Saturday, August 27, 2011

BIG Changes

Hello every body, I am terribly sorry for my lack of new material, but life has been extra busy lately and I simply haven't had the time to write anything new. Although, I do have many things to talk about, I am unfortunately short on time today as I have many "to-do's" on my list. I just felt I should try and share a few of the things that are going on in my life at the moment.

As you may or may not know, I will be travelling to Italy soon to participate in the 2011 Biennale of Chianciano. I have been very busy preparing for the trip, building crates, making reservations, looking at dates and buying tickets. Fortunately, things are finally starting to come together as the date of departure quickly approaches.
(CLICK HERE to find out more about what I will be displaying at the Biennale.)

Besides the upcoming trip Kaylee has been very busy helping me redesign my blog page and a new web site, so hopefully there will be many changes coming to my "on-line presence" soon.

I have had a couple of chances to make a few new pieces, including the completion of one of the commissions I received. Hopefully, I will be able to take some pictures this afternoon, and write new posts tonight and tomorrow.

I will be back soon with some cool things to share and just maybe, this site will be very different soon as well.
Until next time.
Peace and Love

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seventh Entry: How to Rivet (Basic Rivets and Their Uses)

Welcome to the seventh entry in this series of articles. In this article, I will be demonstrating A) how to place a basic rivet, B) a few different types of decorative rivets and C) a few of the practical uses rivets can have. Please feel free to CLICK HERE and read my other articles leading up to this entry in order to gain a better understanding of “how metal works”.
Necessary Materials and Tools:

-File/ Sandpaper
-Small Hammer  (Ball Peen)
-Measuring tool (caliper or gauge plate) 
-Compass/ Divider
-Jeweler’s Saw
-Flex Shaft and/or Drill Press
-Drill Bits
-Steel Bench Pin/Block or Anvil

There are many different types/styles of rivets and they can be used for a variety of different applications. Sometimes the use of a rivet is strictly aesthetic, other times it can be incredibly functional. I will be going over only a few basic rivet options and some of the ways rivets can be used.

In order to demonstrate some of these possibilities, I have decided to use the hinge I constructed in my previous article as a “sample piece” for mechanisms and other various examples to come.  

For this article, I will be placing three different types of decorative rivets on one side of this hinge. Before placing the rivets I need to decide how big the rivets are going to be. This is entirely up to you, and your main limitation will probably be your tool set. For the sake of this demonstration I will be using copper and brass stock pipes/tubes measuring no larger than 3mm in diameter.
To begin placing the rivets I make three arbitrarily spaced punch marks to help guide my drill bit through the sheet of metal.
NOTE: Rivets do not have to be made out of tubing, the can also be made out of solid wire and rod.

Now that I have made a guide mark for my drill bit and established a size for my rivet, I need to make sure I pick the right size drill bit for the job.

 After measuring both my tubing and drill bit to make sure they are the same size, I can drill the holes for my rivets to pass through. I like to drill my holes using a drill press to ensure the tubing or rod will pass through “straight” (perpendicular to the sheet); this is especially important when planning to join multiple pieces together.

Drill the necessary holes and make sure to clean them of any leftover material.

Now that the holes have been drilled through the piece, we can prepare our rivets. Take the piece of wire or tube that you are planning to use for your rivets and cut a small length of the material; make sure to file it clean. Each rivet should only be a millimeter or two longer than the width of the piece you are attaching the rivets to. This is only a general guideline; the length of a rivet can vary greatly depending on the desired appearance and function of the rivet.

NOTE: If multiple rivets of the same size are needed, a divider/compass can be used to mark the tubing before each rivet is cut. There are also fancy rivet cutting jigs that will facilitate the cutting of equally sized lengths of tubing/wire.  

With all the holes drilled and all the rivets cut, we can begin to set them into place. Make sure to work over a solid steel surface. The bottom of your rivet must be supported by a surface which will withstand your hammer blows and also allow the softer metal of the rivet to deform appropriately.
With tube rivets I like to flare the ends of the tube open to help hold the rivet in position before I begin to hammer on the head/top of the rivet. To do this I take a tapered scribe and give it a few taps with a hammer when placed inside the tube-rivet.
It is always very important to work a rivet equally from both sides to ensure it has an even finish and appearance on both sides. To make sure your rivet forms evenly, the work piece needs to be flipped over so the rivet can be hammered on from both sides.   
NOTE: If I were making a solid rivet using wire instead of tubing, I would start hammering the top/head of the rivet with a ball peen hammer; as always hammering both sides slowly by rotating/flipping the work piece back and forth.

