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Thread: Re-riveting aluminum holes

  1. #1

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    Re-riveting aluminum holes

    After removing a river, there usually is some markings around the hole, sometimes some deformation. Definitely different from its original state, before having a rivet pulled on it. Is there any preparations one needs to perform prior to pulling a river on that hole?

    also, as an aside, does a spinning rivet mean it was badly set and therefore not achieving maximum holding force?

    Thanks very much for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Spinning rivets are indeed not set right. They are a pain to remove because when you try to drill them they want to turn with the bit. You'll typically need to jam something (a small flat head screwdriver) into them to stop the turning while you drill. Some also say putting tape over the rivet prior to drilling will work.

    If you deformed the area around the hole you need to be more careful driving and removing the rivet. Typically the hole may be enlarged by the removal process, you need to go larger on the rivet shank. Back in the glory days of riveting aircraft together, the workers would have special rivets with larger shafts but the same sized head. They were jokingly named after the competition. Lockheed called them Douglas rivets... etc...

  3. #3
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    Back in the glory days of riveting aircraft together, the workers would have special rivets with larger shafts but the same sized head. They were jokingly named after the competition. Lockheed called them Douglas rivets... etc...
    Solid rivets with over-size shanks are still available. In the RV community they are referred to as "Oops rivets".
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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    Solid rivets with over-size shanks are still available. In the RV community they are referred to as "Oops rivets".
    Yeah, I didn't mean to imply they weren't available, I was just relating the story of the riveters referring to them as belonging to their competitor.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamP View Post
    After removing a river, there usually is some markings around the hole, sometimes some deformation. Definitely different from its original state, before having a rivet pulled on it. Is there any preparations one needs to perform prior to pulling a river on that hole?
    I usually run a rivet gun over the hole with a flush set and flat bucking bar on the back side to smooth out irregularities like that.

    also, as an aside, does a spinning rivet mean it was badly set and therefore not achieving maximum holding force?
    Are you referring to a solid rivet or a pop rivet? Pop rivets spin all the time when removing as the shank does not tighten in the hole like a solid rivet. Might as well start off with vice grips on the backside.....

  6. #6

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    I was thinking a pop rivet could possibly be squeezed a bit in a vice to bulge the diameter a few thousands. (with the steel mandrel removed)

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the response and sorry for not being clear. My application is pop rivets. See photo. You can see that there is some marring under where the rivet was (some marring was due to the rivet removal tool I used). Do I need to buff them out?

    PS. I don't think the holes were deburred prior to the rivet being set. I'm taking apart a kit I bought used to get at another damaged part.

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    Last edited by SamP; 09-06-2018 at 10:42 PM.

  8. #8

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    I would knock off any high spots. Completely removing all the scratches will require too much metal removal. When removing a pop rivet they spin all the time. The drill lip digging in is all it takes. Do you knock the stem out before removing?

  9. #9

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    Smooth the scratches on the skin edge. Cracks only start at cut edges. The spin groove doesn't go to any edge, so no problem.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    I would knock off any high spots. Completely removing all the scratches will require too much metal removal. When removing a pop rivet they spin all the time. The drill lip digging in is all it takes. Do you knock the stem out before removing?
    Yes, I did knock out the stem, so I started pretty much on center every time.

    I typically drill until the rivet removal tool bottoms out. A few whacks with a spring loaded punch breaks the top part. I have a second punch set at a lower setting to punch out the shop head (back part).

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