Installing a Blind Rivet

What You'll Need
Pop rivet tool
Pop rivets
Drill bit that will match the diameter of selected rivet

A blind rivet is a simple fastener for metals that is made from stainless steel, aluminum or plain steel. It is alternatively called a pop rivet but Pop is actually a brand name for this kind of rivet. Blind rivets are relatively easy to install and can be installed from one side only, as compared to a solid rivet which requires two persons; one with a rivet hammer positioned on one side of the structure and another one on the other side that has a bucking bar. The whole process is also relatively short, which only takes a few seconds. Hence, you can always install blind rivets yourself. You do not have to worry about having no experience and making mistakes since the metals that you are going to rivet together can be attached together in another way or re-riveted by just removing the previous pop rivet that you installed.

Step 1 - Considering The Variables

The success of your riveting job will depend on how well you have done the job. It is then important that you consider some aspects in your structure design in order to have good well fastened joints. Some of these variables include the hole size, configuration, tool access, joint type, hole type, rivet size, kind of material, thickness of material and tightness of clinch.

Step 2 - Cleaning The Riveting Area

Ensure a smoother finish of your riveting job by clearing away all rough areas and burrs from the area that you will be riveting.

Step 3 - Drilling for the Blind Rivets

To accommodate the rivets, drill a hole through both of the pieces that you are going to fasten together. If it is possible, you can clamp both of the materials together to be able to drill through both of them at once. If it is not, make sure that the two pieces are aligned together. If you are using a 1/8-inch rivet use a 1/8-inch drill bit, for a 3/16-inch rivet use 3/16-inch drill bit and for a ¼-inch rivet use a ¼-inch drill bit.

Step 4 - Checking for Expansion

To be able to have a proper lock, check on the entire length of the rivet in your assembly. Ensure that the rivets are able to protrude enough for them to lock the pieces together.

Step 5 - Choosing the Mandrel

The right mandrel is essential for the task and for the rivet. This can be unscrewed from the tool end which allows one of the different sizes to be used.

Step 6 - Inserting  the Rivet Shank

To insert the shank of the rivet, open the handle of your rivet gun and insert the shank through the mandrel.

Step 7 - Installing the Blind Rivet

Squeeze on the handle of your rivet gun until the rivet has been compressed enough for the shank to break off.

Step 8 - Checking the Riveting

Always check on the fastening that you made to ensure a perfect fit. If you have not managed to compress the rivet enough, take it out using the same drill bit and install a new one.