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Old 09-16-2010, 08:34 AM   #1
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Hebron , Kentucky
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Drilling out Rivets

I am doing some Aluminum repair on the outside of my 71 Globetrotter and having trouble drilling out the olympic rivets. My main problem is keeping the bit centered on the head without slipping to one side. Is there a tool for keeping the drill bit centered?
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:43 AM   #2
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Use a center punch and a hammer to indent the head of the rivet. this will keep the drill bit centered on the rivet head. Use a variable speed drill and start off slowly until bit has begun to bite into the rivet. Unless the panel has been repaired before the rivets will not be Olympic rivets just regular buck rivets. Driil into the rivet only far enough to go the depth of the rivet head. then use the center punch to snap off the head and push the shaft of the rivet into the trailer.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:46 AM   #3
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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If you will look at the aircraft supply house, most sell drill guides for drilling out rivets. Would not want to put a hole in the side of a nice King Air by the drill slipping.

Aircraft Spruce-
Avery Tools- Avery Tools LP - RIVET REMOVAL TOOL
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68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:48 AM   #4
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Central , Ohio
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And here for a little less money....

Rivet Removal Tool
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:19 AM   #5
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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I do some of this but not a lot -- hasn't been worth it for me to order something job-specific. I hollow grind the top of the rivet a bit with a Dremel and then use a standard twist drill. Seems to be quite reliable...

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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1968 20' Globetrotter
Kelowna , British Columbia
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I've been using a push type center need for a hammer...and it works well. Make sure both the punch and drill bit are sharp and be gentle when starting the drill.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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1965 22' Safari
Vassar , Michigan
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Spend the $40.00 for the Rivet Removal Tool. I got one and it makes drilling out rivets a breeze. It's quick, easy and does a perfect job.....Tim

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Old 09-16-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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1971 21' Globetrotter
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Using a drill with at least 3000 RPM helps along with the proper drill bits. Use of 135 degree split tip cobalt drill bits is the best.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:17 AM   #9
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2022 25' International
Savage , Minnesota
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Follow this link here for a great Rivet Removal Tool. I highly recommend it.
"I've got aluminum fever, and the only prescription, is more AIRSTREAM!!!"

'64 Safari Resoration Blog ("May"):

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