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How to use Clecos to hold sheet metal for welding

Clecos or Blind grip holders are used to hold sheet metal or auto body panel in place while you are able to Mig weld, or rivet the metal without the panel moving or shifting out of place. This article will teach you the proper method for using Clecos.


I purchased 30, 1/8-inch clecos from the Eastwood Company. I used the Clecos to help me while a welded my floor pans in my 1968 Dodge Charger.

My clecos have 20 lbs holding capability.

20 lbs of holding power per Cleco. There is a special tool that is needed in order to use the Clecos.


This tool is available when you buy the kit. Or purchase separately. The Cleco pliers are a must have tool when using to install  Clecos.


Clecos can also be used to hold fiberglass panels.

Clecos, Grip holders for sheet metal fabrication

These clecos come in a couple of sizes. This article will be on the 1/8" clecos. It's a simple yet very effective way to hold two steel body panels together while you weld the panels together.

Step by step instructions on how to properly use Clecos

Here are the steps you need in order to use your Clecos properly.

  1. Take a 1/8'' drill bit and drill a hole in BOTH panels at the same time. Make sure that the two panels are aligned correctly before drilling.
  2. Once you drill the hole in both panels, insert one Cleco in the hole.
  3. Depending on the size and weight of the steel panels, I applied a Cleco about every 10'' apart from the other.

That's it. This three-step process is how you properly use the blind grip holder (Clecos)  to use when joining together auto body panels or sheet metal fabrication.

See how to use Clecos for auto body work or metal fab.

Clecos. These clecos are 1/8'' size

Cleco pliers to install the clecos thru the two body panels.

Cleco pliers are needed to install the Clecos properly.

Bottom end of a Cleco.