality and precision to the curb.

Water leaks can happen, in spite of top quality, let alone begging for leaks.

Andy
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