We supply a large variety of rivets and setters for leather craft work. We have easy to rivets and rivet setters for general leather craft work. We have stronger rivets that we use in most of our leather work called rapid rivets. For dog collars we recommend the double cap rivets which are even stronger. For industrial applications such as going though three or more layers of thick leather you would have to use the copper rivets with washers.
The jacket snaps are available in small and large sizes for belts and case covers. The large jacket snaps have regular length posts and long posts. A different snap setter is required for each size snap but the same dot anvil can be used for both sizes. The long posts are perfect for going through the thick 9 oz leather. This 1/8 inch thicker requres the longer snap post length.
Eyelets are used to strengthen holes in thinner leathers. The grommets look like a eyelet except they have a washer underneath. The grommets offer more strenth to the hole than an eyelet. We stock the eyelet setters and grommet setters for the diffeent sizes. The grommets are solid brass so they will not rust. Therefore the solid brass grommets can be used in applications that expose them to the elements.
Leather thickness is measured in ounces. An ounce is 1/64 inch thick. Therefore leather often used for making solid belts or hunting knife cases is 8 to 9 oz which means it is 8/64" thick to 9/64" thick. Briefcases and cases for jackknives might be a bit thinner such as 5 - 6 oz thickness which means it is 5/64" thick to 6/64" thick. Leather used for coin purses might be made out of 3 to 4 oz thickness which means the leather is 3/64" thick to 4/64" thick.
For most items that have to be set such as rivets, snaps and spikes, you will first need to punch a hole with a mini leather hole punch set tool or a rotary punch. Both the mini punch set tool and rotary punch tool have the appropriate size tube hole cutters required for snaps, rivets and spikes. To make the cutting hole tubes last the longest, you will want to punch it through the leather into something soft. You can use a piece of scrap leather underneath or you could use a cutting board or poundo board. The advantage of using a hole punch you hit with a hammer is that it is easy on the hands and you can punch a hole far a away from the edge of the leather. The advantage of the rotary punch is that it is convenient to punch the odd hole but the disadvantage is it is tiring on the hands if you have to squeeze it for punching lots of holes as well it is limited as to how far you can punch a hole from the edge.
To rivet two layers of 8 - 9 oz thick belt leather for example where it wraps around a buckle, we use medium rapid rivets. We also use medium rivets for going through two layers of 5 - 6 oz leather for jackknife cases. Sometimes on our hunting knife cases which we normally make out of 8 - 9 oz thickness we include a third layer of leather that runs along the blade so the blade will not cut the thread. If we have to go through these three layers of leather, we would use the large rapid rivets. If we are making a coin purse from 3 - 4 oz thick leather, we would use a small rapid rivet to go through two layers of this thickness.
To set a rapid rivet, you will need a hole punch, anvil and a hammer and/or setter. After the hole is punched for the rivet. Insert the rivet post into the hole and push the cap onto the post. The mini anvil makes a good base for setting the rivet. Place it on a work table that does not have any bounce. A wooden stump also makes a great solid base to put the mini anvil on. Once the rivet is in the leather, put it on the anvil and hit it with a metal hammer head. A hammer head that has a bit of convex shape works the best so it will not mark the leather like a flat hammer face would. Setting the rivet with a hammer will flatten the rivet cap.
However, if you want to set the rivet so it will keep the round finished shape of the cap, you will need a rivet setter. We have a rivet setter that just fits the cap of the medium rivets which tends to be the most common rivet size. We use this in conjunction with the mini anvil or you might have a piece of smooth solid metal which will work well for a solid base.
We also have the deluxe snap all rivet setter set which can be used to set all the rivet sizes. With the deluxe set, you place the rivet cap against the provided anvil's appropriate size concave shape and hit the base of the post with the setter. Use the flat base of a setter if you are hitting a flat post base. This deluxe set will keep the caps curved when the rivet is set. However for medium rivets, we find it easier to use the rivet setter that fits over the rivet cap as it is easier to line every thing up. To protect your leather tools, it best to hit any setting tools or punches with a rawhide mallet or poly head mallet. You can use a metal hammer but over time the tops of the setting tools or punches will start to mushroom out.
First you need to make the holes for the snaps with a leather hole punch set tool. Jacket snaps are composed of four pieces. You can see these parts in the picture of jacket snaps further up this page. In the picture going from left to right is the socket, the cap, the stud and the post.
First put the cap through the hole on the finished side of leather and turn is upside down on top of the dot - rivet anvil. Next put the socket on and set it with the snap setter. If you are using a line 20 jacket snap you will need a line 20 baby dot snap setter. If you are using a line 24 snap, you will need a line 24 durable dot snap setter. The same dot - rivet anvil is used for both.
In the other hole, push the post up through the underneath side of the leather and put it on a solid metal surface like a mini anvil or flip the dot - rivet anvil upside down so the flat side is facing up. Next put the stud on top and set it with the appropriate size snap setter. When you hit the snap setter with a hammer, the two parts are held together when the post mushrooms out over the stud.
Line 20 snaps work well in 3 - 4 oz leather thickness for things like change purses. For a bit thicker leather (5 - 6 oz) like that used in a jackknife case, we could use either the line 20 snap or the line 24 snap with regular post. If you get into 8 - 9 oz leather thickness for belts, you will need the line 24 snap with the long post. If you want to use the regular post, you would have to thin the belt leather.
We have permanent spikes (small spikes / large spikes) and hexagon screw spikes. First you need to punch a small hole.
For the screw type spike, just insert the screw through the hole and use a screw driver to screw it to the spike. If you do not want them ever to loosen, drop some glue in the hole first before screwing them together.
The permanent spikes are set so strong and permanent that it is horrible if you should ever have to remove it. Punch a hole in the leather. Put the stud through the hole and then put it on a solid metal surface like a mini anvil. Next put your spike setter over the spike and hit it with a hammer until the leather is tight. The inside of the spike setter is shaped for the correct size spike so use the small spike setter with the small spikes and the large spike setter with the large spikes.