rivets scissor riveter and a log of wood

Riveting Wood?

Can you pop rivet wood?

Riveting wood using a tool designed to rivet metal is a concept that does seem to be an odd thing to do. 

‘As strange as it sounds, you can pop rivet wood’. 

I have made a short video on riveting wood which shows that it is possible and actually something we should consider for some projects.

What Tools do you Need?

What are pop rivets?

The pop rivet is a mechanical fastener used for the joining of two parts. These fixings are permanent and if they need to be removed the pop rivet will need to be drilled. 

How does the pop rivet work?

  1. The pop rivet tool works by pulling the mandrel which has a weak point designed to break free. 
  2. The pop riveter grips the mandrel and pulls as you squeeze the handle
  3. The mandrel end is trapped inside the end of the tube
  4. The rivet tube is compressed towards the head  
  5. The rivet body spreads behind the two components joining them together 
  6. The mandrel brakes free leaving a domed head and a mushroom tail

How to pop rivet wood?

There are no specialised pop rivets for wood but you can use a standard or blind pop rivet for riveting into the wood. 

I recommend that you choose an Aluminium ‘Pop rivet’ for riveting wood. The reason for this is that hard rivets can split the wood if near the edge. But if you are riveting near the middle of hardwood a hard Monel rivet is fine. 

Aluminium pop rivets are easier to use because they are softer


how to pop rivet wood

In this example, I will show you how to pop rivet this bracket to a piece of Oak.


how to pop rivet wood

First I mark where I want to drill the hole for the pop rivet.


how to pop rivet wood

Drill the hole using a drill bit of the same diameter as the pop rivet you chose to use.


how to pop rivet wood

The hole is drilled and ready for the next step


how to pop rivet wood

Test the pop rivet slides snuggly into the hole. If it is lose the rivet will bite near to the surface and won’t be very strong.


how to pop rivet wood

Trap the bracket or your choice of a component to fasten. 


spiralux pop rivet lazy tong

Using a pop riveter tool such as this Spiralux lazy tong slide the tool over the rivet.


lazy tongs

Start to press the riveter towards the rivet if using lazy tongs or squeeze plier tye riveter.


how to pop rivet wood

At the end of the plunge, you will feel a sudden release as the riveter breaks away the mandrel. 


bracket pop riveted to wood

This metal bracket is fixed solid. The possibilities are endless!


bracket pop riveted to wood

As you can see the bracket is held fast.


examine pop rivet fixing

So to show you how the rivet fastens into the wood I will split the wood open with a chisel.


mushroomed pop rivet

You can see here how the rivet expanded thus gripping the sides of the hole. 

What can you use pop rivets for?

Riveting wood has limited possibilities but there are things you can do with the pop rivet. When you want to fasten a thin component to a piece of wood then a pop rivet works well. 

Ideas for riveting wood

  • Metal brackets
  • Door Numbers
  • Surface-mounted hinges
  • Handles
hand riveter

Riveting Tool

Riveting tools are easy to find but I can recommend these tools as I own them myself. In some cases, these are slightly different as mine are old and have been updated.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this description go to Amazon which we receive a small commission.

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