How to Properly Use a Cross Peen Hammer for Metalwork

What You'll Need
Cross peen hammer
Wire cutter
Small anvil
Peen rivets

A cross peen hammer is a hammer used by blacksmiths to complete metal work. The wedge-shaped end of the hammer allows you to make the metal fuller when used with heat. The main functions of a cross peen hammer is forging and riveting. Forging is a process in which you heat a single piece of metal and use tools to obtain a particular shape. Riveting is the process in which you bind two or more pieces of metal together using a peen hammer. Below is a guide on how to rivet metal. Brass and copper are the best metals to use during riveting because they are softer than other metals and easier to work with. This process can also be used when riveting metal to fabric or leather, the process will be the same. Using brass or copper rivets when working with metal is best because it prevents corrosion and rust damage to the fabric. When doing any metalwork take safety precaution to avoid injury to yourself and others. Always wear protective eyewear and gloves, and read all directions before beginning.

Safety Precautions

Any time you are working with metal, it's important to keep certain safety guidelines in mind. Safety goggles are necessary whenever drills or hammers are used. This will protect your eyes in the event of small shards of metal flying around. It's also a good idea to have a high-quality set of gloves. Metal can become heated when it's hammered or drilled.

Step 1 - Preparing the Metal

Start with the two pieces of metal that you want to join together. Determine the point where they will join and drill a small hole in each piece.

Step 2 - Insert the Peen Rivets

Insert rivet into holes that you drilled into the metal. This will help to keep the holes aligned and the metal in the proper place. Press each rivet until the lip of the rivet head rest up against the metal surface.

Step 3 - Trim Rivet to Size

Turn the metal over with right side facing down. Cut the rivet shank to the proper length using the wire cutter. Allow for a the rivet to clear the back of the metal slightly. You can achieve this by placing the backside of the wire cutter against the metal and trimming the rivet at that point. The small overage that remains will be used to peen the rivet.

Step 4 - Peening the Rivet

Place the head of the rivet in the rivet holder on the small anvil. The rivet holder is the small depressed space found on the top of the anvil. With the anvil in place, use the cross peen hammer to create a shallow round head out of the remaining shaft of the rivet. Strike the side of the shaft using the hammer working in a circular motion. Continue this until you have achieved a smooth contoured head that overlaps the hole by at least 1/16 inch.