Maker Techniques - The Copper Rivet

Maker Techniques - The Copper Rivet

May 25, 2023

We love our copper rivets, but not everyone does. We often get asked, why we use them, a fair question - after all, they don't match the buckles!
     
Rivets are a fantastic method for joining separate pieces of leather together or attaching hardware. Different types of rivets offer various different aesthetic qualities.
      
      
We use a couple of different styles of rivet, each has its unique benefits. Tubular rivets can be either solid brass, or brass/nickel plated. These are set with a press operated by a foot pedal. Whilst solid rivets can be either copper or brass and are hand peened, set by hammering the end over a washer.
        
          
A solid rivet offers enhanced durability and allows us to construct our bags in a way that we couldn't do with a tubular rivet. For example: The dee ring that attaches the shoulder strap to the bag on our Devon Messenger Bag and Kingsbridge Travel Bag is reinforced with a hidden metal strip so that the copper rivet secures 6 layers, 2 of which are metal. #madeforlife
         
           
This type of construction simply wouldn't be possible with a tubular rivet.
The copper rivets are hand peened, and therefore very strong. They are made of solid copper and so whilst they may eventually go a little green around the edges, there is no plating to rub off over time. Just like our full grain naturally tanned leather, the copper will change over time, developing a patina. Don't worry, any green is easily cleaned up, and can act as a gentle reminder to apply a bit of our Hide Food to your Tanner Bates piece if you haven't done so in a while!
    
Here is a short video showing Matt setting a copper rivet, it is a simple but involved process. (Click the photo below to watch the action)!
      
          
Great! So why don't we source solid rivets that match the other fittings?!
    
Whilst we can source solid brass rivets for hand hammering, unfortunately matching our silver hardware isn't possible. We opt for copper as our standard hand peened rivet option for consistency, and the fact that the warm copper tones compliment so many leathers and fittings.
    
We do also use our tubular rivets which look fantastic and of course, match our buckles and other fittings.
    
If ever you would prefer one of our products customised with tubular rivets instead of a solid rivet or vice versa, just get in touch! We're always very happy to discuss custom options. 
    
Although there's something special about a hand hammered rivet... 
At least, we think so!
      
      


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