IF YOUR PROJECT USES rivets, chances are you’ll need to remove a rivet that
wasn’t properly set. Here’s how to do it.
1/ Take a sharp drill bit the same size as the diameter of the rivet; for example, a 1/8-inch diameter rivet is drilled with a #30 drill bit. Drill in the exact
center of the head. The little dimple in the head of an AN rivet can serve the
same purpose as a center punch to start your drill. In a pulled rivet you’ll
have the mandrel hole to act as your guide.
Drill just deep enough to penetrate the head of the rivet, but not through
the body of the rivet. Do not enlarge or deform the rivet hole or you won’t be
able to replace the defective rivet with one of the same size.
2/ Using a pin punch in the hole you’ve just drilled, apply some sideways pressure to snap off the head of the rivet, leaving the body in the hole. The rivet is
now ready to be removed.
3/ Support the part so that you’ve got clearance to drive the defective rivet
out the back side. We used a large hex nut, but you could use a socket or a
piece of wood with a hole drilled in it as well. You just need room to drive the
rivet clear of the part. Use your pin punch and a hammer to drive the rivet
out and you’re ready to set a new rivet in its place.