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Subject: Phase box rivets

Phase box rivets

From: George R. Leake III <taliesin>
Date: Tuesday, December 10, 1996
Mark Vine <100436.3447 [at] compuserve__com> wrote:

>Having just spoken with Pearce Tandy Leather Craft in Baltimore and
>at Northampton, England I thought people might like to note that
>they do not make a solid brass rivet. They tell me that ref 1275 is
>a gilt coated rivet with a brass finish colour on the outside.

For the record, Tandy Leather is a distributor, not a manufacturer.
I believe they get their rivets from Germany, if some enterprising
colleague wants to track down some other sources. And for those of
you in the US, it is not Pearce Tandy Leather Craft, but simply
Tandy Leather.

Mr. Vine's characterization of #1275 is rather misleading--this
isn't simply a product with brass finish slapped onto the
outside--it is galvanized steel *plated* with brass.

>They also tell me they do not produce a solid brass rivet.

I think you said that before; they do not produce any rivets
whatsoever. They sell the rivets they have bought from Germany.
Also, Dennis, manager of the Austin Tandy Leather store told me that
indeed they could probably get solid brass rivets.

>Furthermore the Northampton office
>... tell me that their ref 1275 is actually a
>nickel metal with either a gold or a silver coating on.

Not according to the Tandy catalogue and the office in Austin Texas.
1275 is galvanized steel with brass plating. They also make a steel
rivet that is fully plated with nickel. Neither brass nor nickel

>Trying to tell brass finish nickel coated items from those made of
>solid brass is no easy task though, one does rely upon the
>producers/sellers information and sometimes even that can be hard to

Indeed it is hard to tell these things. Good thing we have this
forum to set the record straight. I sincerely hope that Conservation
Resources would do all it can to promote honest and open sharing of
information and research in the field.

>Solid brass rivets may well be more expensive too than nickel coated
>ones but unlike such inferior qualities the solid brass versions
>will not be subject to rust.

Being worried about brass/nickel plated rivets rusting is a bit like
worrying about getting hit by a meteor. Sure its possible, but
highly unlikely. In the eleven years I've worked with this product
(I would conservatively estimate the number of rivets on phase boxes
I have handled reaches into 5 figures, far more if you count those
produced by those I have trained and supervised), I have never seen
or heard of problems with rust. Perhaps Mark needs a bit of direct
involvement in the field in order to get a better understanding of
rivet technology?

In any case, if Mark, as a vendor in this field was interested in
actually furthering things, I would think addressing the legitimate
concerns with the present products that end-users have would be a
much more fruitful avenue of inquiry. Our concerns are not merely
with cost but quality. Unless Conservation Resources or some other
company has changed to another type of rivet in the last couple of
years, I'm sticking with Tandy rivets.

George Leake
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Conservation Department
UT Austin

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:56
                Distributed: Tuesday, December 10, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-56-008
Received on Tuesday, 10 December, 1996

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