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Old 03-07-2018, 07:40 PM   #1
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Removing exterior rivets?

Hey Everyone,

I found and used the air chisel method that is well documented here to remove the interior metal from my Bluebird.

Now I am ready to to start on exterior work. Is the air chisel still the tool of choice? Should I drill the centers out first?

What method has worked best for you?

Thanks.

S.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:46 PM   #2
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Hey Everyone,

I found and used the air chisel method that is well documented here to remove the interior metal from my Bluebird.

Now I am ready to to start on exterior work. Is the air chisel still the tool of choice? Should I drill the centers out first?

What method has worked best for you?

Thanks.

S.
You only punch the centers of blind rivets as they are the ones with the hard mandrels in them.

Solid rivets should just chisel off.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Twigg.

I was not sure. I know that some of the build threads that I have read did detail drilling the bucked rivets and I did not understand why. Sounds like it is not needed.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:56 PM   #4
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Thanks Twigg.

I was not sure. I know that some of the build threads that I have read did detail drilling the bucked rivets and I did not understand why. Sounds like it is not needed.
It would make it easier to chisel them, but I think the air-chisel has plenty of power so I wouldn't be inclined to use up my cobalt bits that way.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:28 PM   #5
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I don't know. If you're not careful you would damage the metal that you plan on keeping. That doesn't matter to anyone on the inside, you know?
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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I don't know. If you're not careful you would damage the metal that you plan on keeping. That doesn't matter to anyone on the inside, you know?
Good point.

What do you recommend?
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:40 PM   #7
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I would drill the center out more carefully and tap it with a regular chisel.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:16 PM   #8
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I would drill the center out more carefully and tap it with a regular chisel.
I can't think why anyone would be removing exterior rivets without later replacing them with either new rivets, or screws. What would be the point? Rivets are usually removed from the outside to re-skin.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:22 PM   #9
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I just mean some of the metal from the outside you might not want gouged. You can easily end up making a bigger hole then you intended that a new rivet wouldn't cover up.
Personally I'm thinking about my rub rails I will be modifying and the edges of the windows
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:27 PM   #10
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Look for a widget called a "rivet shaver". They can take the head off without destroying lots of metal around them.
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