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How to Fasten Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is exactly what it sounds like; a large, thin sheet of metal. Joining two pieces of sheet metal together is known as "fastening." Fastening sheet metal can be achieved through many methods, each of which has its pros and cons. One method of fastening sheet metal is to use self-clinching fasteners. Self-clinching fasteners provide a permanent and reliable bond when joining two pieces of sheet metal together. Self-clinching fasteners are easy to install, but you need a machine press.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Self-clinching fasteners
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Machine press
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    • 1

      Lay one piece of sheet metal on top of the other and drill the appropriate size holes into the two pieces of sheet metal. Use a drill bit that is the same size as the self-clinching fasteners. Drill holes about 1/2-inch apart along the entire portion of sheet metal where the two sheets overlap.

    • 2

      Align the holes in the sheet metal.

    • 3

      Lay the pieces of sheet metal on the table of a machine press.

    • 4

      Align the first set of holes in the sheet metal in the middle of the press.

    • 5

      Insert the shank of the nut into the aligned holes. The shank is the end of the nut with ridges on the surface.

    • 6

      Lower the press and stamp the sheet metal so the head of the nut is embedded into the sheet metal. The self-clinching fastener is designed to automatically lock itself into place, forming a permanent bond between the two pieces of sheet metal. Always wear safety goggles when operating a machine press.

    • 7

      Repeat this process and insert self-clinching fasteners in all the holes in the sheet metal.