Sheet metal can be joined with self-tapping screws, but they often work loose
and leave the screw point sticking out. Pop rivets are the ideal way to join
thin materials and they’re very quick and neat.
There are two main types, the most common is the open variety, but if you need
better water protection the seal type is the one to use. They are commonly
available in aluminium and stainless steel. They’re simple to use:
Step 1: Select the right drill bit
(the correct size is printed on the pack) and use a riveting bit rather than
a standard twist drill. These bits are double ended so you’ll get more use
Step 2: Drill the hole so that the two
pieces line up perfectly, and then insert the pop rivet into the riveter.
Make sure the head matches the size of your rivet’s “mandrel”, and then slip
the rivet into the head. Bring the riveter to the job and insert the rivet
fully into the hole. Squeeze the handle, possible three or four times, until
the mandrel snaps off. That’s it! Simply open the riveter handles to eject
the spent mandrel and you’re ready for the next rivet.
Pop rivets are great for
fixing when you can’t reach the other side of the job, and get a good quality
riveter with interchangeable heads so you can use the full range of rivets.