To create a rivet that allows pieces to move, use a thin piece of cardboard, like the type used in food packaging. You can also use thin metal like brass foil instead. Drill a hole in the cardboard and put it between the rivet heads (top and bottom) and the base metal (top and bottom if a lot of movement is required).Put the rivet through the top piece of metal, then through the cardboard and finally, through the bottom piece of metal. After completing the rivet, either rip the cardboard out or soak it until it becomes soft and then tear it out.To help with removal, cut a slot that runs from the hole, in the paper or metal, to the outside edge. Make sure that the slot is not too wide or too narrow. You want the rivet to pull out easily but, not leave such a big space that the rivet isnt hammered evenly. Pull the paper/metal out after riveting, or soak as stated above.
When making more than one rivet,make one first, then the second, then the third, etc. Often when riveting, the metal shifts a hair and if you pre-drilled your holes, they will no longer line up. I often have to true up my edges because of this shift.
Not really. Although,Rivetsare a great way to attach metal to metal and attach any thing in between them. Actually, you dont even need metal.Rivetscan be used on almostany materialand haveany random stuffin the middle. They can bedecorative or blind(invisible). They can disguise themselves asscrewsor a stone setting. They can be a place to hang ajump ringor tie a ribbon. Versatile little devils.
Rivetsare composed of three parts: 1. Theheador top 2. theshaftand 3. thetail which is at the opposite end of the head! Makes sense to me. Some rivets can hold pieces immobile while others can be designed so that there is mobility.
to hold the image between the 2 sheets of copper and
Weve just created four videos on riveting:Basic RivetsTube RivetsInvisible or Flush RivetsandDecorative Rivets. Please see my website for a written tutorial ontube, invisible and decorative rivetsunderTechniques(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Metal any kind that you want to bond together. OR, any two random things that you want to join together.
Round Wire gauges (B&S Gauge/AWG) 12, 14, 16 or 18 (although any gauge will do these are just the easiest torivetwith). Copper, brass, steel, sterling, fine silver, bronze, whatever
Hammers Ball peen, orball peinorball pane three names for the same thing. What is means is that one end has a hemispherical or ball-shaped end. Another type of hammer used for riveting is called aRivetingorCross peen hammer. This hammer has a wedge shaped edge on one side.
Steel Surface This is to hammer theriveton. If you hammer yourriveton wood, youll reduce the amount of force therivetreceives as the wood will give under your blows and youll not only dent your wood surface (probably your desk) but youll make a lovely bowl shape in your metal. You can use a bench block, an iron (without steam holes) held upside down in a vice, a railroad tie, or an anvil -whatever you have or want.
Flex shaft Dremel Hand drill
Someway to spin those drill bits Either a flex shaft, a Dremel or a drill (manual, battery or electric). To learn about hand drills check out this great article calledHand powered drilling tools and machinesby Kris de Decker, the founder ofLow-tech Magazine.
Drill bits These you want to match to the size of wire that you are using for yourrivet. You want a snug fit. If you are unsure, make a test hole in scrap metal and then insert the wire.High speeddrill bits will last longer. When drilling, hold the flex shaft perpendicular to the metal. Try not to rotate the drill bit too much as that will make the hole larger. If it doesnt drill easily, perhaps its time to get a new drill bit. They do get dull, ya know. Better yet, use a drill press or a Dremel drill press.
HOW TO HOLD A FLEX SHAFT FOR DRILLING
A nail set, center punch or an automatic spring punch.
Nail punch Automatic spring punch
Clamps small, yet strong clamps like these red tipped ones. Preferably four of them.
Determinewhat gauge of wire to use. In this imaginary riveting demo, I am using 14 gauge copper wire.
Ruler Digital Calipers Micrometer
Measure, using a ruler, calipers or a micrometer, the wire and use thedrill bit chartto determine the appropriate drill bit or measure your drill bits until you find a similar size.
To avoid verbal confusion, Im going to call our riveting project asandwich. This sandwich is composed of a top piece of metal, a paper insert and a back piece of metal.
Now, arrange the sandwich exactly how you want the finished project to be. Line up all the edges and clamp the arrangement together with our handy dandy little red clips (see below).
Witha marker or a scribe, mark where you want to place your rivet. Place thesandwichon a metal surface and using a nail set or similar tool, push or tap the nail set to leave aSMALLdivot where the drill bit will sit.
Drillyour first hole.Dont drill the entire piece you will be sorry!Drill just one hole at this time.
Pushthe wire into the hole and check the fit. If too tight, either use a larger bit, or a small round file or angle the flex shaft (with bit in it) and move the angled flex shaft in a small circle to widen the hole.
Cuta piece of wire at least 10 millimeters long. Ensure that one end is flat and smooth. Push the end of the wire with the flat side, into the drilled hole. Leave about one millimeter extending out on one side and, with a Sharpie, mark approximately 1 millimeter on the other side. Clip the wire with the flush end of the wire cutter.
This diagram shows what the end of your unset rivet should look like:
Once your wire is cut,CAREFULLY(hold that little sucker in place) put the sandwich with the rivet in it, onto a steel block. Grab your hammer and start to rivet. Below is a diagram of the hammer blows. Take care to only hammer a few blows (maybe 4-6) and then turn the piece over and hammer a similar number of times. You want balance in the number of blows per side.
n image of what the hammered rivet should look like:
Nowyou should flip the hammer over (flat side down) and, hammering an equal number of times, planish the rivet face smooth. You can also sand the rivet a little to further clean it up just dont over do the sanding as you could remove too much metal and the rivet will not hold up.
By George, youve made aRivet!Congratulations!Now, all you have to do ispractice, practice, practice.Good Luck.
Hi Cathy, So glad the information helped! Thanks for the comment, it was a treat. Take care. Nancy
This was some very important information. I was working my brains on how to do rivets, this is very easy. This information is very helpful to me.
I am looking for information on making ball rivets. I will be trapping pearls in a square sterling silver frame (like an abacus). The first end can be balled before construction. The other end stumps me! I know it can be done but dont know how without damaging the pearls. There seems to be very little information available on this technique. Would you know how to do this?
Your videos are just wonderful!!!! I watch them over and over again!
Thank you so much Mia! I am so glad that you enjoy the videos. Good luck in your journey and most of all, have fun. Nancy
thank you, thank you, thank you nancy!
i love watching your youtube videos, very entertaining as well as informative.
you are funny, concise and obviously very knowledgable
thank you for helping out newbies like me!
I adore your work and videos. Can you add my name to your subscription? When I try it will not go through for some reason. I would like to know when you do more videos or make new pieces. Your videos have allowed me to take classes from an amazing and humorous teacher and artist. Thank you so much.
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