Follow us on Twitter Follow us on FaceBook Kitplanes Videos Get RSS Feed
 

Shop Tips

May 2017 Issue




Drilling Out Rivets.

Building an airplane is oftentimes a process that requires undoing work that you hoped was complete. We frequently have to drill out rivets because they are improperly set—or worse, we left something undone inside a component that we had to close up (or we just can't find that 3/8-inch socket we were using inside the wing bay). Whatever the reason, those people building aluminum airplanes, and those doing just about anything with engine baffles, will occasionally need to remove a rivet. Here are the basic steps.

1. The factory head on this universal-head rivet is fine, but the shop head wasn't up to spec, so out it comes. Note the dimple in the center of the head; this can be enough for experienced builders to use to center their drill bit.

2. For those new to the game, however, a little deeper starting point might help. An automatic center punch is useful in this case; just a couple of pops, and the drill won't be able to wander.

3. Start the drill with a few short, slow pulls of the trigger; the idea is to center the bit in the dimple before starting to really drill. Once you start drilling, make sure you actively steer the bit into the center of the rivet head.

4. You aren't trying to drill all the way through the rivet shank—just deep enough to separate the head from the shank. If you feel that you are drilling into the surrounding material, stop!

5. Use the back side of a jobber drill bit (the same size as your rivet) inserted into the hole to break off the head.

6. If your hole is properly centered, just rocking the tool in a circle should pop the head loose.

7. The tool may then be used to push the tail of the rivet out the other side, leaving a clean hole for your next riveting attempt.

8. If you do a clean job removing the rivet, you will be able to keep the shop and factory heads as souvenirs. (Unfortunately, even the best builders have quite a collection of drilled-out rivets, so they won't fetch much money on the collector's circuit.)

9. Drilling out flush rivets uses the same process. After center-punching the factory head, start the drill slowly and drill down just until you reach the shank.

10. You don't have to go very deep—just enough to almost separate the head from the shank itself. Use the back end of a drill bit to break the head off, just as you did for the universal-head rivet.

11. If you have perfectly centered the drill bit, the remains of the head might just climb the bit itself. In either case, pop the remains of the shank and shop head out the back side and get on with your build.

Download File

Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Photo by Richard VanderMeulen
N958PD first flightSubSonex Serial #21 (N958PD) made its first flight out of the Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada on the 24th of March, 2019. Winter kept trying to hang on in the Sierra Nevada mountains, but the weather smiled on us, I had a great crew that made themselves available on short notice, and we got "Loki" …
RANS S-6 N646GTN646GT started with six members in an LLC, and currently has four left, 10 years after we bought the kit. One of our team is Richard Hogan, the designer of the new Commutercraft. Our RANS S-6 started construction at a hangar at the now defunct Mathis Airport in Suwannee, Georgia, then moved to another hangar …
Phillabaum-HelicycleFirst flight of my Helicycle helicopter was on January 31, 2019 after two years of part-time building. Previously, before I retired, I built an RV-8 and a Zenith 750. The Helicycle was my first post- retirement project. I discovered I had more building time when I was working. Now trips, lake time, skiing, etc. interfere …

lycoming-thunderbolt-o-360-redAt Sun 'n Fun 2018 we interviewed Jeff Schans, Lycoming's Sales manager and we asked about the popular Thunderbolt Engines. Watch the short Product Minute video as Jeff describes the benefits of the Thunderbolt product line and what it means for the aircraft homebuilder.
Dynon Avionics' latest-generation SkyView integrated avionics called the SkyView HDX has a newly designed bezel and user controls for easier use while flying in turbulence, plus brighter displays and a reworked touch interface. Larry Anglisano takes a product tour of the HDX with Dynon's Michael Schoefield in this video.
Video Archive

IMPORTANT CUSTOMER SERVICE NOTICE TO KITPLANES SUBSCRIBERS:


All mailed correspondence, including subscription invoices, renewals, and gift notices, will bear our address:
PO BOX 8535
Big Sandy, TX 75755

Third parties claiming to be selling KITPLANES subscriptions are not legitimate.