How to Remove Tubular Rivets

What You'll Need
Dremel tool
Carbide dremel bit
Drift punch
Center punch
Carbide drill bit

A tubular rivet is one of many types of fasteners. This particular rivet is round in nature. The shaft of a tubular rivet is smooth and the head is typically flat and solid. Some rivets will have a hole at the top. You will find rivets being used on airplanes, battleships, cars and even wood. Once chooses to use a tubular rivet because they are incredibly difficult to remove once they are in place. The following article will explain how you can remove tubular rivets.

Step 1 - Head of the Rivet

A tubular rivet will be fastened tightly and removing it is no easy task. Attach the carbide tip to the dremel tool and begin grinding the head of the tubular rivet. Continue grinding it until the head is no more and you can see the stem of the tubular rivet. It will be sunken into the surface.

Step 2 - Denting the Stem

In order to remove the tubular rivet you need to be able to grip it. Use the center punch and indent the top of the tubular rivet. This will give you a starting point for the drill bit. This is very important as the head of the rivet is now either flush with the surface or just slightly below it.

Step 3 - Drilling the Stem

Attach the carbide drill bit to the drill. Make sure the diameter of the drill bit is smaller than the diameter of the tubular rivet. Line the drill bit up with the rivet trying to get as center as possible. Begin drilling a pilot hole. You do not have to go further than 1/8 of an inch.

Step 4 - Removing the Tubular Rivet

Now that you have a nice pilot hole in the tubular rivet you can easily remove it. Place the tip of the drift punch inside the pilot hole. Lightly tap the drift punch when it is in place. This should remove the tubular rivet by pushing it out of the hole. If this does not work then you have to take a stiffer approach. When using the drift punch be very careful that you do not make the hole larger. If you do this you will need to replace the tubular rivet with a larger one.

If the rivet has not been pushed out; then place the drill bit in the punched section of the head. Put a lot of pressure on the drill as you drill out the center of the stem. The rivet will be pushed out the other side. Using the drill gives you added torque which will dislodge the rivet and push it through.

Step 5 - Replace the Rivet

Assuming you were very careful with removing the rivet you can now replace it with a rivet of the same size. If you accidentally widened the hole then you may need to experiment with different rivets.