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Old 11-10-2008, 04:50 AM
Dean Pichon Dean Pichon is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 544
Default Techniques or tools for removing pulled rivets?

Can anyone recommend a tool or technique for removing pulled (Pop) rivets? I need to remove some in the floor of my -4 and recall the bodies often would often spin when I tried to drill them out during the construction phase.

Aircraft Spruce offers this tool:

but I am relucant to spend the $50+ without a recommendation.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Dean Pichon
Bolton, MA
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:39 AM
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JohnJacobsen JohnJacobsen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Taylor, TX
Posts: 98

They are button heads not countersunk right? Button heads you can grind off the head with a die grinder and abrasive wheel. Then punch out the body when the head is gone. Use caution not to grind on your floor skins though. Hope that helps.
John Jacobsen
RV7 Flying "Aluminum Falcon"
Zenith CH750 (Scratch building) SOLD
Locost 7 (Lotus 7 replica)
Taylor TX

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:13 AM
PJSeipel PJSeipel is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Albany, GA for the moment
Posts: 294

First thing I do is punch out the stem. Then I've found that with a sharp drill bit, minimal pressure, and a high drill speed, the bit usually doesn't catch and cause the rivet to spin.

I've drilled out a bunch and never had a need for a special tool.

PJ Seipel
RV-10 #40032
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:26 PM
andrew phillips's Avatar
andrew phillips andrew phillips is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Carp, Ont
Posts: 347
Default use something sharp

I use something sharp like a knife or chisel to "hold" the rivet body so that it doesn't spin while I am drilling. Then use light drilling pressure and high speed. This has worked for me on a number of occasions
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:58 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887


Check out this thread:

Lots of tips on how to remove different kinds of rivets.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:11 PM
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Paul LeDoux Paul LeDoux is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sharpsburg, Ga.
Posts: 58
Talking Avery tool

I purchased this tool from Avery and it works extremely well. I recommend it.
RV-8 slooow Q/B
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:23 PM
BillSchlatterer BillSchlatterer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 571
Default Too simple but it works

I know this sounds too easy but I have used it a 100 or so times and never had a problem. This is on raised head pull rivets like the LP series.

Just take an electric drill with a 7/16 drill bit and drill it out,.... whoa though,..

Actually, just drill fairly slowly with reasonable pressure. The bit is so much bigger than the rivet head that it looks like it is cutting almost flat. As you remove enough material that you think you will actually get through the head and into the underlying material, the head will catch and just spin off leaving no marks and the stem of the rivet. Just punch or pull it out.

I have never had a well set rivet spin using this method but if the rivet is loose, this won't work unless you can hold the rivet stem. If you have to do that, I like the small flush side cutters that you use to cut electrical wire. These will hold, cut, and pull.

It also helps if you have to punch out the stem to back it up on the shop head side. I use a piece of lead shaped like a solid tube about 3 inches long with a 1/4" hole about 1/2" deep drilled in the end. Put the shop head in the hole so that it backs up the material. That way, when you punch the rivet stem, it won't distort the material around the hole. One made of wood will work but the lead is so dense, it really works much better with more mass.

Hope any of that helps!

Bill S
7a Finishing
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