Removing rivet

A client wants me to make “something” from the silver tips of an old
belt her deceased husband wore. Any ideas how to get the rivets out,
so the leather will come out? One is silver, I think. The other one
was not silver and I soaked it in pickle a long while and then
muscled it out; now I am struggling with pushing/pulling/nudging the
leather out. So I need help with both of the ends!


Joan North
Joan North Designs

I usually just carefully grind off the head of a rivet, taking care
to not grind into the piece itself, and push the end of the rivet

Alternately: Why not simply burn away the leather gently with the
torch? (with good ventilation!)


That looks like a steel rivet. I would use a diamond ball burr and
gently grind the heads down. Take your time. When you get the
circumference of the heads thin enough, use a very sharp burnisher
and pry up the edges all the way around. Don’t use the sterling tips
as a fulcrum as they will be damaged. Continue to grind away at the
rivet and eventually only the rivet shaft will be left. Soak the
entire tip with leather intact in some WD-40 for 1/2 hour, then
remove the tip and wipe off excess WD-40. Now drill a hole in a piece
of hardwood slightly larger than the rivet shaft. Place the sterling
tip so the shaft is directly over the hole you just drilled, then
drive out the rivet.

The wood will support the tip from deforming. The leather should
pull right out.

Jeff Herman

If it were me I would center punch the center of the rivet and then
drill it out.

I would have to say you are probably going to have to drill through
most of the rivet to get it out.

Hello Joan,

If I were to do it I would grind off the rivet head then use a
center pinch to drive the rivet out. A pinch the same diameter as the
rivet. Then just pull the leather out

Best of luck

Why not burn the leather out with plenty of ventilation and a torch
and cut the rivets with pliers? Good luck.

Dave Kuchta


Holding the tip/leather on a steel bench block of similar surface,
use a punch to create a small dimple in the rivet. Clamp the leather
to hold the tip and leather still. Then drill out the rivet,
beginning with a drill bit smaller than the circumference of the
rivet, and continuing with larger drill bits until the rivet becomes
loose and is removable.

Linda K-M

Tap a divot in the top of the rivet, then drill through the center
(all the way through). Start with a small drill bit and gradually
use larger bits until you feel the rivet loosen. You should then be
able to separate the rivet halves with pliers.

Dee, a long time lurker who finally has an opportunity to help.