Pop Riveting - How to Use a Pop Rivet Gun to Rivet Metal or Plastic Sheets

Summary: Learn how to pop rivet. Pop riveting is a technique that is used to join or rivet thin pieces or sheets of metal or plastic. We show you how to use a pop riveting gun to get your riveting project done - sorry we couldn't resist the pun!

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For our entire timber joints and riveting section we are very grateful to www.technologystudent.com for allowing the use of their material. All images and text are © V. Ryan 2002

Pop riveting is a technique that is used to join thin pieces of metal and it can also be used to join plastic sheet. The rivet has two parts; the pin and the rivet. The pop rivet pliers are used to pull the pin through the rivet and as this happens the rivet is deformed slightly so that it joins the metal or plastic pieces. This is explained in detail below.

This technique is used where the metal or plastic is thin and where the joint does not have to be very strong. It is ideal for joining aluminium or even thin sheet plastic.

Holes drilled in materials to be joined and rivet inserted

The two pieces of plastic or aluminium are drilled to a size slightly larger than the rivet

Pop rivet pushed into hole in materials to be joined

The pop rivet is passed through both holes in the sheet plastic / aluminium

Using a pop-rivet gun

Rivet gun pushed over pin and handles squeezed together

The rivet pliers are pushed on to the pin of the rivet and the handles are pulled together. As this happens the pin head is pulled into the rivet and the end of the rivet is expanded. Eventually the pin will break off leaving the rivet permanently fixed in position holding the two pieces of plastic / aluminium together.

Take a look at our video section on using a rivet gun to watch a variety of short films on various ways to pop rivet..

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