Yesterday I decided to practice my riveting
I’ve only ever done it once before so I thought it was high time to give it another go.
I call this.
The Lots and Lots of Rivets Bracelet.
And just in case you’d like to practice your own riveting
Here’s the How To.
First up you will need to make the jump rings.
I used 14 gauge sterling silver wire and made my rings on the #9 mandrel. You can use any jump ring mandrel around 9 ish mm, or whatever size really. Just adjust the gauge of the metal if you use smaller links otherwise working the metal won’t be as manageable.
Wrap the rings in tape to hold them together as you use your jewelry saw to separate them.
Although you can use your wire cutters, sawing gives the rings a nice flat cut. If you choose to use your wires cutters turning the flat side of the cutters for each cut ensures that the inside of the rings have flush ends.
Pull the rings apart.
And hammer the ends flat.
But don’t do this.
Because it really hurts.
Now reshape the rings around a pair of round nose pliers.
Making sure that the ends overlap enough to drill a hole through both ends.
After using your center punch to place a guide dimple in the flattened end, use a ring holder or pair of old pliers to hold the ring in place while you drill the hole.
The metal can get very hot when you are drilling it and can easily be whipped away from your hand. Holding small pieces of metal this way is much safer and you’ll be less likely to lose an eye.
Now clean up the ends.
You will need to make around 21 of these for a 7 1/2 ” bracelet.
Next take some 19 gauge sterling silver wire and make a small ball at one end with your torch.
Thread the wire through the drilled hole and through this nifty rivet making thingy which you can find – HERE. and gently tap the top of the ball with your hammer to flatten.
Cut the wire about a quarter inch proud.
And ball this end up also.
This is a bad photograph, but if you gently heat the wire from below it will eventually ball up.
Cut half of the ball off and then hammer this side to flatten the rivet.
Note: This is not how I was taught to make rivets so really I’m cheating a bit here.
To make a ‘proper’ rivet, or at least the way I was taught, is to thread a piece of wire through a hole which has been made using a drill bit that matches the gauge of the wire you are using. Cut the wire a millimeter or so proud either side of the piece of metal to be riveted, and use your riveting hammer to alternate hammering the ends flat.
If done correctly this spreads the metal out and over the edges of the drill hole thereby securing the two pieces of metal you want to join.
It should produce a clean, round ended rivet.
Here’s a nice little you tube tutorial just on riveting – HERE.
This is what I wanted to practice so don’t ask me why I didn’t.
So back to my way.
Now make it some friends.
And find it a clasp.
Your lots and lots of rivets bracelet.
And with some left overs.
A handy pair of earrings.
I wasn’t particularly happy with my rivets as I thought they were a bit clumsy. I’m also disappointed that I hadn’t made the rivets the way I was taught although I had specifically wanted to do this, so, I shall be out there again today to practice some more.
Maybe not on a whole bracelet as I immediately made another one trying a different approach as soon as I decided that I didn’t like the rivets on the first one.
I still didn’t do it the way I had first intended.
Don’t question me.
This time I used a thinner gauge wire (16 gauge) on the #8 mandrel, and instead of hammering the balled ends I just left them as part of the design.
I cut and bent half-inch lengths of 20 gauge wire which I then thread through the holes and balled up at the same time.
It needs a little more cleaning, but now I’m not sure about this one either.
All in all a hard day at the office I’d say, but only one injury so it can’t be all bad.
Today I leave you as I venture once more into the fray. If you don’t hear from me again I will have most likely hammered myself into oblivion.
It was nice knowing you all.