Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-31-2019, 04:02 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
tugboater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 279
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf T Liner MVP 11 window 32
Engine: CAT 3126E
Rated Cap: 72
Thomas skinning process...rivet removal questions.

I'm headed to Home Depot to purchase a few different sized and brand drill bits in an effort to figure out the best product for removal of over 600 of the little grabbers. I'd love to eliminate as much trial and error as possible. Can any of you gurus that have done it before weigh in on any efficiencies you figured out as you went?
What size bit worked best for you?
What brand & type?
Any tools other than a drill & quality bit that made the job easier?
Best/cheapest lubrication for bit?
How many did you go through? I'm assuming that I'll go through quite a few bits by the time I finish. I'd love to find a source online.

Any recommendations based on real experience, bus related or not would be so appreciated! I've got a bunch more questions but want to scour the forum tonight before I ask any more. Thanks in advance!

IMG_2915.jpg
The fasteners below my window are screws, so no issues there.

IMG_2949.jpg
The back side of the rivets I'm talking about, above the window on the inside.

IMG_2950.jpg
The heads are behind the raised part of the gutter (which I'll remove a little later today.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2899.jpg (286.8 KB, 25 views)
__________________
One...slow...step...at a time.
tugboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 04:20 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,497
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
I have heard of people using an air chisel to take the heads off. Also an angle grinder.
I have had best (only removed a very small number) results with a hammer and cold chisel followed by drilling out a couple of them that were still hanging on.
Njsurf73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 04:34 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
tugboater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 279
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf T Liner MVP 11 window 32
Engine: CAT 3126E
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
I have heard of people using an air chisel to take the heads off. Also an angle grinder.
Njsurf- Thanks for the response. I've thought about that method & have used it on aluminum extensively (many years ago). Either I really sucked at that job OR the tendency for the rivets to woller out the holes in the direction the chisel pushed was just typical collateral damage. I'd prefer not to make the holes any larger than they already are. You might be right though, I'm sure that's got to be the fastest way. Finesse was certainly not part of my repertoire or vocabulary back when I last chiseled rivets. I was more brute strength...the kind of guy that always got handed the shovel.
__________________
One...slow...step...at a time.
tugboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 05:46 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,717
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
For those solid rivets, a cold chisel and hammer were the best for me. I do not have an air chisel, but it would be good too. Keep your chisel sharp, but not a knife edge. Also, keep the chisel as close to parallel to the sheet metal as possible. The idea is to knock off the head of the rivet. Some times the rivet comes out fully, other times a punch is needed to remove the remainder. an angle grinder with a grinding wheel can also be used, but I fould it to be more time consuming. Do not get me wrong, the hammer and cold chisel method is hard work! Once you get the feel for it, they come out with two or three blows. Good luck.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 06:45 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
The rivet head will shear off with the chisel much easier after the mandrel has been knocked out.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 08:48 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,717
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
True, if the rivets have a mandrel. The ones pictured are solid rivets. I like removing the ones with mandrels ... the drill takes the mandrel out and the punch takes the body out. So simple.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
True, if the rivets have a mandrel. The ones pictured are solid rivets. I like removing the ones with mandrels ... the drill takes the mandrel out and the punch takes the body out. So simple.
On the solid rivets on the window posts I went inside and ground off the rivet end and popped the head out.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 09:46 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,981
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
True, if the rivets have a mandrel. The ones pictured are solid rivets. I like removing the ones with mandrels ... the drill takes the mandrel out and the punch takes the body out. So simple.
Man, those rivets almost made me cry. I only managed to get one row of ceiling panel rivets out using the mandrel punchout and chisel method over a period of several days, before I said the hell with it and cut out the parts of the ceiling between the channels with my angle grinder. I'm going to run longitudinal furring strips for the ceiling anyway, so the thin strips of metal ceiling left on the channels don't matter at all.
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2019, 09:50 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 2,981
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by tugboater View Post
Njsurf- Thanks for the response. I've thought about that method & have used it on aluminum extensively (many years ago). Either I really sucked at that job OR the tendency for the rivets to woller out the holes in the direction the chisel pushed was just typical collateral damage. I'd prefer not to make the holes any larger than they already are. You might be right though, I'm sure that's got to be the fastest way. Finesse was certainly not part of my repertoire or vocabulary back when I last chiseled rivets. I was more brute strength...the kind of guy that always got handed the shovel.
For some of my ceiling rivets, I punched out the mandrel and then made two cross-cuts with a cutting wheel, basically dividing the rivet head into four wedges. I could then chisel out each wedge separately with less effort than trying to get the whole thing.

It was still just way too much for me physically - too much over the head stuff to be practical.
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 12:10 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,717
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
For some of my ceiling rivets, I punched out the mandrel and then made two cross-cuts with a cutting wheel, basically dividing the rivet head into four wedges. I could then chisel out each wedge separately with less effort than trying to get the whole thing.

