pop rivets are my nemesis - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-02-2021, 05:44 PM   #1
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Name: Lynn W
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pop rivets are my nemesis

I am still struggling with the pop rivets. I've removed pop rivets before(yrs ago) so I know what to do. These are NOT budging. I'm wondering if a previous owner 'helped' them with some super glue. But, even if glue was used, all the vibrations from the drill should break any seal. I really need to take off the swollen particle board doors. I've used different drill bits. Nothing works, not even the 5X titanium bits. There's not enough room to use a hack saw.
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Old 07-02-2021, 10:18 PM   #2
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Pop rivets

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Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
I am still struggling with the pop rivets. I've removed pop rivets before(yrs ago) so I know what to do. These are NOT budging. I'm wondering if a previous owner 'helped' them with some super glue. But, even if glue was used, all the vibrations from the drill should break any seal. I really need to take off the swollen particle board doors. I've used different drill bits. Nothing works, not even the 5X titanium bits. There's not enough room to use a hack saw.
You can't get the rivet out after the head is off or you can't even drill the head off. If the latter, the rivet is turning in the hole or the drill is turning the wrong way.
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
You can't get the rivet out after the head is off or you can't even drill the head off. If the latter, the rivet is turning in the hole or the drill is turning the wrong way.
Or they could be stainless steel rivets. Stainless can be difficult to drill. If stainless, drill at slow speed and use kerosene as a cutting fluid.
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Old 07-03-2021, 05:10 AM   #4
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Are these factory rivets as I do not believe trillium used rivets
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Old 07-03-2021, 05:38 AM   #5
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As Ken suggested.. its not clear what the problem is. Is the rivet head coming off but the body is stuck? Thats common and takes some effort, force or ingenuity to push it out... or it it you cant get the head off? Could be spinning the entire rivet if its loose. Or it is something else? Photos help.
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:51 AM   #6
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The rivets appear to be aluminum with LOTS of washers. They don't spin. I've been able to drill out the centers of 2 of them but the post is still fixed. I'm not planning on replacing the doors. I just want them off. After I've actually used the Trillium I'll decide if or how I'll cover the openings.
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Old 07-03-2021, 11:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
The rivets appear to be aluminum with LOTS of washers.....
Lots of washers on EACH rivet or one washer per rivet? Trying to picture this without a picture.
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Old 07-03-2021, 12:23 PM   #8
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Lynn, I no longer have my Trillium 4500 so I can't check, but are you able to access the remains of the rivet from inside the cabinet? If so you may be able to extract the rivet from behind using a narrow pair of pliers or vise-grip type wrench.

Generally if you use a drill bit large enough to drill off the head of the rivet, the remains can be extracted using needle nosed pliers or narrow vise-grips. To get a good grip on the rivet remains you might have to first pop off the hinges.
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Old 07-03-2021, 12:46 PM   #9
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Name: Lynn W
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pop rivets, my nemesis

I've tried EVERY suggestion made. Multiple washers on some. Can't get to the back of the pop rivets, but can FEEL a slight protrusion that's not big enough to grab even with needle nose pliers. Unable to get in there today for a picture... rainy season... dark, dreary & wet. I don't want to plug in the extension cord while standing in water so I'd have light.
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Old 07-07-2021, 12:15 PM   #10
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Rivets

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Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
The rivets appear to be aluminum with LOTS of washers. They don't spin. I've been able to drill out the centers of 2 of them but the post is still fixed. I'm not planning on replacing the doors. I just want them off. After I've actually used the Trillium I'll decide if or how I'll cover the openings.
Some aluminum rivets have steel mandrills this makes them harder to drill. We used the Stanley closed end marine rivets with both aluminum and steel mandrills for work on our trailer. The boler has rivet go through wall into a bracket that after rivet head is removed the bracket can be unscrewed from frame inside pulled inward and then you can bull rest out from other side of bracket. We changed the screws in brackets to inner frames for stainless Robertson screws.

Hope this helps with your trailer
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Old 07-10-2021, 06:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
I've tried EVERY suggestion made. Multiple washers on some. Can't get to the back of the pop rivets, but can FEEL a slight protrusion that's not big enough to grab even with needle nose pliers. Unable to get in there today for a picture... rainy season... dark, dreary & wet. I don't want to plug in the extension cord while standing in water so I'd have light.
I’ve had an issue that mayb similar with 1 evil rivet on an external water fill cup.
After drilling this 1(the other 2 came out easily) it left the outside twisted and part sticking out. I tried all the pliers ( regular , needle nose, and hemostats) finally used a punch with a thin finishing nail to push it through.
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Old 07-11-2021, 11:45 AM   #12
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I've tried everything recommended w/o success

Thank you all, but I have tried everything recommended and then some without any progress. The pop rivets are still intact and in place. I'm giving my brain a rest and attacking the vintage grime hoping I'll have a new revelation (while I sweat)on how to remove them.
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Old 07-11-2021, 02:40 PM   #13
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When you get a chance please attach a photo. Puzzles like this are very interesting. Wondering if it’s a hex screw with washers bc none of my rivets have/had washers ?? Enjoy the brain rest and when ready to look at it again photos would be wonderful to help my curiosity
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:37 AM   #14
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sorry, no pictures

I've tried to upload a picture of the rivets but my phone(with the camera) is an android and my computer is a Mac. Everything is so tiny on the phone I can't get it to post and since the phone & laptop are not compatible, I'll need someone more techy than me to complete the task.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
I've tried to upload a picture of the rivets but my phone(with the camera) is an android and my computer is a Mac. Everything is so tiny on the phone I can't get it to post and since the phone & laptop are not compatible, I'll need someone more techy than me to complete the task.
If the phone is a Samsung they have an app to connect phone to computer. Then you can transfer or upload the image. The app was pre installed on my A51 phone just had to activate; option was apple or windows. Now the computer and phone want to link too much lol.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
I've tried to upload a picture of the rivets but my phone(with the camera) is an android and my computer is a Mac. Everything is so tiny on the phone I can't get it to post and since the phone & laptop are not compatible, I'll need someone more techy than me to complete the task.

Try emailing the saved phone photo to your email that you can access from both phone and computer then, from email upload to computer??
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lynn W in FL View Post
I've tried to upload a picture of the rivets but ...
Below are two of the three photos that Lynn took.
Attached Thumbnails
20210704_123652.jpg   20210704_123703.jpg  

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Old 07-12-2021, 04:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Below are two of the three photos that Lynn took.
The rivets in the picture do not look like they have been drilled. You need to use a drill the size of the hole the rivets are in. Most likely 1/8 or maybe 3/16.
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:22 PM   #19
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So we can see that the head is still attached. I would suggest a very slightly larger drill bit, and drill only about one millimeter deep. The area I highlighted in red is the head and once the drill bit separates it from the rest of the rivet, the head should pop off. You might have to pry it off a little. Now if the head spins when you drill it then I would try to stop it from spinning with a screwdriver, large nail, etc. held against the edge. Then slowly drill the head - not deep - just to get the head loose. Then push the mandrill (shaft) in.

See this video. Note that he can access the other side to remove the rivet but perhaps you cannot and just need to push it in and let it fall where it will.

It can help to install a rivet or three in some scrap material and practice removing it. And yes, sometimes they don't come out easily.

PS..
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlD View Post
The rivets in the picture do not look like they have been drilled. You need to use a drill the size of the hole the rivets are in. Most likely 1/8 or maybe 3/16.
They do look like they were drilled to me.. just too narrow to get the head off.

Attached Thumbnails
20210704_123703_redhead.jpg  
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