Riveting is one of the most ancient metalwork joining processes. Its use has declined markedly during the second half of the 20th century, but it still retains important uses in industry and construction, and in artisan crafts such as jewellery, medieval armouringand Metal Couture into the 21st century. The earlier use of rivets is being superseded by improvements in welding and componentfabrication techniques.
A rivet is essentially a two-headed and unthreaded bolt which holds two other pieces of metal together. Holes are drilled or punchedthrough the two pieces of metal to be joined. The holes being aligned, a rivet is passed through the holes and permanent heads are formed onto the ends of the rivet utilizing hammers and forming dies (by either coldworking or hotworking). Rivets are commonly purchased with one head already formed.
When it is necessary to remove rivets, one of the rivet's heads is sheared off with a cold chisel. The rivet is then driven out with a hammer and punch.