Rivet Nut Tool – How To

In this video I’m going to demonstrate how to use these things these which are threaded rivets (rivet nuts). And they are useful for placing into sheet material where you need to by able to screw something and you don’t have access to the back – which is my current problem.

You use something like this which looks like a typical rivet gun but it has different threaded attachments. This section here (mandrel) threads into position and is done counter clockwise and you use a spanner to gently tighten up. And I normally hold this section here which allows that to turn and rotate – in my engineers vice. Then this section up here – the nut or knurled nut screwing into position and provides a solid surface for the flange to rest against when the tool is being used.

The reason I’m using or about to use these fixings is I have to take this CNC laser adapter off to check that it’s not fried – and when I was building my enclosure, I did the stupid thing of fixings directly through the galvanised backing plate with nuts at the back. I don’t really want to disconnect the wires to access the back, so I was able to unscrew it very carefully and I will resize the holes and fit these in position there. And in retrospect it is what I should have done at the beginning and what I will recommend for the documentation for this – what I’m working on at the moment.

The first thing I need to do is resize 4.5mm holes to 6mm, but I need to make sure no metal filling from the drilling process don’t go anywhere else so I don’t accidently short my electronics. And I’ll do that by creating a little carboard housing and using my extractor to try catch any swarf. This is just the top of a box of tea.

Typical – I can’t find a 6mm drill bit so I’m using a 5.5 jobber bit and reaming up to 6mm. So that should fit in there.

Your breathing technique while using any hand tool is very important. If you breath correctly you can summon the power your inner karate kid

Completely missed the hole there so I think what I’m going to do, is thread this only half way so I can get the arms of the rivet gun closer together

So that shouldn’t have made that sounds – and what I’ve done is accidently pulled some of the threaded in the rivet-nut itself, but it seems that the nut has seated tightly in place so what I’ll do later is use a M4 spiral tap to save that insert. I am after all only holding a small electrical component which doesn’t need to flatten like a pita bread.

I then drilled the reamed the other remaining holes to size – before having another go.

I’m going to make sure that the tip of the threaded bar (mandrel) just pops past the rivet because it’s not threaded all the way along. Ok that’s a good one – actually I’m not sure.

The little bit of metal was in the thread of the mandrel – so I think I threaded that one as well. Lockdown had seen me really get into cooking for one and well I’ve eaten so well I don’t know my own strength.

So I’ve got all four in and had a little bit of an accident with this one because I managed to break the mandrel.

You can see it broken here – so I think when you use a tool like this, you just have to be careful that you don’t over squeeze. I think If I had a bit more time I’d use a hand nibbler to make a little notch because in reality I think something like this – if you had a square opening it’s less likely to spin once it’s squeezed into the shape. But luckily I managed to get the bit out. I drilled it out and was going to use a thread removal tool but somehow managed to drive it all the way and it dropped around the back. And the last thing was to use M4 spiral bit to re-thread these and make sure I could put some machine screws. I’m not going to refilm that because I’m already done it and again, I made sure to collect any swarf that may come out. So now I can secure this back on…

There’s a lot of different types of rivet nutters. I had bought mine some years ago – and it’s similar to the AK393 by sealey, which according to their instructions can only be used with the aluminium rivet nutters. It also doesn’t have an adjustable stop to prevent you over tightening – but it wouldn’t be difficult to drill a hole somewhere onto the handle to add a rivnutter and adjustable screw – if only I had another one…

And that goes back in there, and I can reconnect everything as I need but I think there’s something wrong with this. I did try to open it, but the on/off key is soldered on which means I can’t actually undo it and see the front of the circuitry to see if I’ve ACTUALLY buggered something up. In any case insert rivet nuts are very useful and hopefully thing video showed you how to use them what mistakes not to make.