What Do I Need?
First off, you will need to buy a rivet gun and some appropriate rivets.
Rivet guns start from about £10 and go up, a cheapy one will suffice for the jobs we have.
Selecting The Right Rivet
Deciding on the rivet you need is very easy. Measure the diameter of the hole that it will pass through, a 4mm hole needs a 4mm rivet, 5mm rivet for a 5mm hole etc.
Measure the depth of both parts and add them together. You will
need rivets that can handle materials of that combined thickness.
Not important for selecting the right rivet unless you have a maximum depth clearance problem.
Generally this measurement is a few millimeters over the usable length.
You rarely get much of a choice at DIY stores but if you are riveting plastic, go for a large head to spread the force out more. If you can't get large head rivets, buy some rivet washers.
Here are a pair of rivets, you can see that they are different sizes.
The long thin part of the rivet is pushed into the rivet gun...
...all the way to the head of the rivet.
Take your two pieces that you intend to join and drill a hole in each if there isn't already.
Place the rivet through the holes in both parts.
(I have used a rivet washer to stop the plastic splitting).
Pump the rivet gun handle until the rivet pops. You will see the underside has deformed.
The washer has stopped the plastic splitting and has given the deformation something to grip.
You will also see that the top part of the rivet head is set and the protruding wire has snapped.
Simple as that, the rivet is now set and the two parts are fixed together.
Removing A Rivet
Because pop rivets are made from soft metal, they are very easy to remove with a drill.
Take a drill bit very slightly larger than the original rivet hole. 4mm rivet = 5mm drill bit.
Place the drill onto the head of the rivet.
Drill fast but with very little pressure, the drill will make quick work of the soft rivet.
The idea isn't to drill the rivet out, but to sever the head from the body.
This causes the rivet to fall in half so the joint is broken.
By printing this document I state I have read and understood this disclaimer