While nails, screws, bolts, and a variety of glues can all be quite useful for fastening a number of different types of objects, they each have their limitations. Nails and screws require a solid material to go in to, bolts need a nut in order to hold them in place, and glues only work on certain types of materials. Some jobs require a fastener that can be used without a solid surface to hold it and that doesn’t require a nut to be screwed into. This is where rivets come in. Most rivet guns allow for one-handed use and the rivets they place can hold surfaces together quite well. While washers can be used to add more strength to the hold of the rivet, on many surfaces you can use a rivet gun without even needing to have access to the rear of the material. If rivets sound like they are what you need but you’ve never used a rivet gun, here is all that you need to know.
Drill holes in both materials that you will be using the rivet to hold together. The holes should be large enough for the rivet to fit through, but small enough that the rivet just barely fits. The closer the fit is, the tighter the rivet will hold the materials.
Insert the long pin of the rivet into the rivet gun. This is what the rivet gun will grab onto and pull it through in order to constrict the rivet and cause it to hold.
Place the rivet through the holes, sliding a washer onto it on the other side if necessary. Though the washer is optional, if the material you are using is soft or flexible in any way then you should make sure that you use a washer in order to keep the rivet from damaging the material or pulling loose.
Squeeze the handle of the rivet gun, pulling the pin and causing the rivet to contract. The pin should snap off of the rivet when the rivet has flattened; if it doesn't snap off after you squeeze it simply release the handle and squeeze again. Don't try to force the pin to snap off or you may damage the material or pull the rivet through before it has completely flattened.