Riveting With a Tube or Crimp Tube

by Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Riveting is a cold-joining process, bringing two pieces of something, in this case metal, together. This type of rivet is like a grommet where the flared ends hold the layers together and the tube forms a hole that passes through all the layers. Having a tube that is the proper length for the layers being joined is key to the success of this process. If necessary, trim the tubing with a jeweler's saw.

Place the crimp onto the bench block standing straight up. Select a dapping punch that is slightly wider than the crimp. Place the dapping punch onto the top of the crimp. Using the hammer, gently hit the end of the dapping punch. Repeat until you have flared the end of the crimp. Set the crimp aside.
Make a mark, on the piece of metal you are riveting, where you will be placing a hole. Place a small dapping punch or the tip of a steel household nail on the mark. Using a brass head or ball-peen hammer, strike the end of the punch or nail to create an indent at the mark. This will keep the drill bit from skirting around when you begin to drill.
Select the drill bit that matches the diameter of the crimp tube as well as a drill bit one or two sizes smaller. Insert the smaller drill bit into the rotary tool. Turn the rotary drill on and place the drill bit into the divot formed in Step 2. Drill a small pilot hole.

Repeat using the proper size drill bit.

Alternative: Insert the proper size drill bit into the rotary tool and begin drilling a sterling disc where there is already a hole, as seen in the video. Don't go too close to the edge.

Repeat Steps 2 - 3 for the other piece(s) being joined together.
Pass the crimp, straight end first, through the holes formed in Steps 2 and 3. Place the items face down onto the anvil or bench block so the flared side of the crimp is against the block. Place the dapping punch onto the straight end of the tube and gently hit the end with the hammer, flaring the end of the crimp toward the surface of the discs.
Continue to hit the hammer against the tubing until it is finished to your satisfaction as well as until the discs are secured.

Have a question regarding this project? Email Customer Service.

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