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Old 09-22-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
Three Rivers , California
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What is best method for removing buck rivets?

I will be removing lots of buck rivets. I've heard about some kind of head trimmer, can't find it now in threads.
I've been using a spring loaded center punch and drilling with 1/8" bit.
Sometimes they walk a little bit and when I get to the more serious rivets where I'll be replacing side panels I'd like to be clean as possible.
I bought those cobalt bits and found that when new they would walk more than worn bits albeit slower to cut.
I imagine I need to take the NEW edge of cobalts or should I use standard high speed steel bits?
thx in advance.
Chip
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:25 PM   #2
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I've drilled out hundreds, if not thousands of solid rivets w/ out anything but a drill bit. Having any other device or adding another step would have been cumbersome . . . I'm not saying there isn't a tool out there that would make it easy/fast, just saying it's not that tricky after the first 10 or so.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:56 PM   #3
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If it helps. Use an air drill, the slower the better, place the bit on the rivet head and pressing lightly use your hand to turn the chuck 1 turn, then slowly drill into the head. Stop drilling before the head falls off.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:05 PM   #4
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
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Ok, thanks guys. I just had read about enlarging the hole too much as some are off center when they start walking.
Also are the rivets 1/8' diameter for side body panel. it seems that 1/8" bit cuts loose the rivet clean. I just bought a 3x pneumatic (Deutsch) rivet gun on Ebay for $20. Then I need the proper driving heads, a (670) bucking bar and some celco's. starting to collect these things I don't have. I have an air chisel (snap on) which I heard is not the same as air rivet gun.
I do have an air drill, I'll give that a try. What about bits? any preference?
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:15 PM   #5
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Are you doing a shell off restoration/repair?

I have found using a 'chisel point' drill bit will 'start' better than the large cutting face of a standard high speed bit. Another option, use a really small bit to 'start' the hole on all the rivets.. then use the 1/8" bit to drill off the HEAD of the rivet only...

Once the head is removed you use a small 'punch' to push the rest of the rivet through the hole in the C channel.

Try on a couple or three first.. then once comfortable this will work, prep the rest of the rivets.

Regarding a 'trim' tool... there is a head trimmer for 'pop' / Olympic rivets which will smooth out the head of the rivet and smoothing out the 'rivet stem' which sometimes remains.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:25 PM   #6
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Definitely only use a split point drill bit. High Speed Steel is just as good as the fancy carbide on aluminum rivets.
I position the bit in the center of the rivet and give it a quarter turn by hand. Never used a center punch, but most of the rivets I drilled out were original hardened rivets with a little dimple in the center.
Then I would drill out to 5/32" and use modified brazier head rivets or 5/32 Universal rivets for replacement.
Don't even try the air chisel - no control.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:53 PM   #7
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I can't saw straight or drill straight. Starting a drill on a spherical rivet head is a challenge for me.

So I purchased a drill guide from VTS. It locates on the OD of the rivet head and thus centers the drill perfectly. I find it very useful and I am sure it has saved me off center drilled holes and marked up skins.

Rivet Removal Tool

I know, I know... Real men don't need no drill guide.

David
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I can't saw straight or drill straight. Starting a drill on a spherical rivet head is a challenge for me.

So I purchased a drill guide from VTS. It locates on the OD of the rivet head and thus centers the drill perfectly. I find it very useful and I am sure it has saved me off center drilled holes and marked up skins.

Rivet Removal Tool

I know, I know... Real men don't need no drill guide.

David
Used the same tool, has helped a lot especially when doing lots of rivets.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:21 AM   #9
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
Three Rivers , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
Are you doing a shell off restoration/repair?

I have found using a 'chisel point' drill bit will 'start' better than the large cutting face of a standard high speed bit. Another option, use a really small bit to 'start' the hole on all the rivets.. then use the 1/8" bit to drill off the HEAD of the rivet only...

Once the head is removed you use a small 'punch' to push the rest of the rivet through the hole in the C channel.

Try on a couple or three first.. then once comfortable this will work, prep the rest of the rivets.

Regarding a 'trim' tool... there is a head trimmer for 'pop' / Olympic rivets which will smooth out the head of the rivet and smoothing out the 'rivet stem' which sometimes remains.
Yes, I'm doing a shell off. I have it all stripped out and lower rivet drilled out. I have another thread started a week or so ago "taking the plunge, shell of 1959 Globester"
I'm new to this so don't know how to insert thread.
Anyway I'll try a few suggestions here on different methods to see what works for me. I'll be posting many pics and keeping it going.
I bought last year and did many tow related upgrades, new axle (Dexter Torflex) electric brakes, breakaway box, brake controller, anti sway / weight distribution (Reese), tires, wheels etc...
After stripping it down inside, the floor was gonzo..soft like a wet rag, rot, stink. I had to commit or sell at a major loss so I'll spend more and time, time, time. Been there before on houses, cars, bikes, etc...
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:22 AM   #10
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
Three Rivers , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I can't saw straight or drill straight. Starting a drill on a spherical rivet head is a challenge for me.

