Jewelry Rivets

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I would like to know how to protect a stone that I would like to rivet to flat sheetmetal. I balled the end of an 18g and that is resting against my stone. So how do I protect the stone while I hammer to spread the other end of the balled wire? Thank you!

Rich Waugh's picture

You work very, very

You work very, very carefully! :-)

One thing you can do is to put a shock absorbing material like plastic sheet behind the stone, if the design of the piece will allow it to be concealed. Another thing is to drill a .060" (#60 drill) hole in a piece of steel plate and drop your rivet through that and then gently tap the ball with a hammer or a concave chasing tool to flatten the bottom of the ball slightly where it contacts the stone. This will distribute the pressure of the contact point over a larger area , decreasing the chance of it wedging the hole in the stone and cracking it.

One very good way to upset the end of the wire rivet is to do it in a drill press using a cupped-head tool. The spinning action will do the upsetting without jarring the stone and breaking it. This is how rivets are often done in knife handles that use semi-precious stone scales. Usually, the stone slabs are first epoxied to the metal of the knife shank, which helps to make them stronger and also cushions the compressive forces a bit as the epoxy is slightly compressible. You can probably do a Google search for "rivet spinning" and find a U-tube video of the process.

feorge's picture

hmmmm... Better just wrap

hmmmm... Better just wrap it in happy thoughts and do what rich said.