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Old 12-06-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Right Size Drill Bit For Olympic Rivets

Hello everyone.
We are looking on removing our stack window as well as 1 of our VV.
We noticed that we will need olymplic rivets 5/32 to replace them.
After much research we noticed that Vintage Trailers offers the Drill Bit #20 as the option. We also noticed that Andy states that the right size bit is #21.
Any inputs?
Thanks
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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I measured a rivet with a gauge I had and found a number 22 drill bit was the right size. Number 20 is too big.....Phil.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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#20 is what I use. Always a perfect fit for an Olympic or a bucked rivet.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by VeggieBullet View Post
Hello everyone.
We are looking on removing our stack window as well as 1 of our VV.
We noticed that we will need olymplic rivets 5/32 to replace them.
After much research we noticed that Vintage Trailers offers the Drill Bit #20 as the option. We also noticed that Andy states that the right size bit is #21.
Any inputs?
Thanks
An Olympic rivet is 5/32 which is .15625 inches

#20 is .161
#21 is .159
#22 is .157

The best drill bit size to use is a #21, since a hole will not be perfectly round, unless using a drill press.

Therefore a #22 is too small and a #20 is too large.

Andy
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
An Olympic rivet is 5/32 which is .15625 inches

#20 is .161
#21 is .159
#22 is .157

The best drill bit size to use is a #21, since a hole will not be perfectly round, unless using a drill press.

Therefore a #22 is too small and a #20 is too large.

Andy

but that hinges on a perfectly round drill bit, perfectly true drill press, immovable landing table, 100% holding an airstream's drilling target perfectly still

"x" marks the spot. if you have all of the above it may work....if you have close enough you scored and will be proud...

i try to enjoy the imperfect world....
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by VeggieBullet View Post
Hello everyone.
We are looking on removing our stack window as well as 1 of our VV.
We noticed that we will need olymplic rivets 5/32 to replace them.
After much research we noticed that Vintage Trailers offers the Drill Bit #20 as the option. We also noticed that Andy states that the right size bit is #21.
Any inputs?
Thanks

I used the #20 with no problems
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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The simple answer is to do what the manufacturer tells the installer to use, the last time I looked for an Olympic is was a #20. I use a #20. Using a drill bit that is the next size up from the fastener isn't always correct; if the fastener engineer specifies a size then that's your best bet; (in my opinion).
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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Gotta love the forums.....What you do, is take a wee piece of scrap aluminum, your drill and drill a hole or two in each size and decide for yourself. Andy says 21, I find 22 works for me and 20 is too sloppy.....Phil.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:31 PM   #9
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There is a book for that.

Well, in Army aircraft maintenance we use this manual. If you look at table 7-4 on page 7-14, you'll see that for a 5/32nd rivet a #21 (0.1590) drill bit is specified. Of course an Airstream is not an aircraft, but I use a #21.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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I've been lucky I guess...a 5/32 drill makes a hole that is physically impossible to be smaller than 5/32...that's what size I have used for the few dozen olympics and the few hundred buck's I've done...a big plus is the bits are available everywhere!
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:55 PM   #11
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.002 in an airstream... really?
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:10 AM   #12
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This is one funny thread. So many experts here, time for me to exit. First axles, then tires, now numbered bit sizes...
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:34 AM   #13
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I can't believe your giving up Frank.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:59 PM   #14
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There are many ways to skin an aluminum cat Truck
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:30 PM   #15
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thanks guys

Wow!!!
This place is so great that all of your advice just reminds me of my ignorance on this subject
Now I'm even scare to ask if that same Dril Bit can be used to drill the rivets out.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #16
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It can.
I however, drill the original buck rivets with an 1/8 bit. That generally gets rid of the head and shaft. Not always though. The original rivets were 1/8" with the bigger head. We now use 5/32" with smaller heads. I then drill it with a #20. I try my best to drill once, straight in, then once straight out. I do not push the bit in and out as some do. That makes for a sloppy hole. So far this seems to work just fine (for me).
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:13 PM   #17
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I wanted to thank Top for this. I have it very firmly bookmarked. I did consult it and found that the #30 drill bits I use for the 1/8" closed end pop rivets is to code. There is a ton of useful info. I just might have to print it off and have it around the shop.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:20 PM   #18
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Just be careful what you get from TOP. He actually likes helicopters.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:28 PM   #19
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My father flew helicopters in Vietnam. I have a soft spot for helicopters. I have a soft spot for Vietnam Vets too.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
I wanted to thank Top for this. I have it very firmly bookmarked. I did consult it and found that the #30 drill bits I use for the 1/8" closed end pop rivets is to code. There is a ton of useful info. I just might have to print it off and have it around the shop.
You are very welcome Frank. We call it the sheet metal mechanic's bible. It has some of the knowledge and experience in Kip's head in an easily referenced, searchable format.
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Just be careful what you get from TOP. He actually likes helicopters.
I sure do.
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My father flew helicopters in Vietnam. I have a soft spot for helicopters. I have a soft spot for Vietnam Vets too.
I have a soft spot for them too. I really enjoy this website. Nearly every Aviation Battalion in the Army today can trace its lineage back to an aviation company that was baptized by fire in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam. Cheers to your Father and all of his pilot buddies, Frank!

And cheers to you MelodyRanch!
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