How to Pop Rivet (aka Secure your Metal Garden Shed) CodeUnit 04 MAY 2011

Metal garden sheds are awesome because they are easy to slap together, comfortably hold all your tools and garden implements, and make for a great Saturday family DIY project. Most of these sheds are held together with simple screws, which is great because it makes them easy to assemble, but not so great because it means any criminal with a screwdriver now has easy access to your expensive tools. One solution to this is to use pop rivets to secure your structure, and this quick write-up will show you how to insert pop rivets as well as use the all important pop rivet pliers.

Essentially pop riveting is a technique used to join thin pieces of metal or plastic together, using rivets which consist of two parts, the pin and the rivet. When applying a rivet to a join, the pliers basically pulls the pin through the rivet, deforming it in the process, and it is this deformation that then causes the join. Although not ideal for when you want a very strong join, pop riveting is certainly the most simple manner of achieving a good join between thin sheets with virtually no effort.

So let’s do this then.

First, drill holes into both pieces of metal that are to be joined, slightly larger than the rivet. Then, place the rivet into the rivet pliers, long side first. With the short, balled end sticking out of the pliers, push this section through the two holes of the sheets to be joined. Now depress the handles of the pliers and what will happen is that the pin will be drawn up through the rivet, deforming it and eventually allowing you to snap off the excess rod.

Seeing it in action:

The finished result:

And now you know.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.