The key to teaching shop classes is improvisation, and the following tutorial is an improvised tube rivet. I had a broken tube cutter, a drawer full of drill bits which were not the right size, and no dapping punch, yet behold, I made a tube rivet.
School starts next week, and my first assignment for my advanced class will be a set of bangles which will have to in some way incorporate a tube rivet. The sample I created is only a sample, it's pretty bare bones, but with some imagination this concept of cold connecting a bangle can become pretty exciting. Here goes:
Like wire rivets, the key to a tube rivet is a snug fit. Like I said, I could not find a drill bit to match my tube so I drilled my holes pretty close, a bit small, then used a round needle file to open up the hole. Go slow, you can easily file away too much, then your hole is too big.
|I started with a 10 inch strip. I textured one end, then drilled my hole. I then opened the hole up a bit with my file.|
|I then cut my strip down to 9 inches. I then annealed, wrapped it around a bracelet mandrel, and textured the other end. Note, I rounded one end, left the other more squared.|
|And a little liver of sulfur...|
This is by no means a finished piece, it is merely a sample so that my 16 years olds have something they can hold and see up close. I fully expect them to run with this and make creative amazing bangles. The cool thing about metalsmithing and jewelry is the limitless possibilities. I will be sure to post the results of this assignment. Until then, I will be refining my tube riveting skills, but I must say, it really is so easy, and fun....
P.S. This bracelet is a bit too big for me. I should have overlapped the ends further. Play around a bit to get the right fit. :)