It was still just way too much for me physically - too much over the head stuff to be practical.

We are lucky, our bus has screws in the ceiling! I helped a fellow skoolie remove her ceiling rivets and used the method you described. I actually had forgot about it.


Overhead rivet removal is a real pain in the upper body and back.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 12:38 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
tugboater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 279
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf T Liner MVP 11 window 32
Engine: CAT 3126E
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
I have heard of people using an air chisel to take the heads off. Also an angle grinder.
I have had best (only removed a very small number) results with a hammer and cold chisel followed by drilling out a couple of them that were still hanging on.
Excellent advice. This is exactly how it worked for me. I bought a couple bits, but they are still in the packaging. Angle grinder, 3 lb hammer, chisel & punch...done. Thank you.
__________________
One...slow...step...at a time.
tugboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 12:46 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
tugboater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 279
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf T Liner MVP 11 window 32
Engine: CAT 3126E
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
For those solid rivets, a cold chisel and hammer were the best for me. Keep your chisel sharp, but not a knife edge. Also, keep the chisel as close to parallel to the sheet metal as possible. an angle grinder with a grinding wheel can also be used, but I fould it to be more time consuming. Once you get the feel for it, they come out with two or three blows. Good luck.
I followed your advice word for word...great description & method. I ground down one edge of my chisel after a try with its original edge. I also zipped a vertical cut down the center with my angle grinder. After recognizing the best technique, I was able to get at least half with a single blow. Thank you very much. One side done this afternoon, tomorrow I'll get the other.
__________________
One...slow...step...at a time.
tugboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 12:59 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,717
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Excellent!
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 05:19 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,449
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
True, if the rivets have a mandrel. The ones pictured are solid rivets. I like removing the ones with mandrels ... the drill takes the mandrel out and the punch takes the body out. So simple.
The mandrels are pretty hard on drill bits. I just punch em out then shear the head off.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 07:01 AM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Yukon Cornelius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Barrie ON
Posts: 440
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
For any of the solid ones that you may end up having to drill out, A center punch is your friend. I personally like an auto punch, this will help prevent bit wander or skipping, and should lead to longer bit life and less breakage.

They are available on amazon as well as at most hardware stores, and if you plan on filling any of the holes you're punches those rivets out of a deburring tool will also come in handy for cleaning up any holes if they require it, especially any enlarged or new holes. You can get away with using an oversized bit, sort of providing you can access both sides of the hole. but if you're cleaning up an quantity of holes you quite likely will be very happy to have the deburring tool.

I've added a couple of examples from amazon, you'll notice in the section where it says "frequently bought together" that the list is auto punch, scriber, deburring tool....

just my two bits

auto punch
https://www.amazon.ca/General-Tools-...gateway&sr=8-5

deburring tool
https://www.amazon.ca/General-Tools-...HMYT6QB6VPP9ZM
__________________
Yukon

Handyman and Shenaniganizer
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/97...ion-22324.html
Yukon Cornelius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 08:11 AM   #16
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Miami, Fl.
Posts: 208
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E-Md3060
Check out this video for modifying your air chisel for easier rivet removal.

Found it posted on another thread that talks about rivet removal.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/re...ets-18071.html

Modifying your chisel really works great!

ewo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 08:13 AM   #17
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Man, those rivets almost made me cry. I only managed to get one row of ceiling panel rivets out using the mandrel punchout and chisel method over a period of several days, before I said the hell with it and cut out the parts of the ceiling between the channels with my angle grinder. I'm going to run longitudinal furring strips for the ceiling anyway, so the thin strips of metal ceiling left on the channels don't matter at all.
You have have had something wrong, it should have looked like this.

__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 08:16 AM   #18
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,449
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
You have have had something wrong, it should have looked like this.

Lookin like a boss, Josh!

That's how I've de-riveted buses and its great. Makes me wonder why folks are so scared of rivets. There are many people out there who think the headliner being screwed instead of riveted is a selling point!
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 08:41 AM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,821
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Lookin like a boss, Josh!

That's how I've de-riveted buses and its great. Makes me wonder why folks are so scared of rivets. There are many people out there who think the headliner being screwed instead of riveted is a selling point!

if most of the screws come out and you want to save the panels then screws are your friend. but if the panels are getting tossed then just blasting off the reivets seems the way to go
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 09:44 AM   #20
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
if most of the screws come out and you want to save the panels then screws are your friend. but if the panels are getting tossed then just blasting off the reivets seems the way to go
I used most of the metal I got down from my ceiling for other things. If you're talking about people putting their panels back up, that's almost certainly a bad goal unless you're doing a restomod.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×