I confess I am not really much of a metal worker.  My bench pin is almost as pristine as the day it arrived in my studio.  However, riveting which is a cold connection technique, is my favorite in the metalsmith's canon. No torch, just some fun hammering away!

This tutorial uses stamping blanks as the foundation.  I used a couple of vintage approximately 24 G aluminium stamping blank shapes which I have in my store.  They are vintage because I bought them over 10 years ago from a UK supplier which was closed and clearing out supplies from the 1980's - 1990's, perhaps even before then.  

The marquise shape is large and not suitable for earrings. The long bracelet one is unusual because it has a central expansion, useful for extra support of a focal in that position.  I can see these stampings being used as the interior foundation for bead embroidery.  But what I wanted to do is much faster!

The stamping blanks are not perfect - there are slight scratches here and there. However, these will be made to disappear very quickly!

The decorative part of my designs are a variety of filigree stampings.  You can get in different metal finishes.  I also used TierraCast's flower rivetables. which also comes in different colors.  I used them at the very top of my designs.  

There are different riveting techniques. However, the easiest and prettiest in my opinion are compression rivets.  Again, TierraCast delivers with lovely compression rivets in different colors.  I used the 6 mm ones for the center of my designs and the 4 mm compression rivets for the ends of the filigree stampings as you will see. 

The trickiest part is the hole punching.  I needed to make a 1/8 inch diameter hole in the center of my blanks.  I used my Euro Power Punch for this.  I like it because it makes clean holes with little effort.  Great if you have weak hands. It can punch from 3/32 inch all the way up to 9/32 inch.  You can also use a drill bit of the same size - the edges need to be filed smooth in this case. 

I also used my 1.8 mm metal hole punch as shown below for the smaller rivets.  I find this size of metal hole punch is the most versatile for metal punching applications. 

The marquise shape stamping blank has a protective plastic cover on one side. Best to remove it before punching as the tool has difficulty going through the plastic. 

The next step is to measure and mark the center of the blanks. 

The Euro Power Punch has one disadvantage. It is hard to place the business end of the punch directly over the center of the stamping. So I aligned it in two different directions.  

I marked the center of the punch head with a marker pen for the vertical alignment. This mark can then be eyeballed to line up with the vertical line on my blank.

I used the punch components to align the horizontal - see side arrows below. 

I also checked the view from the side to make sure the punch bit was directly over where my lines crossed.

Some of my filigree stampings also needed holes or existing holes enlarged.

The next step is to remove the drawn lines.  You can use rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) from the drugstore. However, my friend Sonya of rocpoet, gave me a great tip.  She suggested I make these vintage stampings matte by using #0000 steel wool to polish it.  This also removed the fine scratches and my lines!  There is a third benefit - final photography was easier than with shiny metal!

Texturing with the round part of ball peen hammer is super easy.  Coverage can be as dense or as sparse as you like. 

Texturing hammers such as this one can also give different looks.  Mine below created squarish dents. Hammer on the reverse side to flatten the blank if needed.  All this hammering work hardens the blanks.

Time to stack the filigree stampings with the bottom rivet post!

Once they are stacked, I added the cap of the compression rivet. It should snap down onto the post part. I recommend you use masking tape to keep the stampings in place.  I used a chasing hammer to compress down the two parts of the rivet.  A chasing hammer has a larger striking surface so that you do not accidentally catch the edge of the hammer on the metal.  It took several strikes. 

As you can see, the marquise shape can be made into a bracelet. One option is to rivet it into a wide leather cuff.  I did not have the leather so I turned this one into a necklace focal.  You can see some fabulous examples of riveted leather cuffs by Karen, the designer behind SpeckledSparrowLLC, whose work I featured before.

Anything long which is going to go around the wrist or has the potential to lift up has to be anchored down. So I used the 1.8 mm hole punch and the 4 mm rivets to secure the ends of the long filigree stamping. Otherwise, it will stick out.   I also punched the ends of the marquis blank for the jump rings and chain. 

There are different kinds of bracelet blanks you can use.  I have ABS pipe leftover from a household repair as well as metal exhaust pipe connectors from the auto shop! The wood one below is an actual bracelet mandrel. I already had round alternatives so I bought an oval wood bracelet mandrel instead. Why oval?  This shape fits wrists better than round ones. 

I slowly bent and hammered my nearly done adjustable bracelet with the rubber part of my nylon/rubber hammer.  This softer hammer will not mar the metal.

What a difference!  From a long flat blank into an adjustable bangle style bracelet!

I completed the necklace with a necklace chain from Tierracast.  Have fun with this project!

I used  my iPhone 8+ for final product photography in natural light. I used  the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 Plus is excellent . I use the Foldio3 because I need the room for tutorial photography. My online class Easy Guide to Smartphone Jewelry Photography is now available. Read more about it here.  

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM