How to Use Reusable Pop Rivets to Clamp Steel – Kevin Caron

How to Use Reusable Pop Rivets to Clamp Steel – Kevin Caron

(Text on screen): How to Use Reusable Pop Rivets to Clamp Steel, Kevin Caron, The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you playing with? Kevin Caron: Little fasteners. You want to put two pieces of metal together, you’ve got pop rivets. These have become pretty darn popular here lately. But what happens if you want to work on it; what happens if you’re, like, building it and you want to put it together and take it apart again? You can’t use these, because if you put it in and you pull on the mandrel and you pop this thing off, it’s permanent. And you have to drill it out and start over. There’s an easier way. These are called Clecos. That’s c-l-e-c-o. Find them on the web. They are real popular in the aircraft industry. This is what the airframe mechanics use to get the skin on an airplane, because these are removable pop rivets. You get a special pair of pliers. (Come here; come in) And you see what happens when I move it? This little jaw works back and forth. The Voice: Yeah. Kevin Caron: Right now, this is an eighth of an inch across and it’s an eighth of an inch at the wide part of the jaw. But when you compress it all the way out, that jaw comes together and now it’s less than an eighth of an inch. So, it will fit inside an eighth-inch hole. If you let go of it, and now it’s held tight. So, you can use one of these to, like, put sheet metal together. Body panels. You’re working on your car. Cars have frames under them. You can drill that little eighth-inch hole in the subframe where you can use these Clecos to attach the body panel while you’re shaping, while you’re forming, while you’re getting your panel just right. Then you can come along and mark off where you want your cut to be made. Pull the Clecos back out again. And then you can go ahead and cut the panel off, and now it’s ready to be put in place and welded, and then you just add one or two or three, whatever, little eighth-inch holes, fill those in, grind them smooth, and you’re all done. When you have a subframe where you can attach the Cleco to, where you’re making separate little pieces that you’re trying to fit all together. Or, if you’re just doing some free-form structure. I’ve done that before, where I’ll cut my piece oversize, cut the next one oversize, where they’ll overlap. Put it all together. Use Clecos. It looks like a little porcupine when I get done with it. And then you can do all your marks, take them off one at a time, cut ’em, put ’em together, weld ’em, grind ’em. You’re all done. They also have these. It’s just a little clamp version of a Cleco. So, if you don’t want to drill a hole, or if there’s nothing to get into behind it, you’ve got these great little clamps, hold nice and tight, work good. The only problem with these (come here), they don’t like heat. These are aluminum jaws. Got a little too close with the welder one day. Whoops! Have to get a new one of these someday. So, great, handy little tool to have in your toolbox anytime you’re working on sheet metal. It doesn’t matter how many clamps you have: big ones, small ones, C-clamps, vice grips, a big pair of pliers. It’s a great little addition to have. See you next time. (Text on screen): Subscribe to See More Videos! See and hear more at

9 thoughts on “How to Use Reusable Pop Rivets to Clamp Steel – Kevin Caron

  1. Clecos! How very cool. I can only remember about 37 projects where they would have come in handy. Gonna get some. Thanks for the tip, Kevin. And Mary, your video work is so clear I could see the sweat on Kevin's face… Thanks, guys!

  2. @strube1369 … Without the cooler running the temp in the studio gets in to the 115s very quickly. See what we suffer through for you guys!!

    Joking, we love doing this, just more so in the winter…..

  3. Kevin,there is also some clamps similar to these that require no drilling.
    When you want to lap metal side by side like in auto repair,it goers between the two panels and spring loads the two pieces together.I think there is less than a
    !/32 gap,which makes to a sure plus.I bought these at a swap meet,but i think Eastwood tools sells them,and they are not expensive.

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