Today I’m adding all of the rivets and completing the engraving for the pendant back.
Above are the wires I’m going to make my rivets out of, along with my blacksmith’s “nail header.” The silver wire is 16 gauge silver, and the copper is 12 gauge. You can see the end of the wires where I’ve melted little balls. These I’ll make into a lost completed rivet heads with the nail header. That way, there’s only one end of the wire I need to worry with to turn into a good looking and well doe rivet – a bit of risk reduction (sometime ask me about my Graceful Degradation Philosophy of Life). If you look closely at the holes in the trilobite underside, you should be able to see where I used larger drill bits and did a little countersinking – especially for the copper eye rivets, I want those to be flush on the bottoms.
Above are two close-ups of the nail header with completed rivets in place. In the top image you can see a completed silver rivet laying on the top. I just use a small ball peen banner to mash the little melted balls into rivet heads, then remove, trim the wire to length, and they are ready to be put into place as rivets. The larger copper rivets will be both eyes and additional security for my solder job. Belt-and-suspenders, remember?
Here I’ve installed the trilobite upside down in a holder for engaging. I’ve used Thermolock™ plastic (sold by GRS Tools) to hold it securely place – heating with a heat gun to install or release is quick and easy.
, added a quick patina and polished it back quite a bit to get an inkling of how it will look when completed. The client suggested a wind-up key fixture on the back – good call! It’s starting to look very SteamPunk… Next comes the exciting part – carving and engraving the top.
Thanks for looking!