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Old 12-18-2011, 09:45 AM   #41
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The reason a slightly oversized drill bit is used on rivets is so that the rivet will slip easily into the hole. Using a 5/32 bit would not be an issue doing 4 or 5 rivets but for production work it would be highly unproductive not to drill a slightly oversized hole. In airplane construction numbered drill bits are always used...#30 for 1/8 and # 20 for 5/32 etc. The 5/32 size is only the pre-pulled diameter, not the final pulled diameter, when a 5/32 rivet is pulled it will fill the #20 drill bit hole.
The Airstream factory specs a #21 drill bit for the Olympics.

The Official Airstream Rivet Kit contains everything you need to get started. It contains a Marson Klick-Turn Swivel Head Rivet tool with 4 nose pieces (3/16”, 5/32”, 1/8”, 3/32”) and an assortment of rivets including 25 each of the following: Olympic Rivets (exterior repair rivet), 1/4” head diameter rivet with 3/8” length and with 1/2” length for interior rivet replacements, and underbelly rivets with two different head sizes. Also includes drill bits, #10, #21 and #30.

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Old 12-18-2011, 02:41 PM   #42
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I just removed some solid rivets by chiseling the head off which was easier than I thought it'd be. Can you use this same removal method for Olympics?
While I hear of people doing this all the time it does have a tendency to stretch the aluminum, Drilling is still the best option.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:43 PM   #43
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While I hear of people doing this all the time it does have a tendency to stretch the aluminum, Drilling is still the best option.
Thanks for the info,what's your opinion on the solid rivets?drill or chisel the head off.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:58 PM   #44
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this is learning process is getting more and more interesting every day.
Now: What is the best source for buying Olympic Rivets? Don't really want to pay over $20 for just 100 of them. But if there is no other choice...
I hear you on the price but unfortunately you won't be in luck UNLESS you are willing to cough up the dough for an order of 10,000 rivets then its cheap per rivet ($0.06/rivet up here in the frozen north) but still expensive as heck over all. If you have fellow AS owners near you it could be lucrative to join forces.

Vintage trailer supply is the cheapest I could find per 100.

I must admit, if you are looking for a nice finish shaved Olympics are awesome. Just take some time and practice, its not hard to master BUT complacency will give you swirly heads...I speak from limited experience.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:46 PM   #45
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Thanks for the info,what's your opinion on the solid rivets?drill or chisel the head off.
Unless you are fond of elongated holes, I'd drill them. With a chisel, it's faster but you knock the rivet sideways with significant force and the holes will elongate especially with thin skins or if you aren't careful you could damage the skin surface with the chisel. Much safer to drill.....Phil.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #46
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Thanks for the info,what's your opinion on the solid rivets?drill or chisel the head off.
Drilling them out is always better
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:26 PM   #47
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So a 1/8 drill bit to drill them out?
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:44 PM   #48
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As has been said only a few posts up: "The Airstream factory specs a #21 drill bit for the Olympics."
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #49
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bite size

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As has been said only a few posts up: "The Airstream factory specs a #21 drill bit for the Olympics."
Hi Aage.
Saw the post and the #21 is the way to go for later placing the Olympic rivets.
Just also saw other posts stating to use the 1/8 to drill the original rivets out so we just want to get it clear since is the first time dealing with rivets.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #50
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As has been said only a few posts up: "The Airstream factory specs a #21 drill bit for the Olympics."
... however the manufacture of the actual rivet specs #20. Maybe we need a #20.5 so both the manufacturer of the product and the end user can agree on how it is to be used correctly.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:31 PM   #51
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Several thoughts......Measured one of my olympic rivets, its .151" as opposed to a MS20470AD5 (5/32 solid rivet) which is .157" which will explain why I can use a #22 drill bit. One reason I want the hole to be as tight as possible is to prevent any movement of the parts riveted because olympic rivet shanks do not expand as they are installed unlike solid rivets and Cherry max rivets ( and you thought olympics were expensive!!!!).When I remove olympics, I usually try to punch out the stem with a pin punch (3/32 works I think) and then drill it out with the appropriate size bit. It will follow the hole accurately if the stem is gone. For solid rivets, first, take a sharp center punch and tap a dimple in the center of the head, then drill a hole (5/32 for a 5/32 rivet) just down to skin level. Then pop the head off with a LIGHT tap with a chisel then drill the rest of the rivet out. Hope this is a help......Phil.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:27 PM   #52
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Talking gotta love rivets

i would never tap the crown of a rivet with a punch to make a dimple in it to start the drill bit and stop it from walking.

