Rivet Removal Toolss

To add insult to injury, this was the second big fubar I had made building the wings.
The first one was that I had accidently used the wrong type of rivets when assembling the spar.
I used the soft aluminum rivets instead of the hard type.
It was a major undertaking to remove and replace all of those rivets.
Now I was looking at removing a long row of the very same rivets I had already replaced!
To make matter worse, the first time I had done this job the spars were still laying flat on the work bench.
This made it somewhat easier to remove the rivets. The way I did it the first time was that I made a little tool for drilling the factory head of the rivet in the center. This tool was bolt drilled through the rivet size and counter bored the factory head size. I could hold the tool down on the factory head and use it as a drill guide to drill down through the rivet head, then the head would come off.
I would then tap the rivet out by place a small socket under the it and using a punch and hammer to remove them.
The advantage of this method was that it left the hole intact unlike using a drill.
This time there was going to be no way to hammer the rivets out.
I solved this problem by making a little press or jack out chunks of 3/4" thick aluminum that I had around the shop.
I fashioned a driver out of a carriage bolt.
This worked OK for about 2 or 3 rivets then the end would get wrung off of my rivet driver.
I guess it shouldn't be a surprize that the steel used for a bolt meant to hold wood together would be very soft.
Back to the drawing board!

Daniel Dempsey, July 2009