So I purchased a drill guide from VTS. It locates on the OD of the rivet head and thus centers the drill perfectly. I find it very useful and I am sure it has saved me off center drilled holes and marked up skins.

Rivet Removal Tool

I know, I know... Real men don't need no drill guide.

David
Sounds like a reasonable solution and welcome addition to my tool collection.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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drill guide is the way to go

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I can't saw straight or drill straight. Starting a drill on a spherical rivet head is a challenge for me.

So I purchased a drill guide from VTS. It locates on the OD of the rivet head and thus centers the drill perfectly. I find it very useful and I am sure it has saved me off center drilled holes and marked up skins.

Rivet Removal Tool

I know, I know... Real men don't need no drill guide.

David
I also have and use this tool. Fast and efficient along with minimizing the chances of a miss. Highly recommend it and order some extra drill bits with it.
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:38 PM   #12
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphonse View Post
I also have and use this tool. Fast and efficient along with minimizing the chances of a miss. Highly recommend it and order some extra drill bits with it.
just ordered, thanks for the suggestion on xtra bits.
#30 is 1/8" right? Anyway yes many more things to get.
I like to research best I can before pulling the trigger. I hate buying wrong things and then deal with returning.

Just recently I purchased a Reese weight dist /sway control system.
Fortunately for me I didn't wait until the last minute to try and install.
I got everything together and the last thing was these brackets that sandwich between the trailer frame. Bolts wouldn't line up so laid them side buside and lo and behold they were not same length.
I call Etrailer and they called Reese. Reese said they didn't just have brackets so they'd send me a complete new (85 lb.) box and I could take it out of there....really? sounds crazy expensive way to do cust. svc. as well as I had to unpackage all the stuff to get to bracket....then re-box everything which was no simple task...Oy!
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:40 PM   #13
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1963 24' Tradewind
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Putty Knife method

I used a stiff putty knife with a hammer. Running it between the panels with a sharp hit severs the rivet in two and they then fall out of the holes on either side. Unhooked my 24 Tradewind in less then a half hour with this method.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:30 PM   #14
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
Three Rivers , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillitom View Post
I used a stiff putty knife with a hammer. Running it between the panels with a sharp hit severs the rivet in two and they then fall out of the holes on either side. Unhooked my 24 Tradewind in less then a half hour with this method.
You are referring to the lower rivets? Going up under the overlapping skin?

I did that with a few. Guess I should have tried to pursue that further. I was afraid in would rip the underlying holes.

Now I'm looking at the side panels I'll be replacing. Since they underlap the upper skin that might work since I'm replacing the lower.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:18 PM   #15
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Whacking with a putty knife and hammer are quicker. You may also scratch the skin and stretch out the hole a bit.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:32 PM   #16
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I have removed about 30 hardened buck rivets using the sharp metal scraper (not a flexible one but stiff) and hammer between the aluminum sheets. This works great for pop rivets but takes a couple good wacks with the hammer on the buck rivets. It start bending the aluminum trim a little on a few around the windows so I abandoned that method and tried drilling out. Had issues keeping the bit in the center of the head.

I just took out about 150 buck rivets on the ceiling sheet. I had the sheet out so had access to the back. I used a Dremel with the router guide attachment and a router style bit that cuts from the side of the bit. I used that to shave the back of the rivet down really close to the aluminum with a set depth on the router attachment. Then they popped right off with one wack with the paint scraper. I then tried this method on some rivets I only had front access and worked well. Once I got it down, it only took a couple of swipes per rivet. This was the least damaging to the hole but did take a little more time.

I like the rivet remover linked above but I read that you had to get specific replacement bits. I may try to make a metal guide before I get into the 1000 or so I have to remove next summer.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:20 PM   #17
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
1957 26' Overlander
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Been acquiring materials, tools necessary for this shell off. I have a very tight space to work so had to move things around and such. Once the trailer frame is off and shell stored I can get to work on frame. Last night by myself i pulled off shell with forky (my assistant). That lift has been my helper in the construction of a flat in my warehouse in SF. The absolute best investment I've made in tools and I can sell it for mor ethan I paid 10 years ago.
Here are a few pics.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:23 PM   #18
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
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here are a few more
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:30 PM   #19
59' Globester
 
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1959 18' "Footer"
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I guess my next question is how to make the template for the plywood. I'm making measurements for the O'D. perimeter and need to figure out how to make channel as most of this is so thick in undercoat it may be easier to make new ones.
What alloy should be used for channels?
Is it something to have formed up or available pre-fab?
thx all
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Old 10-21-2015, 03:11 PM   #20
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For the wood just lay the new down and use the old as templates, jigsaw away.
Since you're in SF(big city) it would be easy to find a sheet metal/welding shop that can fab up some chanel pretty easily.
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