I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of removing a rivet but let us tell you that it’s a chore. I understand it’s an incredible tool -sturdy, long lasting, durable- during the construction process but for those of you who are preparing to remove them, know that it’s not a picnic.
We decided to remove all of the ceiling panels and the side panels to inspect our insulation and replace it with something that would give us a better chance at keeping our bus cool and warm depending on the season. The insulation in our bus was sloppy and really didn’t do much, to be honest.
The first was to use a pneumatic chisel and take off all the heads of the rivets. While a great idea in theory, sadly, our little compressor wasn’t up to the task. If you happen to have a large compressor that can deliver the CFM go for it. You will be much happier than we were.
The second idea that we found was to use an angle grinder and grind/cut the heads off. We attempted this and for whatever reason it didn’t seem to work that well, we actually saw the metals fuse together while trying to cut them off.
The third was to use a drill to go through the heads and pop the pins. When we tried this, we just kept breaking drill bits and it didn’t seem worth it. If you YouTube videos, you can see many people have success this way but it depends on the rivet type and tools perhaps.
And finally, the most brutal and yet successful option, we ended up using a punch
to pop the center pin out of the rivet and then use a chisel and hammer to cut the head off.
Our arms got tired…. not to mention our backs.
We worked pretty well together, Cheyenne went ahead, popping the pins out and Blake would follow behind and knock the heads off. We were able to get the whole ceiling down in an afternoon.
After that, we pulled all of the insulation out of the bus. Blake actually repurposed the old bus insulation in the attic of the house. Some of it was pretty nasty, we itched and itched, even after taking showers.
WEAR – Long sleeves, pants, gloves, masks and goggles !!!!!!
In the end, it’s all worth it.