Pin this on Pinterest

Metal shibuichi cuff

Make decorative rivets while working with this copper-based alloy

To take full advantage of shibuichi, you’ve got to use patinas. One of my favorite patinas for copper-based alloys like shibuichi is Baldwin’s patina — it can create the most beautiful warm purple-browns. I chose a 5% alloy of shibuichi (that’s 5% silver and 95% copper) because it can achieve a darker patina than alloys with higher silver content, such as 15% or 25% alloys. Unaffected by Baldwin’s patina, bright fine- and sterling-silver rivets highlight the deeply patinated shibuichi.

Copper alloys aren’t always suitable metals for bracelets, as many people are sensitive to copper. To combat this, I lined my cuff with sterling silver, but without using solder. Instead, the flush rivets that punctuate the cuff also securely hold the silver liner to the shibuichi.

See the instructions for the rivets portion of this project below. For the full instructions, click here for the free project PDF.


  • Shibuichi sheet: 5% alloy, 24-gauge (0.5 mm), 1 x 6 in. (25.5 x 152 mm)
  • Sterling silver sheet: 24-gauge (0.5 mm), half-hard, 7⁄8 x 7 in. (22 x 178 mm)
  • Fine-silver wire: 18-gauge (1.0 mm), round, 1 ft. (30.5 cm)
  • Sterling silver tubing: thick-walled, 2 mm (5⁄64-in.) outside diameter, 6 in. (15.2 cm) 

Additional tools & supplies

  • Jeweler’s shears (optional)
  • Circle template: 1 1⁄4 in. (32 mm)
  • Riveting hammer
  • Bracelet mandrel: oval
  • Rawhide mallet
  • 3–4 mm bud bur or ball bur
  • Rivet block
  • Torch, fire-resistant surface
  • Flush cutters
  • Baldwin’s patina



Metal shibuichi cuff 1
Photo 1
Metal shibuichi cuff 2
Photo 2

I’ve found that the best way to line up rivets is to make one complete rivet (drill the first hole and make the first rivet) before drilling the remaining holes and making those rivets. That way you’ll avoid the frustration of even slightly misaligned rivet holes.

Make the rivet head pins. Cut a 6-in. (15.2 cm) piece of 18-gauge (1.0 mm) fine-silver wire. Using a torch, ball up one end of the wire (Basics). Using flush cutters, trim the wire to about 1⁄4 in. (6.5 mm). Repeat to make the desired number of head pins; vary the size of the head pin balls to create differently sized rivet heads.

Insert a head pin into a 1 mm hole on a rivet block. Using the flat side of a riveting hammer, lightly strike the ball of the head pin to slightly flatten it [1].

Drill the wire-rivet holes. Use a marker to mark the points on the shibuichi cuff where you want to place the wire rivets. Place just the shibuichi cuff on a mandrel, and use a center punch to create divots at each mark. Supporting the cuff on a piece of wood, use a 1 mm drill bit in your flex shaft to drill all the wire-rivet holes [2].

Drill the tube-rivet holes. Repeat the previous step to mark and drill the tube- rivet holes in the shibuichi cuff; use a 2 mm drill bit.

Metal shibuichi cuff 3
Photo 3
Metal shibuichi cuff 4
Photo 4

Make the first rivet. Slip the silver liner within the cuff. Using one of the wire-rivet holes in the cuff as a guide, mark, center punch, and drill through the hole in the cuff to make a corresponding wire-rivet hole in the liner; use a 1 mm drill bit.

Remove the liner from the cuff. Using a lubricated 4 mm bud or ball bur, bevel the rivet hole on the inside of the liner [3]. Make sure not to cut all the way through the liner; you just need a slight bevel to hold the metal of the flush rivet.

Slip the liner back within the cuff, and insert a flattened rivet head pin through the rivet hole. Holding the rivet in place, use flush cutters to trim the rivet head about 0.5 mm (1⁄64 in.) above the liner [4].

Metal shibuichi cuff 5
Photo 5
Metal shibuichi cuff 6
Photo 6

Position the bracelet so that the head of the rivet wire is supported on a bench block. Using the tapered end of a small riveting hammer, tap the cut end of the rivet to flare it into the bevel [5], beginning to make a wire rivet.

If you can fit the hammer within the bracelet, rotate the hammer to hit the rivet perpendicularly to the first few strikes. This will flare the rivet into the bevel more evenly.

NOTE: If you can’t fit your hammer within the cuff, place a small dapping punch against the rivet, and hammer the punch to flare the rivet [6].

Make the remaining wire rivets. Now that the first rivet is securely holding the two strips of metal together, drill the remaining 1 mm holes through the liner, and repeat the previous steps to bevel them and set wire rivets in them.

Make the tube rivets. Using the 2 mm holes in the cuff as a guide, drill corresponding 2 mm holes through the liner. Bevel the inner sides of the holes in the liner with a 4 mm bud or ball bur.

Cut a 4 mm (5⁄32-in.) piece of 2 mm-outside-diameter thick-walled tubing for each 2 mm rivet hole.

Insert a piece of tubing through a 2 mm hole. Place one end of the tubing on a bench block (if on the outside of the cuff) or on a curved anvil (if on the inside of the cuff), and tap the other end with a dapping punch or a small ball-peen hammer to flare the tubing, making a tube rivet.

In addition to the decorative tube rivets on the front, I also made three tube rivets on each end of my cuff to hold the two strips of metal together.

For the rest of the project instructions, click here for the free project PDF.

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!