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Creating rivets - Moving parts

Hi everyone!

I have been working on some new pieces that have moving parts with rivets in Sterlium. The piece below is a spinning pinwheel ring. I have now made a few of them and I am unhappy with the movement of the pinwheel as my preference is to have a free moving pinwheel that does not wear down the post, open the drill hole or wobble over time.

I used a 2 mm thick wire drilled through and soldered to the ring. Also filing the ring a bit flat where pinwheel contacts ring. I partially fold pinwheel prior to placing over post. Hole is tight to post, rivet and then close. I tried inserting a card stock between the top of the rivet and the inside face of the pinwheel and once closed removing the card. It does not move smoothly and sticks a bit or rubs more in one place. Perhaps inserting some sort of thin plastic disc between the ring and pinwheel?

Not too sure and advice would be most helpful.

Have a great day…
Warm regards from snowy Ontario!



Making a couple of tiny delrin washers might work. I have also seen tiny bearings made for just this sort of thing used for spinner rings.

Mobile silver on silver or any metal will eventually wear itself out. You can reduce the chances of the post wearing out by using a harder metal like say nickle white gold that is quenched hot after soldering. However the silver in the pinwheel where it contacts the white gold will eventually wear and get larger so I suggest a small jump ring of white gold on the inside of the hole in the pin wheel. Though even that with daily wear will wear as any dirt that accumulates in there will act as an abrasive with time.
So if you want to make kinetic jewelry do so and have big fun wth it. Just caution your clients to not wear it all day every day.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

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Is there any way you could use two highly polished beads? As bearings?

Neil A

I suppose it would be possible to buy or make a small stainless steel bolt and a matching stainless tube press fit or riveted into the silver pinwheel. The bolt or screw could be peened like a rivet to hold it into the ring. That ought to reduce the wear…you’d just have to be careful not to hallmark it as 925 if the steel were much of the weight, I guess. The delrin washer is also a good idea.

Hi Nicolina,
If you could mail me of list I think I can help you. I only work now with queries off line.

@vladimirfrater your responses have so much value to many of us, please share where we can all benefit. I have a binder with various tabs where I catalog the expertise shared.

Gerry is prolific and is affecting emerging generations. You could also affect generations and leave behind your legacy

Regards RLW


Hi there! Thanks I will do some research on this what metal would you suggest using? Hardened Sterlium?

Have a great weekend and thanks again!

To do that do I make a tiny jump ring and insert it a larger hole? My post was 2 mm so the jump ring is 2 mm on inner diameter. If I want free spinning a tiny bit bigger?

Thanks and happy Saturday!

Not sure I understand how to do that…One on top and one underneath?

Delrin is a plastic that has a natural slickness to it. If you put a washer between the ring and spinner and one between the spinner and the bead that is on the end of the wire it might work. Not sure how you are forming your bead or attaching the wire but you can’t get the delrin hot it will melt. It will need to be a mechanical connection or done with a laser or a PUK welder.

Thanks! What I did was soldered the post through the shank, slid the partially folded pinwheel on, then left a longer post above the flat pinwheel (more than 1 mm). Then rivet so it is more rounded polish and close.

do you think it is best to have the hole on the post as tight as possible and let it naturally loosen?

I’m pretty sure that “mechanical devices” are exempt from the quality marking law.

If mechanical hardware is exempt from quality stamping rules, why not use something already manufactured, that is designed to carry loads for a lifetime without failure?
There used to be a style of rings with spinning parts that rode on small roller, or ball bearings, hardware similar to this:

No need to try to reinvent a product, especially one that will end up being less durable than steel roller bearings.

Just my thought, reading this series of posts.

Hi Ted,

I tried emailing you at the email you left but changed at to @ but your mail was returned.

My email is

Hi everyone thanks for your feedback this is another rivet project I am working out… any advice would be most appreciated. The wings on this pendant will move and I will laquer the pendant of the beetle body prior to closing the rivets. As it is a domed piece any advice on finishing this rivet so wings can open, again with movement but maybe a bit of resistance or any things to consider?

Happy Sunday!

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Hello Flux925 - is the address for PIC Design, a company that makes tons of miniature and sub-mini gears, bearings, sprockets and more - some bearings down to 0.040" bore. Many years ago, I used them extensively when designing special equipment for the material testing industry. Hopefully, they will provide you with an option. All the best to you with your search.


Reactive Metals Studio carries a selection of tiny nuts, bolts, screws, etc. for use in jewelry. You might find something useful there. Also, as others have mentioned, silver and gold will wear over time, so you might be safer using something like stainless steel or titanium. Reactive Metals has an interesting selection of findings and hardware in those metals.
Gorgeous piece, by the way!


Thank you for the tip! Much appreciated :):grinning:

Thank you Bob!