Three Tone Ring Joined With Rivets

Three Tone Ring Joined With Rivets

Three Tone Ring Joined With Rivets

This project explores the method of cold joining different metals together with invisible rivets into a three toned ring.

Three Tone Ring Joined With Rivets

First cut out the basic shapes and file them roughly round.
They will all be filed more accurately once everything is riveted together.

Three Tone Ring

Make 5 round washers.

The red and gold coloured ones are 1 mm thick and the silver one is 2 mm thick.
This is a personal preference– they can be any thickness you desire.
As there is still a lot of filing to be done, both on the inside and outside of the ring, you can generally make the rings two sizes smaller than the final size needed.

The riveting process is never absolutely accurate so two sizes allows for enough leeway to file the ring up to the correct size.

Round washers

The first thing to do is to ‘register’ the rings.
So mark and centre punch each ring in the same place.

Registering rings

Then I drill a 1 mm hole in each of them.

Cold joining different metals

Then it is time to make the eight rivets that will hold these ring together.
Start by using 1 mm annealed wire.

To make the rivets, make your own DIY rivet helper. It is well worth to spend a hour or so to make this tool, because it saves a lot of time and effort and makes riveting much easier.

Three tone rings

Step 1: A 5 mm or 6 mm mild steel rod is filed to a point, then the point filed off slightly.

Step 2: Then a 1 mm ball bur is used to make an indentation in the flat tip.

Make a rivet

Cut off a piece of the wire and insert it into the 1 mm rivet forming die.
This die is designed to make a rivet that has a small head for rivets that will be filed down flush with the parent material.

Using a height gauge select the 1 mm height.

A height gauge can be hand made by just filing a flat strip of metal to the right height/thickness and double check by use of vernier,

then drill holes in the same size as the rivets you usually use.

How to make a rivet

The height gauge ensures that all the rivets will be cut to the same height so that the rivet heads will all be the same size.

Height gauge

You can stroke a fine needle file across the top to make everything flat and neat before starting to form the head.

DIY rivet helper

Use a hammer as shown that has both faces polished.
If the face is rough, the marks on the hammer will be transferred to the hammered piece, and then have to be removed.

Whilst the rivets are small and easily finished off, it is still good practice to have smooth faces.

Polished hammer

Here the rivet has been tapped down to spread the head out evenly.

It is important to use a lot of cross taps, rather than a few hard hits.

Cross taps meaning tap 12 o clock, then six o clock then 9, then 3 and so on all around until the head settles down nice and evenly.

Even rivet

The finished rivet.
The rivet maker is designed to make rivets that can be completely invisible when they are filed and sanded down.

Finished rivet

The expanded area section forces itself into the hole and the fit becomes so tight that absolutely no space is left. This caused the rivet to become virtually invisible when it is filed flush.

All eight rivets are made and all the holes are drilled.


Here is a close up of a 1 mm hole.
Note that the edges are not chamfered.
So that means that when the rivet’s ‘expanded’ zone is forced into the hole it becomes a very tight fit.

1mm hole

Here is a picture showing the rivet head and the expanded area about to be forced into the hole:

Rivet hole

All the rings are then located with the rivet into the register hole.

Making a ring with a rivet

Then use the height gauge to trim the rivet off to the correct height.
With this project, the first height to cut is 1.6 mm , the second tier of the height gauge.

How to make a three toned ring

Lay the ring on a steel block, and then peened the rivet over.

make a ring using rivets

Here the first ‘register’ rivet has been peened over, and the five rings are now locked into position.

register rivet

The rings are carefully aligned up so that they are all in line.
Now the second hole is drilled with the Drill Press.

drill press

Then use a height gauge to trim the rivet off.

height gauge

Once the first two rivets are finished, the next two holes can be drilled and riveted.

Note that even though the five rings were all of an identical size, they still managed to shift slightly out of alignment.

This is the reason you should make the rings two sizes smaller, so that there is enough metal to file everything smooth on the inside and outside.

DIY ring

I drill the next four holes and rivet as before.

rivet holes

As mentioned, you can use the 1,6 mm height gauge for seven of the rivets.
One can clearly see the different results between the two different heights.

different height gauges

All eight rivets are peened over and the ring is ready to be filed and sanded down as per normal.

home made ring

After filing and sanding, the rivets are effectively invisible.There you have the finished three tone ring joined with rivets.

finished ring