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Old 05-27-2021, 08:49 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2021
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Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas (37 ft)
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rivets be gone

Hello!!! I'm Jules and I recently won an auction for a 2005 Thomas school bus. I'll be picking it up on the 8th 🤗

I've been doing slot of research into builds(as we should. It's also why I found this forum) and one thing I've seen everyone struggle with is how to get rid of the rivets in the ceiling and walls. Are there specific tools/techniques you used that made it faster/easier?

What I've gathered is an air chisel might do the job well? Any ideas?

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Old 05-27-2021, 09:06 AM   #2
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This guy's video is the best description of that process that I've seen. He shows how to grind the chisel tip and how to use the tool...all in a video that's less than 5 minutes long.

Oh, and congratulations and welcome to the madness!

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Old 05-27-2021, 09:36 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ahh thank you so much!!
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:51 AM   #4
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I'd add that to use the air chisel you want a compressor with some storage capacity so that you can keep at it. However, I removed all my rivets using a tiny pancake compressor; you can do maybe 5 or 6 rivets before you have to stop for a minute or two and let the pressure build back up. It just means it will take you an hour and a half instead of 45 minutes. My hands didn't feel like enduring that continuous vibration anyway (I recommend vibration-dampening gloves as well).
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Old 05-27-2021, 03:19 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I'd add that to use the air chisel you want a compressor with some storage capacity so that you can keep at it. However, I removed all my rivets using a tiny pancake compressor; you can do maybe 5 or 6 rivets before you have to stop for a minute or two and let the pressure build back up. It just means it will take you an hour and a half instead of 45 minutes. My hands didn't feel like enduring that continuous vibration anyway (I recommend vibration-dampening gloves as well).
Would you be able to send me a link/a picture of what that compressor thingy would look like so I know what to buy?
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:24 PM   #6
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Sure, this is the one you probably don't want (although it would do the job slowly):

https://www.harborfreight.com/3-gall...sor-61615.html

This one would let you burn right through the job without stopping:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-20...202H/312074157
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Old 05-27-2021, 05:37 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Sure, this is the one you probably don't want (although it would do the job slowly):

https://www.harborfreight.com/3-gall...sor-61615.html

This one would let you burn right through the job without stopping:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-20...202H/312074157
I would need to buy a gun for it as well? And a hose? I'm not sure how that works
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:08 PM   #8
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Here is everything you would need to buy (at a bare minimum) to remove your rivets in this fashion:

https://www.harborfreight.com/air-im...kit-92037.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/7-in-l...-pc-68276.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-...ose-56569.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/3-gall...sor-61615.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/4-oz-a...oil-68094.html

You need the extra chisel set because it includes the pointy tool; you use this first to push in all the mandrels (the thin round cylinders in the middle of each rivet). Then you switch to the flat chisel (either the one in the extra set or the one that comes with the air hammer) to knock the heads off all the rivets. You'll probably want to use a grinding wheel (if you have one or have access to one) to sharpen the chisel, as this will make it work better.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:11 PM   #9
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These are the gloves I recommend. I wear these for absolutely everything I do on the bus now.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:22 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Here is everything you would need to buy (at a bare minimum) to remove your rivets in this fashion:

https://www.harborfreight.com/air-im...kit-92037.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/7-in-l...-pc-68276.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-...ose-56569.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/3-gall...sor-61615.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/4-oz-a...oil-68094.html

You need the extra chisel set because it includes the pointy tool; you use this first to push in all the mandrels (the thin round cylinders in the middle of each rivet). Then you switch to the flat chisel (either the one in the extra set or the one that comes with the air hammer) to knock the heads off all the rivets. You'll probably want to use a grinding wheel (if you have one or have access to one) to sharpen the chisel, as this will make it work better.
Now those are prices I can get behind 😅 and all of that is decent quality? I just don't want it breaking halfway through demo.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:33 PM   #11
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Now those are prices I can get behind 😅 and all of that is decent quality? I just don't want it breaking halfway through demo.
I've had generally good experiences with Harbor Freight tools. My 3/8" drill, pneumatic riveter and electric shears from there have held up for over two years and a huge amount of usage. The air chisel will probably hold up at least long enough to get all the de-riveting finished.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:40 PM   #12
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You're an absolute angel thank you!!
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