Drill bit walking on Rivets - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #1
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Drill bit walking on Rivets

First post to one of the best communities I've ever joined. I recently purchased an 89 scamp and I'm attempting to drill out the rivets so that I can replace them with SS bolts. Problem is that half of the rivets have the mandrel (nail) sticking out of the head. As a result, the drill bit starts to walk when I try to drill the rivet out. Has anyone experienced this. Any ideas on how beat to handle this? I was thinking a dremel or perhaps a deburring tool. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Al
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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If you go to an AUTOBODY supply store they do have a special drill bit with a pilot bit that they use In This case
They use them for semi trucks mostly
But I used it on my boler and it worked great
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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Or you could use a Dremel tool, one of their attachments should work out just fine.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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I started with a smaller drill bit which stayed centered better. Then once I had the hole started, I switched to a larger one.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great ideas. I'm going to try the rotary tool with an aluminum oxide grinding tip first. I'll let folks know how that turns out.

Thanks again,
Al
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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When I did my windows I had that issue with a few of the rivets, I used a small punch and hammered the pin inwards to allow the drill bit a spot to seat...worked well for me
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quickest, easiest, & most economical way is to use a punch.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry&Carrie View Post
Quickest, easiest, & most economical way is to use a punch.
That was my thought.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:48 AM   #9
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Try using a cold chisel to severe the head of the rivet off. Then use a center punch to remove the body of the rivet. It doesn't elongate the hole or dig into the fiberglass. I've also drilled through the center of the rivet and removed them that way also.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:16 PM   #10
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Thanks again for the great feedback. Hopefully this thread is useful for folks that end up encountering a similar problem. I ended up grinding down the head and mandrel with my rotary tool. Then used a chisel to cut off the remainder of the head. At that point I punched the body through.

I was kind of surprised to see so many of the nails poking out from the rivet. I would think that would be an exception to the rule but on my Scamp it seems to happen with more than half of the exterior rivets.

This is my first time renovating a scamp (or any trailer) so I'm sure this was just the first of many questions I'll have for the group.

Thanks again,
Al
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