Frustrated by lever back earrings

Please can anyone tell me the secret to lining up the holes on the
lever back earrings to put the rivet back in place after soldering.
I purposefully bought the unriveted lever backs, so I could solder on
settings. When I pinch the front and back together with pliers, they
almost line up, but not quite. I wish I had 3 hands in this
situation because it is hard to hold earring and rivet. Thanks for
any help- it is much appreciated!

Thank you,
Melissa Stenstrom

Hi Melissa;

Please can anyone tell me the secret to lining up the holes on the
lever back earrings to put the rivet back in place after

Yes, I can help you with that. First, file or sand a little taper on
the end of the rivet (the end going into the hole). Now, put the
back part in place making sure the spring part is on the correct side
of the component that goes through the ear, and use a pair of fine
chain nose (often called “needle” nose) pliers to hold the two pieces
in place. As you work the tapered end of the rivit into the hole
(jpush while twisting and wiggling gently), it should pull the holes
into alignment. It’s a bit tricky to hold on to the rivet, but if it
doesn’t have a “head” on it, you can hold it with a pin vise.

David L. Huffman

use a watchmakers block - hexagonal with riveting spaces, post
holes, and slots, or make a jig for what you need with balsa, lime or
cottonwood. use a twist drill the same gauge as the wire/ hole in the
earrings or use jettset, utilplast or other thermoplastic fixturing
material… they sell jigs for earring making but i think uppwards of
80 bucks is a bit pricey. another thing to do is buy securaa
leverbacks from Hoover and strong- they have no spring so they can be
soldered without breaking.

I sharpen the rivet pin on one end, and hold it in a pin vise, which
makes it easier to start it in the holes, when they are only slightly
aligned. Once it is partially threw all the holes I tap it home with
the riveting hammer.

  1. Throw away that tiny rivet wire that comes with the finding
    (well, throw in the scrap box)

  2. Get a length of wire the same gauge and secure it in a pinvise,
    leaving oh maybe1/4 to 1/2 inch extended.

  3. Either taper the end, or make an acute angle cut across the wire
    and debur if needed

  4. Now its so much easier to line things up. Just get the holes close
    and twist in the wire. The angle cut is particularly handy for
    ’difficult to line up’ holes. If its REALLY tough to align the holes
    with one hand, clamp the pinvise in something and use two hands to
    hold the finding. Your hole alignment doesn’t have to be complete,
    just enough that the tapered or angle cut wire can go thru the first
    hole and by twisting, find its way into the next two holes as you
    push forward gently.

It is a pain to do. Try filing the rivet to a point, putting it in
your bench vise (point up) and then slipping it through the hole
while you press the two parts of the lever back together with your
hands. Worse case scenario you’ll need to make your own slightly
longer rivet to get it to work.


Thank you for the help. I got the earrings together. I did use some
of my wire instead of the rivet and tapered it to a point. It still
took lots of effort, but am glad they are done.

Thank you,
Melissa Stenstrom

Melissa, have you thought of trying to use a 3rm arm to hold the
earring while you try to replace the rivet? I find that a third arm
helps with a lot of “3 handed” jobs.