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Riveting cufflink backs


Hi all, I am a largely self taught silversmith and am having a
technical problem with the riveting of sprung silver cufflink swivel
bars onto their U arm - a number have fallen apart after 6 months to
a year of use, which makes me very reluctant to sell them to people.
I buy the swivel bars and U arms separately and use a cooling paste
on the U Bars when soldering so as not to anneal the square rivet
holes at their ends (this is more wishful thinking than proven). The
rivets themselves come with the swivel bar, they are 1.5mm square
wires and I use a fairly light (80gram) riveting hammer. The results
are usually a fairly stiff joint , but I am worried that a less firm
job would fall apart even more quickly. Apart from switching to a
cufflink back with no moving parts, can anybody suggest a better way
of riveting these components together? Regards Chris Penner


Chris, The first thing that springs to mind (sorry - couldn’t resist
the pun) is to switch from the supplied square silver wires to the
same size/shape wires in nickle. It is a much harder metal, and
won’t be as susceptible to wear, bending, and breakage.

Another possible solution (but it’s more work) would be to insert
silver tubing into the rivet area, then thread the rivet wire through
the tubing to make more of a hinge. It’s kind of difficult to
describe without graphics, but you would, in essence “line” the area
with tubing, in which the rivet can move freely. As with the other
solution, it would require changing the wire supplied, but it
eliminates the problem of rubbing points on the wire, which may
increase its durability.

You don’t say how the cufflinks are falling apart, though, which
could provide more clues. Is a rivet head falling off and the bar
falling out? Is the bar breaking somewhere on the inside of the
joint? or what?

Karen Goeller