Found myself explaining solid copper rivets to my Dad the other day. They're really quite simple, and simple is often best in our book (less to go wrong!), so here's how it went -
The rivets come in two parts, a stem with a flat head on one end and a separate washer. So first, you push the stem through holes already made in the fabric and leather, often with a leather washer on the inside of the fabric for extra strength. Next you place the copper washer on the end of the stem and using a rivet setting tool (pictured alongside the hammer), you tap the washer down the stem until it pinches the fabric and leather in place. As the hole in the washer is slightly smaller than the stem, it will hold everything tightly in place ready for the trimming of the stem. Using a pair of snips, nips, or pliers with a cutting bit, cut the excess off the end of the stem, leaving about 3mm remaining above the washer. Finally, you want to dome the cut end of the stem, using the rivet setting tool, or otherwise with a ball pein hammer. You're essentially squashing / widening the cut end of the stem so that it locks the washer in place permanently, holding whatever it is in place for ever.
So that wasn't quite as simple sounding as I'd hoped! Back tomorrow for...... um..... more yabbering?