It must be my week for repeating great information. I love turning everyone on to great techniques or places to get great information. In this case the info came from the newsletter - Jewelry Making Daily. It's another one of those great places to sign up for continual tips and info.
Here are some of the tips they listed from Helen Driggs DVD on Riveting and Cold Connections.
1. When hammering rivets and other cold connections or just hammering metal in general: Try to keep one side of your bench block smooth and let the other side ding as it may. Or keep a smooth block and a rough block so you have two options. The marks on any steel tool will transfer to the metal you are hammering, so dings and dents will show up on your piece unless the surface you are hammering on is mirror smooth.
2. It might seem like a no brainer to say this, but anneal your wire before you make rivets! Soft wire is easier to make a head on.
3. Start practicing with scrapbooking eyelets. Many of them are aluminum, brass, or copper, perfect for use with jewelry--just make sure to get long ones because the regular ones, made for paper, are pretty short. Some eyelets may or may not have colored or anodized coatings that will scrape off with rough treatment, so read the packaging and make sure you've got the right diameter, length, and metal. The process for using eyelets is the same as for regular tube rivets, except you're halfway there because you already have a rolled end. Position the rolled end on the top of your piece and flip it over; a few taps on a ball dap will roll the back of the eyelet cleanly.
4. When measuring wire to make a wire rivet, the thickness of a fine-line Sharpie mark is usually a good amount of metal to leave for a decent sized rivet head. If the wire is very thick, leave a bit more metal by cutting to the outside of your marked line. A good rule of thumb is to allow about half the thickness of whatever rivet stock you are using to form a rivet head.
5. When creating a rivet, saw the wire, don't use nippers or cutters. You won't get a clean rivet head unless the wire end is a circle, so saw it. If you must use nippers, allow a little extra wire and file off the beveled end until the end of the wire is a clean circle.
6. Make a Wire Gauge: This is a handy device to throw in your pocket before you go to a supplier or show. How many times have you wavered on buying a strand of beads because you weren't sure the wire you wanted to use would fit through the drilled hole? It's also handy when purchasing drill bits, tubing, or manufactured rivets. Just label the tags (purchased or handmade) with wire gauges and attach them as shown.
These tips are from the DVD and frankly I have not yet purchased a bad DVD from Interweave. In fact, I have one on way right now and setting techniques from Ann Cohoon on gem setting.
This is the DVD from Helen Driggs and it looks great!
Have a great weekend and make art!