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Discussion Starter #1
Remember back last year when OOW started selling the parts sets with the piece of rsp still intact and there was a lot of different and confusing responses to the difficulty factor of removing that chunk of plate. One of the original posts came right after one of our Florida builds and it took us about 2 hours to get that plate off and others responded that it only took them about 30 minutes, or thereabout. Others responded with stories in both categories.

This weekend at the NOVA build the light bulb came on and everyone was right. We had about 5 or more OOW kits and one or two took only a few minutes to grind and punch out the old rivets. One set took over two hours and the rest took almost 1.5 to 2 hours. Why the big difference in time? All the builders were really good with tools so there were no mentally deficients, like me, that were taking four times as long. These poor guys beat on those rivets with a punch and BFH so hard and for so long that the bottom plates were bent into a U shape before we noticed it.

I got to looking closely at the first one being difficult. He was doing the usual stuff and had ground the rivet heads off, but they still wouldn't punch out. I looked at it and even though the heads were gone the rivet pieces still in the bottom plate were still full size of the rivet head. I asked him to grind more off the side of the bottom plate and he took a good 1/16" off the side and the rivet was still full size.

Then it became apparent what the problem was. The rivet holes were countersunk on the outside as well as on the inside and when the rivets were set they smashed out into the countersink. The plates like that had to be drilled out first and then the riverts removed. After they were removed the countersinks were obvious.

Then you ask, how did we fix those U shaped bottom plates? We took tankers bucking wedges and by tightening them up between the bottom plate flanges that pushed the flanges apart which pulled the floor of the plate back up...on a couple of them we still had to go to the anvil and use a wood block to tweak them a little until they were really flat. They got them all back perfectly flat and when we went to square everything up all the parts slid into place just fine and the backplates inserted perfectly.

There's no way to tell from the outside whether you get an easy one or a tough one, but at least now we know that none of us are tool inept or crazy and were just imagining it :).

The solution is that if you remove the head down to the surface and the rivet diameter is still larger than 3/16", then you might as well stop beating your bottom plate and start drilling.

After leaving I realized that we made a big mistake throwing out those old pieces of plate. If we ever run into that again, after grinding off the rivet heads, we could have clamped them to the bottom plate and used them for a drill guide to remove future difficult rivets. That would save the hassle of trying to centerpunch each one and then trying to keep the drill bit from walking in that hard metal. GWR1, if you read this and haven't emptied that big garbage can yet, there was at least one in there.
 

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That's how I got my RSP off, by drilling. I guess I was lucky I didn't have a punch and a BFH at the time. Since I hardly ever throw anything out I still have the piece of RSP. Keep up the good work.
 

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PhD in Over-Engineering
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lobo- I have found that to be true of most of the bottom plates I have worked with. I personally only had one of the OOW kits like that, but I have noticed that the counter sink on the outside of the bottom plate is common. I have removed a couple of bottom plates from the left plate too. Once I get the rivets flush, I countersink them to get rid of most of the head, being careful not to go into the bottom plate itself. Then I go half way through the rivet with a drill smaller than 3/16 and they punch out real easy. :)
 

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I used the same practice of grinding, drilling about 1/8? into the rivet and pounding them through. Fortunately I did it prior to the build day.

Consequently I found out that if you take the burr off the cut side of the remainder of the RSP it makes a good wrench to remove the booster. Well it did on my Izzy kit anyway, fits the slot perfectly.
 

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I use my rivet shaver to shave the heads off of the rivets, then I use an old rivet set ground into a drift shape in the rivet gun. Pushes 'em right out and shears off the remainder of the countersink from the rivet.

I can do a whole bottom plate in about a minute.
 

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I use an angle grinder and just cut down the middle (looking at it from the top) of that chunk of RSP. Doesn't matter if it's countersunk or not.
Just don't cut too deep because you could damage the bottom plate.
 

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RSP Piece

I saved the RSP piece when I removed it from my OOW kit that I built the 1919 Water Cooled on. After removing it, I said that if I ever built another 1919, I would use the piece for checking the holes to be drilled in the SA RSP. Lobo, that is an excellent idea to use as a drilling guide for Rivet removal. I sure am glad I saved it now. I guess being a "pack rat" of a sort paid off this time!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thx M1 for re-posting that.
 
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