Sheet Metal Screws vs Rivets for Ductwork

by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

While finishing the ductwork for my dust collection system, I ran into a dilemma.  The sheet metal screws protrude into the ducting more than I was comfortable with.  I used the shortest screws I could find.  However, the length of the screws concerned me that chips might snag on screws and lead to bigger issues.

The alternative is pop rivets.  They look much nicer and protrude less into the interior of the ducting.  The only major drawback is that they are slightly more permanent.  In practice, they aren’t that difficult to remove.  Select a drill bit that’s about the same size as the rivet head and drill it off.  To install, simply drill a hole that’s the same size as the rivet.  Insert the rivet post into the gun, the head into the hole, and then squeeze the handle until the post snaps off.

All you need is a rivet gun and some pop rivets.  The rivets I used are 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch.

Rivets for Ductwork

In the end, I definitely prefer rivets for duct work.  Just make sure you’re comfortable with everything before installing them.

Stay tuned.  I’m about 95% complete with my ductwork and should have another post in the next day or two.

For the rest of the workshop build, check out the garage workshop build index.