Riveting is one of those techniques where “practice makes perfect”,
whether using wire or tubing to rivet. It’s a delicate process, so
using any press would be overkill (unless the rivets are huge),
resulting in frustration and very inconsistent rivets. It takes small
tools and small strength, but lots of patience. Use scraps for
practice, practice, practice.
I am a visual learner, so always try to find books w/ explanations
and diagrams. Take a look at Tim McCreight’s two books, “The Complete
Metalsmith” and “Jewelry Fundamentals of Metalsmithing” and you will
find what you need to do good riveting. A picture is worth a thousand
A fun thing would be for you to try to explain step-by-step what you
are doing. Then maybe we can fill in the blanks.