Friction stir spot welding (FSSW) is a relatively recent development, which can provide a superior alternative to resistance spot welding and riveting for fabrication of aluminum sheet metal structures. In the current work, FSSW experiments were conducted in 3-mm thick sheets of aluminum alloy 2014 in T4 and T6 conditions, with and without Alclad layers. The effects of tool geometry and welding process parameters on joint formation were investigated. A good correlation between process parameters, bond width, hook height, joint strength, and fracture mode was observed. The presence of Alclad layers and the base metal temper condition were found to have no major effect on joint formation and joint strength. Friction stir spot welds produced under optimum conditions were found to be superior to riveted joints in lap-shear and cross-tension tests. The prospects of FSSW in aluminum sheet metal fabrication are discussed. © 2012 ASM International.