Rivet Nut Riveter.. Cheap and Fits to Tight Places.

About: Just a fellow who want's to learn new tricks and skills.


My name is Tuomas Soikkeli, and this is my instructable about making a riveting tool for rivet nuts.

Rivet nuts are very useful, specially if you want to add threads to thin or soft material.

Aluminum or copper for example, after couple times tightening and loosing, threads are usually ruined.

Same with thin material, simply there is no enough material for long enough thread.

Then we come to the point... WHY to make your own?

You can buy rivet nut riveting pliers with 20$. Usually, with that price, you get "one hand" model.

With those you need to use quite a lot of power to get rivet tight enough.

With little more $$, you can have better " two hand " model, usually those have quick opening option too.

But, those are somewhat big. Sometimes, huge! Also, both of these models needs quite a lot of space around or above them when used...

This version doesn't. That's the reason why. :)

This video shows how this tool is used:

Also, making your own tools is fun, and you can save some money too.

Making this tool took about an hour, material cost is about 5$.

Material: (what i used )

20mm x 3mm flat bar. Two 70mm long pieces, and one 30mm long piece.

10mm x 20mm flat bar. Two 20mm x 30mm x 10mm pieces.

20mm x 20mm x 30mm square block.

M12 extension nut, 40mm long.

M12 allen nut

M6 screw, 110mm long. M6 extension nut 25mm long.

30mm long spring. ( Internal diameter 12mm )

12mm washer.

55mm long piece of M12 threaded rod.

My intention in first place, was to write about making a square tube bender:

Then i decided to leave that little later, because that same tool can be used for bending round pipes too..

But, i haven't made needed dies for that purpose, i have been little lazy.

So, that instructable comes later.

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Step 1: Making the First Part, the Slide..

Making the first part:

I call this part to "slide". It moves inside the casing and turns turning movement to axial. = Slides.

Final size of the slide is 20mm x 20mm x 30mm ( lenght of the axial direction )

I made my slide from little wider piece of 20mm x 30mm steel bar, just because bigger piece is easier to clamp straight.

Clamped rod to my drill press, and drilled 4mm hole trough it from the wider direction.

( 4mm hole is for M5 thread, i made this originally for to be used M5 rivet nuts only. At the end of this instructable, you see how i turned it to suitable for other sized rivet nuts too )

- In improved version, after drilling pilot hole with 4mm drill, make it larger with 8.6mm drill. ( for M10 thread )

Then i drilled 15mm deep hole with 10mm drill. ( for M12 thread ), from the same side, keeping work piece on its set position whole time.

This way both holes are at the same line, this is somewhat important to get smooth movement for the slide.

After drilling i threaded both holes. Smaller one with M5 tap ( On the improved version, with M10 )

Bigger one with M12.

Finally i cut the slide to its final size with angle grinder.

Step 2: Making Ends of the Casing..

I made the casing from 10mm thick steel plate, and 20mm x 3mm flat bar.

Ends of the casing are made from 10mm thick plate.

I drilled 5mm hole and 12mm holes trough it, then i cut them both to size 20mm x 21mm x 10mm (thickness)

Holes are located to the middle of pieces.

- On improved version 5mm hole is replaced with M10 thread. Make 8.6mm hole and thread it with M10 tap.

Step 3: Puller..


Is made from 40mm long M12 extension nut.

I shortened M12 allen nut to 10mm long ( Threaded part )

And tightened it to the end of the extension.

Then i drilled 6mm hole trough both. ( 5mm from the end of the extension )

As a tommy bar i used 110mm long M6 bolt and M6 extension nut.

I shaped them to little neater look by spinning them on the drill and grinding with angle grinder.

Reason to add extension nut to the other end of the handle, was to get it little heavier.

I like that handles are nicer to use when they " drops down " automatically.

Now when " Puller " is made from a nut, and it also have's allen key slot at the end.

It can be used with spanners, wrenches, allen keys or with power drill, equipped with suitable allen key.

Step 4: Rest of the Casing..

Sides of the casing are made from 20mm x 3mm flat bar.

I cut two 70mm long pieces from it.

And 55mm long piece of M12 threaded rod.

Again i used angle grinder for cutting the parts. And to grind threads out from the " Unused " part of the threaded rod. Removed threads just to get little smoother movement for the slide. ( spring could stuck to threads )

For attaching the handle i cut 30mm long from the 20mm x 3mm flat bar, and weld M10 nut on the middle of it.

( M10 because i had extra angle grinder handle with M10 thread on it )

Ends are placed inside the casing, and weld from the ends.

Before welding i beveled ends of the flat bars. This allows me to sand weld to surface level, leaving still enough weld to the joint.

Remember that ends we're cut to size 20mm x 21mm. 20mm side comes " against the table " like in the picture.

This leaves small cap between the slide and the casing.

Step 5: Simple Version..


Here is the simple version.

Slide is made with M5 thread. It has 25mm long piece of M5 threaded rod, locked on its place with M5 nut.

At the end of the casing is 5mm hole, when M12 extension nut is tightened it pulls slide inside the casing.

This pulls M5 rivet nut, and rivets it.

M10 bolt tightened to the side works as a handle.

Simple version if you use only one sized rivet nuts. Easy to make, cheap and takes about and hour to make.

You can see the making process from this video:

Step 6: Improved Version..

For the improved version i made just two little changes to the original design.

5mm hole from the casing and M5 thread from the slide is changed to M10 threads ( i used M10 bolts )

I made changeable inserts from M10 bolts. I used little too long ones, but i shortened them afterwards with angle grinder to 10mm long.

To make these inserts i used very simple tool.

I made 8.6mm hole to the 10mm thick plate. Threaded hole with M10 tap.

Centered threaded hole with my drill press using centering cone. ( made it from broken tap, just sharpened it to 45 degree angle. )

Then i bolted bolt to the plate, used nut to prevent it to spin with the drill.

Made a pilot hole with a pilot drill to the center of the bolt head.

Then made desired sized holes "trough" the bolts. ( just 25mm deep )

I have used this same method for making inserts to my centering / drilling guide too..

Step 7: Inserts..

For using riveter with different sized rivet nuts.

I made a pair of inserts to every size that i needed.

Smallest one is made for M3 rivet nuts: " nose insert " has a 3mm hole, and "threaded insert" has M3 thread.


Biggest one is for M6 rivet nuts, " nose insert " has 6mm hole, "threaded insert " has M6 thread.

.... etc.

To the threaded part i just cut suitable piece of threaded rod ( or shorten bolt ).

To change the size of rivet nuts, i just change suitable inserts to riveter and that's it.

Can be seen from this video:

Thanks for watching!

And happy making!


Tuomas Soikkeli

- The other Finnish guy -

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    9 months ago

    Well done!