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Riveting for Beginners
Article © MAIL User: Tesserex

Sorry there are no pictures for this tutorial. I'm creating it not because I am experienced with riveted, but because I am a beginner, and I wish to offer advice to anyone willing to venture into this area. First, here are the problems I encountered:

1. Overlap slipping
2. Punch not breaking through
3. Rivet not pounding right
4. Overlap hole being torn open

Here are the tools you will need in general. By that I mean that I'm not going to give you a list of what to buy. Just have tools that can do these things.

1. Something to cut your wire with an overlap, e.g. end nippers with a hole drilled into the blades.

2. A hard pounding surface, such as an anvil. Concrete floors will not suffice.

3. Hard metal plate with a small hole for punching.

4. A punch. Mine is a centerpunch with the end sharpened.

5. (Optional) Another metal plate to place above rings for even flattening. I use sheets of titanium. Steel works too.

6. Some hammers, a big and small one preferably.

Now how you make your riveted maille. You may have to anneal your rings depending on their starting temper.

Basic technique:
1. Cut rings with about 0.2 inch overlap (5 mm)
2. Pound ring and overlap flat. Flat rings are more authentic.
3. Punch hole in overlap. Place the overlap over the hole in your metal plate, position the punch, and hit with your big hammer.

(Weaving goes in here)

4. Put a rivet through your new hole with your fingers and push as far as it will go, so it doesn't fall out.
5. Crush the rivet with any working method, maybe your small hammer.
6. Test the ring by trying to open it.

Making rivets (you were probably wondering):

1. Cut a small length of your wire.
2. Pound it very flat.
3. Cut it into triangles like this: /_/_/_/_/

Those are your rivets. You may have to experiment with angles and size.

Here are the solutions to 3 of those 4 problems.

1. You can either be very careful, and scrap the ones that don't work, or you can put a hole in your bottom plate the size of the ring. Place the ring in this hole, and use a piece of metal the same size as the ring to pound it. The sides of the hole prevent slipping.

2. I haven't solved this one yet. Maybe I over-annealed my rings. By this problem I mean that instead of punching, the material is squeezed through into a lump on the other side.

3. Instead of attempting to pound a 2-dimensional rivet end flat, which is near impossible, I crush the rivet in toothed pliers. Works for me.

4. Just be careful about where your hole is, make sure the overlap is flat and large enough, and don't pound the punch too hard.

That's all I have for now. Just don't give up. It took me 3 hours to make a fivelet, and I scrapped about 25 rings in the process. After that, I tried copper, after reading it was easier for beginning. I couldn't even pound it flat because the overlap slipped way too easily. Then I realized it was enameled. Oops. Maybe that would help, but make sure it's raw.
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