Anyone knows how (or if it is possible) to apply pop rivets to mdf?

I'm designing a carrying case out of 15mm mdf (actually i already have the mdf assembled from a previous project. It's a heavy box, i know, but meh) and would like to add some drawbolt latches to it. The fact is, the latches do have a loop for a padlock, but the hinges and the latches themselves are fixed to the case with screws! That kind of knocks down the whole purpose of having a lock. 

The question is: Is it possible to apply pop rivets - or any other kind of rivets - to MDF/plywood/laminate?


frollard4 years ago
There are padlock latches that entirely cover their own screws. The hasp that flips over when in the closed position protects all the screws from being mucked with.


Unless it's a crazy design - reorient the hasp like the image above.
There are special "big head" pop rivets for exactly this sort of application, Check out flight case supply stores. I've used pop rivets with heads close to 25mm/ 1inch.
PS They are supplied with washers for the back of the rivet.
If you can find some long enough rivets, it should work if you put a suitable sized washer on either side if the wood to stop it pulling through. Same goes for regular rivets, which would probably look better and be easier to find.

Alternatively, depending on the size of the latches, you could use screws/bolts with a completely smooth head, so they can only be undone with the nut on the inside of the case. The bolt is usually prevented from turning by a short square section under the head, but if those are too big, you could probably smooth off some normal screws and weld or solder them to the latch. Have a look for some small coach bolts and see if you can find any that are a suitable size.