i use a small sharp edged file to file two grooves in an x pattern and drill in the x marks the center spot.

sometimes just filing the rounded top of a rivet to flatten the target is good enough to drill the center.

i do not tap on a rivet with a punch 'cause i do not want to move the metal under that said rivet causing it to stress.

my favorite bit is the sharpest and closest to the rivet size....~usually the one ~ 1/8" with the previously drilled remainders of the past rivets on it.

sold my starrett micrometer years ago.

i come close and enjoy camping....
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:34 PM   #53
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Surefire method of drilling out solid rivets...works every time:
http://www.donsbushcaddy.com/sitebui...olidRivets.pdf
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:03 PM   #54
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I'm with Don, this works great.

Removing Solid Rivets - Matronics
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:07 PM   #55
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For those who want to take the guesswork out of removal, Aircraft Tool Supply has a nifty rivet removal kit for $40.00 or so. (p/n 1341A) Looks like it would work.....Phil.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:24 PM   #56
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For those who want to take the guesswork out of removal, Aircraft Tool Supply has a nifty rivet removal kit for $40.00 or so. (p/n 1341A) Looks like it would work.....Phil.

It does work ....sort of. The drill bits are great but I ended up chucking them into my normal drill instead. After drilling a hundred or so rivets you get the feel of it and it's no biggie. The trouble with this tool is that it obscures the view of how the drill is entering the rivet. If the rivet is less than pristine sometimes you have to tweek the entry. And you have to take the tool apart to get the rivet parts that remain on the drill.

Takes way too long when I can slip a normal drill bit into the claw of a hammer, reverse and take a bunch of the rivet remains off in seconds.

I only used this tool on pop rivets and it wasn't worth it...I can't imagine using it if you wanted to change the size of the drill bit as in the previous posts method. It would be a nightmare.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:07 PM   #57
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It does work ....sort of. The drill bits are great but I ended up chucking them into my normal drill instead. After drilling a hundred or so rivets you get the feel of it and it's no biggie. The trouble with this tool is that it obscures the view of how the drill is entering the rivet. If the rivet is less than pristine sometimes you have to tweek the entry. And you have to take the tool apart to get the rivet parts that remain on the drill.

Takes way too long when I can slip a normal drill bit into the claw of a hammer, reverse and take a bunch of the rivet remains off in seconds.

I only used this tool on pop rivets and it wasn't worth it...I can't imagine using it if you wanted to change the size of the drill bit as in the previous posts method. It would be a nightmare.
Yeah, I wondered how it would work, but it was a thought for newbies. They also make a kit for blind rivets, (p/n 1341S). They are not something I would use as I've spent thirty some odd years drilling and filling rivet holes in a bunch of airplanes so what I do is mostly freehand.....Phil
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:34 PM   #58
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Hi Phil.
The removal tool kits are very tempting. specially for a guy that never messed up with rivets before. LOL
Don't think will get them already unless they will become a must.
Need to get the VV windows out and therefore the need of all the possible info about subject of rivets.
Will start at the bally pan (since it needs to come down) and once I get the right feeling will hit the VVs.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:24 PM   #59
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Why is free handing it so hard? You just drill it out with a 1/8" then use a #20(if your me or Truck, a #21 for everyone else) to drill the hole for the rivet. That leaves tons of slop for even the worst of off centered drillers out there jumping between those two sizes.
I bought one of those fancy tools. Threw it(literally) into the scrap steel bin because it drilled so many off center holes.

Three interesting things I have learned about drilling rivet;
A) Drilling rivets is so easy even a monkey can do it. It is not rocket science even though they can be used to build rockets.
B) Cheap bits are not even worth the gas used to go to the store to buy them. If your vehicle takes you to a big box store, you have wasted your gas.
C) As soon the bit wanders the first time, it is too dull to drill properly. It is time to replace it or sharpen it on the grinder. You can free hand them on the grinder too. You can't build a rocket out of grinders however.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:49 AM   #60
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HD doesn't carry the bits 20 or 21

Went to HD early this morning and of course they don't carry the Bits #20 or #21. Instead the guy "match" the rivet with a 5/32 or 4mm.
Now wondering if that is the equivalent of the #20 or #21?
How hard can it be to get some drill bits!!!
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