Introduction: Removing Rivets

I have just begun the restoration process of my tiny fiberglass trailer. When I pulled the interior lights down off of the hull, there were multiple rivets that were holding them in place, that now needed to get removed.

I gave each rivet a good tug with a pair of pliers to make sure which ones actually needed to get removed. (all of them :P)

I figured out which of my drill bits was the same size as the hole in the rivet, and then used that bit to drill out the rivets.

In summary:

1)Assess what size drill bit your rivets will need.
2)Drill out the rivet
3)Patch your hole (I'm patching this fiberglass hull with a 5 minute quick-set epoxy, the holes these rivets left behind are very small)

If you have questions, feel free to comment.

Comments

author
ilpug (author)2012-12-19

I always used a drill bit one size larger than the hole in the rivet. Works so well I can drill out steel rivets in a few seconds with a hand drill

author
audreyobscura (author)ilpug2012-12-19

good to know, i was a bit afraid of using anything bigger, and this worked great.

author
ilpug (author)audreyobscura2012-12-19

Yeah, it's very easy, you might need fifteen turns to break a heavy steel rivet, five for an aluminum. with a smaller bit, you actually drill the center out and you go through a lot more material. With a larger, you drill through the material that connects the shaft to the head, much easier.

author
russ_hensel (author)2016-09-01

Just a note to let you know I have added this to the collection: Difficult Dis-assembly: Taking Things Apart for Repair

>> https://www.instructables.com/id/Difficult-Dis-ass...

There are a lot of things that are hard to take apart and lot of methods.

author
AR10NZ (author)2012-12-21

Hi : If I have to drill out monel metal, or steel pop rivets, I always punch out the mandrel head, as it is harder than most drill bits, and will soon blunt them. I make suitable punches from ground down Ram Set nails. Cheers.

author
Tomdf (author)2012-12-19

Dang that is sure much easier than I thought it would be, ty.

author
mole1 (author)2012-12-19

Thanks for posting this! I'd heard of drilling out rivets, but never knew what to do. The script in your pictures is very hard to read because parts of the letters are missing.(at least they are missing on my computer) Could you caption the pictures instead or put it into multiple steps?

author
enfieldbullet (author)mole12012-12-19

it's the resolution of the miniatures. if you click on them they'll display right.

author
mole1 (author)enfieldbullet2012-12-19

Oh, yeah, they do! Thanks.

author
rimar2000 (author)2012-12-19

You can remove the rivets using a hand grinder, too. But beware, the grinder is far more powerful than the drill, you could easily damage the piece.

author
lime3D (author)2012-12-19

Be sure to use a sharp drill bit. If the rivets are aluminum, its not such a big deal, but it is if they are steel.

author
enfieldbullet (author)2012-12-19

great! would like to see that trailer.

author
zomfibame (author)2012-12-18

That is a cool lil trick. I like it, thanks 4 sharing

About This Instructable

29,217views

40favorites

License:

Bio: I'm an Instructables success story! After relying on the site to DIY my way through art school, I was able to join the Instructables ... More »
More by audreyobscura:16 Ways to View the EclipseCardboard Box Eclipse ViewerDIY Jeweled Sunglasses
Add instructable to: