Metalsmith: Using Miniature Hardware And Tools

There are two ways for you to use miniature hardware in your metal art project.

If it isn't important to thread the hardware into your piece

You can just drill the holes with a 1/16″ drill bit (available from hardware stores) and pop the hardware in. The hole will be just a tiny bit too big, so it will look the same, but it will be a little looser and less secure.

If you want to screw your pieces together

  1. Start by drilling holes in both pieces you will be joining. Use our #55 drill bit.

  2. Use a tap to cut threads into the inside each of the holes you drilled (easier than it sounds).
  3. Align the holes in the pieces and then screw in the hardware.
  4. Add the nuts (washers are optional and can go on the front or the back).
  1. Tighten the nuts using either the appropriate wrenches or use flat nose pliers (and a tiny screwdriver if using screws).
  1. To shorten and finish the bolt off: Use heavy duty wire cutters to cut the bolt off pretty close to the nut (half the diameter of the bolt is a good rule of thumb).
  2. Turn the piece over and rest the head of the bolt on a bench block.
  3. Use a chasing hammer to peen the cut-end of the bolt until it’s rounded and smooth and the nut can no longer back off. This last step can be avoided by simply using Loctite or some other appropriate glue (E6000 works). Personally, I’d avoid the liquid connection, but that’s a personal bias.