Choosing the correct size rivet for leather work.

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Rapid (aka Single Cap) and Double Cap Rivets work best when the rivet's post sticks out of the pieces to be riveted by less than 1/8" (0.31 cm /  3.1mm).  If the post sticks out more than that, then it tends to bend when you set it and will not hold securely.  Always use a piece of steel or thick granite underneath your rivets when setting them ~ have a piece of steel or granite set aside for setting and / or leather stamping and be aware that this surface is likely to become dented and / or chipped.   Wood is too soft.

The above is based heavily on information taken from Tandy Leather Factory.
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