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Old 09-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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Interior Rivets - What size?

I am going to have to put my interior skins back on when I get my floor finished and I was wondering what the sizes are. They looked to be 1/8" diameter rivets. I ordered some 1/8" and 3/6" rivets. Also do you put the same size pop rivet back when you replace them or do you go up to the next size?

What is the proper way to remove rivets? I have always used a bigger drill bit than the hole and drill till the head pops off. Would it be better to use a 1/8" drill bit and drill all the way through?

Perry
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I am going to have to put my interior skins back on when I get my floor finished and I was wondering what the sizes are. They looked to be 1/8" diameter rivets. I ordered some 1/8" and 3/6" rivets. Also do you put the same size pop rivet back when you replace them or do you go up to the next size?

What is the proper way to remove rivets? I have always used a bigger drill bit than the hole and drill till the head pops off. Would it be better to use a 1/8" drill bit and drill all the way through?

Perry
Perry.

There are only 3 drill bit sizes for all your Airstream work.

#30 fpr pop rivets

#21 for Olympic rivets

#10 for the 3/16 inch underbelly rivets.

All the interior rivets use a #30 drill bit.

Andy
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I am going to have to put my interior skins back on when I get my floor finished and I was wondering what the sizes are. They looked to be 1/8" diameter rivets. I ordered some 1/8" and 3/6" rivets. Also do you put the same size pop rivet back when you replace them or do you go up to the next size?

What is the proper way to remove rivets? I have always used a bigger drill bit than the hole and drill till the head pops off. Would it be better to use a 1/8" drill bit and drill all the way through?

Perry
Perry.

Sorry, but I made a typo.

The 3 sizes of drill bits are # 30, # 21 and # 11.

Andy
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Ive had good luck drilling out the interior rivets with a 1/8" bit and using 1/8" aluminum cored pop rivets to reassemble. It's been my experience that many times the rivet head will still shear off, leaving the body in the rib. I use a angle grinder with a flap wheel to flush off the rivet to the rib, then a center punch to push the rivet out of the hole.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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I use a stop block on the drill. Sometimes it can self feed and I would hate to go all the way through. I just take a dowel or small wood square, drill it length wise, the cut it off so that it will only let less than 1/2 inch of drill out. slip it over the drill so it jams against the chuck.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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I have found a better way than the drill. I found out that tonight that a real sharp wood chisel will cut the head off a rivet with little or no damage to the panel. This is the only way I have found to get out rivets hidden behind panels.

Perry
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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You'll be fine to install 1/8" pop rivets back assuming the 1/8" that you removed came out OK and you didn't need to enlarge the hole due to damage or corrosion. The next std size of pop rivets is 5/32" which requires a #20 drill bit. Keeping the rivet size minimal will help to maintain the required edge distance
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
You'll be fine to install 1/8" pop rivets back assuming the 1/8" that you removed came out OK and you didn't need to enlarge the hole due to damage or corrosion. The next std size of pop rivets is 5/32" which requires a #20 drill bit. Keeping the rivet size minimal will help to maintain the required edge distance
I fully concur with this. I had an exterior compartment door hinge riveted with about 2 dozen 1/8" rivets come loose after a recent long trip.

Unless the drilling out goes real true (most of them do), I hollow grind the rivet head with a Dremel before I drill out with an 1/8" bit. The underlying hole is sometimes oblong but it takes a lot of enlargement before I'll drill a very few for 3/16". 'Medium' is the most common length unless I'm dealing only with a skin-skin hole (and then 'short' of course).

HiHoAgRV sez it right -- use aluminum core pop rivets. Though surprisingly there were some steel cored rivets used by the factory on my '74 Argosy's rubrail. Musta had to run out to their friendly ACE hardware that day...
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:11 AM   #9
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You'll be fine to install 1/8" pop rivets back assuming the 1/8" that you removed came out OK and you didn't need to enlarge the hole due to damage or corrosion. The next std size of pop rivets is 5/32" which requires a #20 drill bit. Keeping the rivet size minimal will help to maintain the required edge distance
If you check the size of a # 21 drill, you will find that it's a much tighter fit, for the Olympic rivets, and far less likly to loosen and leak.

Certainly much better than a #20 drill.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:05 AM   #10
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Drill bit conversion table

Is there a reason for using #30 instead of 1/8" and #21 rather than 5/32"?

Found this conversion chart.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:07 AM   #11
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Is there a reason for using #30 instead of 1/8" and #21 rather than 5/32"?

Found this conversion chart.
Those sizes are recommended by the RV industry, especially Airstream.

Some disagree about the #21 and use a #20.

We feel the #20 is an excessive size hole.

Certainly, the tighter the better.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:30 AM   #12
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I think it is because the hole has to be a little bigger than the rivet to you can insert the rivet. Also the metal expands a little making the hole a little bigger when the rivet is installed.

I may put sheet metal screws back in so I can get the panels off without a major hassle.

Perry
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:00 AM   #13
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drill bit chart

FYI
try this chart

Drill Bit Size Chart
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:19 AM   #14
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Can anyone tell me the correct size drill for buck rivets on an Airstream?
Tom
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:35 AM   #15
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Can anyone tell me the correct size drill for buck rivets on an Airstream?
Tom
# 30 drill bit for 1/8 inch holes.

# 21 drill bit for 5/32 inch holes.

# 11 drill bit for 3/16 inch holes.

Some use a # 20 drill bit for the Olympic rivets.

That is "WHY" they will, in time, leak.

Andy
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:22 AM   #16
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Tom, If you're going to replace the original bucked rivets; the closest resembling commonly available rivet is the MS20470AD5-# then use a #20 drill bit. For Cherry, CherryMax, Olympic or Pop style I use #20 but if you want to be 100% sure you are using the correct bit use that which the rivet manufacturer specifies.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:19 AM   #17
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Tom, If you're going to replace the original bucked rivets; the closest resembling commonly available rivet is the MS20470AD5-# then use a #20 drill bit. For Cherry, CherryMax, Olympic or Pop style I use #20 but if you want to be 100% sure you are using the correct bit use that which the rivet manufacturer specifies.
A 1/8 rivet is .125 inches. The # 30 is .1285 inches.

A 5/32 rivet is .15625. The #21 is .159 inches.

A 3/16 rivet is .1875. The # 11 is .191 inches.

The smallest hole should be used whenever possible.

However, here of late, the Olympic rivets seemingly have gone "nuts".

Their rivet head, while still meeting their specs, is some what smaller. And, the body is .154 inches.

Using a # 21 drill bit, then gives a .005 inches of clearance.

Using a # 20 drill bit, gives a .007 inches of clearance.

Again, the smallest sized hole should always be used. It minimizes looseness as well as water leaks.

Using washers on Olympic rivets is an absolute "NO NO".

Why, is easy.

The washer in time, hardens and then falls off. Results, because of that, is a water leak for every one of those washers that fall off.

Then the hair pulling and fun, really starts, not to say what the leaking water may have ruined.

Andy
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:28 PM   #18
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VTS Rivet Guide

Hi all,

I didn't want to start an entire new thread for this, but this does also deal with exterior rivets (skin and belly pan). I made a guide for the rivets VTS sells using the info on their website. I like having it all on one page. I'm posting it here to have you guys check me for accuracy and hopefully to act as a resource for others dealing with the overwhelming task of figuring out which sizes, lengths, and types of rivets you need to purchase for your various projects. Please offer me your critiques and corrections! (Hopefully the text is large enough to read...)
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:57 PM   #19
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SG,

Thx for posting it here. It's nice to have like info together for that day when your looking for it but can't remember what thread it's in.
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