4 Tips for Drilling Pop Rivets

rivet gun and rivets
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
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Pop rivets is a brand name for the commercially available blind rivets. Blind rivets are rivets that are extremely useful when fastening sheets in which one side of the joint is unreachable, or blind. Blind rivets were developed much later in order to meet this requirement, because earlier rivets (solid and semi tubular) could only be used if both ends were accessible.

What are Rivets?

Rivets are cylindrical metal fasteners. They come in various sizes, and are usually made of stainless steel or aluminum. Each rivet has one end blunted out into a head, while the other end is usually referred to as the buck-tail. The buck-tail is drilled into whatever surface needs fastening, and then bent or deformed to secure the rivet. In blind rivets, there is no head—instead, there is a mandrel provided in the center of the rivet.

Commonly, rivets are used to hold or fasten metal (and even thin plastic) sheets together. They are easy to use, and even though they are drilled into metal sheets, the user always has the option of pulling the rivets out and separating the sheets without causing any damage. Here are four tips for drilling pop rivets.

1. Safety First

rivet gun and rivets

When undertaking any carpentry/electrical project, no matter how simple it is, get all the safety gear in place. This may seem like a frivolous suggestion, but in the case of an accident or an incident, it is the most essential. Be sure to stock up on safety gloves and goggles, and keep a first-aid kit handy.

2. Get the Right Equipment

There are certain things you will need before you begin drilling pop rivets. These include metal sheets, a drill, pop rivets, and a pop rivet gun. If you’ve never used a drill before, be sure to remember when choosing the right drill for your project, opt for one that is slightly larger (at least 1/32 inches larger than the rivet’s center) than the rivet itself. Anything smaller and the rivet will end up being larger than the hole. If you aren’t sure of the right size, consult the store assistant to help you zero in on the correct set.

3. Secure in the Rivet

rivet gun and rivets

Remember to use the proper size of mandrel depending on the size of the rivet. Insert the rivet shank into the mandrel and squeeze the rivet gun until the rivet is so compressed that the shank detaches. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t worry. Drill the old rivet out, and use a new rivet; however, use the same drill bit.

4. Remove the Rivet

Removing the rivet is just as simple and easy as drilling it in. It can be done without damaging the metal sheets. All you have to do is place the drill along the center of the rivet head and start drilling. Slowly pull out the entire cylindrical rivet in one movement. Once the rivet is out, stop drilling.