Once a rivet head has been established on both sides (by flaring or hammering both ends) the rivet can be hammered down. Even if you are confident that you have enough material on both sides, you should hammer your rivet head slowly and periodically check the other side of the rivet to make any adjustments/corrections if necessary. 

Hammer deliberately and firmly working all sides of the rivet as evenly as possible. 

Hammer on one side…

Then hammer on the other side…

Back and forth, until you are happy with the overall look of your rivet…

And that is how to set a basic tube rivet. There are many simple ways to “spice up” this simple rivet. Here are a few basic “alterations” that can be done to create different styles of rivets…

After cutting and filing the rivets, various cuts can be made to one or both ends of the rivet to create “bifurcated rivets”. These rivets will create different shapes when set depending on how many cuts are made. For the purposes of this article, the “bifurcated rivet” I will be making is going to be cut twice on one side in the shape of a cross. The idea is that when the rivet is set, the cuts will cause the rivet head to split and make a sort of cross shape. The other side without the cuts will form into a normal round tube rivet head on the other side.

NOTE: Bifurcated rivets can have as many cuts as desired to create a multitude of different “shapes” and can also be bifurcated on both sides if need be.

 To set this type of rivet in place, simply use the same steps you would for a normal rivet.

Another simple way to spice up a standard tube rivet is to set another rivet within it. To do this you will need to set a tube rivet and then set another rivet inside of it (either tube or wire). In this example, I set another tube rivet within the original rivet I placed. To set additional rivets within rivets, simply follow the original riveting procedure again.

NOTE: Occasionally it may be necessary to widen the opening within the first rivet to allow the second rivet to pass. This can be done be pushing a scribe through the opening to push excess material to the sides; or by 
drilling through the opening to provide enough space for the next rivet to pass. 

Place more rivets within each other to build rivets with a “bulls-eye” aesthetic. Or layer bifurcated rivets with normal rivets to create interesting and unique rivets.

These are only a few basic ways to use rivets in aesthetic ways. By experimenting with different types of rivets and materials one can achieve a wide range of shapes and colors; especially when different types of rivets are stacked together.

As many ways as there are to use rivets in a decorative fashion, they have an equal amount of functional purposes as well. The most basic use for a rivet is as a simple way to connect two or more pieces of similar or differing materials together. For this example I will be connecting an interesting forged scrap of copper to our hinge.

As usual we can follow the same steps as before: drill holes, prepare rivet, and hammer into place (set the rivet). Just make sure the rivet is big enough to pass through both of the pieces you are attempting to join.

Same as before, hammer on the top…

And hammer on the bottom.

Once you are satisfied with the shape and security/fit of the rivet, you’re done.
Use multiple rivets to secure two or more pieces together and keep them firmly in position. 

Or use single rivets in specific places to create very basic hinges!

Well that wraps up my little introduction to riveting and some of the wonderful possibilities this very basic process/technique can offer. As always I hope you found this information to be helpful and useful.

I’m not quite sure what the next entry will be about, or if I will have time to write one for next month due to my upcoming trip to Italy… (Italy in September) Whatever happens I will be sure to make an update about that information when I have it figured out. 

As always feel free to browse the archive of “Process Notes” to learn more about “How Metal Works”. CLICK HERE

Until next time.
Peace and Love
Daniel Icaza 8/13/2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

100 Colones?

My dearest apologies for the lack of recent posts. I have unfortunately, been preoccupied with other activities. I won't bore you with the details of those activities as they are a bunch of bureaucratic nonsense... Fortunately I have managed to make a few new pieces of "Monetary Bondage" which I have posted here today. 
100 Colones? (Group 5/5), 2011, Daniel Icaza, Money, Copper, Brass

Aside from these new additions to "Monetary Bondage" I have also been busy writing the new article for the "Work Processes" Section of this blog; which I plan to be posting on 8/15/2011.
I would love to continue writing and sharing more pictures, but for now I have to get back to writing the article for Monday. Hopefully, I will also find a few more interesting things to write about and share with you.
Until next time.
Peace and Love