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Old 03-21-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
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Removing rivets

What's the best method? Grinding, drilling, pounding? For us with the dredded Blue Bird rivets we have another bump in our road. I know the smaller rivets you can drill right out with a 3/16" drill bit, but the large ones are more of a hassle. Preferably I like to chisel the rivets off. Below I posted a video of how I did it. Hopefully I can help others. What do you guys like to do?

https://youtu.be/ch-bhCPJ5pg
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:36 PM   #2
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http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/qu...val-16692.html

this is the method I've been preaching for a couple years now.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:38 PM   #3
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I don't even have words to explain how strongly I recommend the use of air tools!!!!
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:59 PM   #4
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That did look like it was going pretty well with the hand tools, but viewing in fast forward doesn't tell you how long it really takes.

It tried it with hand tools first, then went and got the air tools out. Didn't smash my thumb once with the air chisel.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:24 PM   #5
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I did them all by hand with a grinder and a chisel...I didn't have an air chisel. Using the grinder, I put a deep X in the center and then tapped them off. At first I used a cold chisel and eventually started using a punch which amazingly worked better. Light taps with the punch worked alot better than hard bangs with the chisel...go figure. Yes it took longer but it was all I had. I'm no worse for the wear.
As far as I could tell...roughly 1,140+ rivets....glad that's over. It was a total victory!!!

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Old 03-24-2017, 12:12 AM   #6
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No, I'm pretty sure it was like 120,000 rivets. It's months later and I still randomly find a rivet floating now and then.

I don't think my body would handle that much hammering over head, but I'd be fine with the walls. My wall rivets were aluminum and came off really easy.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:55 AM   #7
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No, I'm pretty sure it was like 120,000 rivets. It's months later and I still randomly find a rivet floating now and then.

I don't think my body would handle that much hammering over head, but I'd be fine with the walls. My wall rivets were aluminum and came off really easy.
Yes 120,000 rivets! my mistake

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Old 03-24-2017, 09:37 AM   #8
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I made a foot operated drill press to drill the rivets but didn't do too many as I had no need to. A 4" piece of pipe on the floor. On that, a 2x6 to use as a fulcrum and rest for a 2x4 that pushes straight up on the drill handle. Gloves on, safety glasses and voila, no more rivet head. About 10 seconds each when you get the hang of it pushing the drill up with your foot instead of your arms.Just get a real good grip on the drill and you'll do well.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:55 AM   #9
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I did think of using a fulcrum at one point. I actually used an air chisel to remove the rivets after pushing the mandrel out with a punch. That was bad enough for working overhead, but when it came time to fasten the ceiling panels up I found that my self tapping screws weren't penetrating the ribs very well. It often took three self tapping screws before the hole was through the rib. The tip of the self tapping screws kept breaking off. If I tried to drill out the broken screw tip it would just break my drill bit.
After that I changed the brand of screws and started drilling each hole first, which actually went much faster. I never actually got to use the fulcrum idea, but that would have been next. I got it done using two hand drills, one with the drill bit and the other with the T-25 screw head. The T-25 driver bit doesn't strip the screws like a phillips head driver. I like the look of the brass colored screws much better than the chrome/silver screws. None of the brass screws broke either.
I can see where we'd get much faster at stripping out buses and reinstalling an interior after a while.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:21 PM   #10
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The T-25 driver bit doesn't strip the screws like a phillips head driver.
The Phillips head screw is one of the stupidest things ever invented.
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