One of the interesting features of Campaign Furniture is that some of it is assembled with rivets. Well, that’s what the antique dealers call the fastener.
While the brass or copper fasteners might look like the rivets found in wooden boat construction, it’s unlikely (a nice way of saying “flipping impossible”) that these pieces are riveted.
Why? Because a traditional rivet (or nail and rove) is a joint that requires access to both ends of the fastener. It works much like a clinched nail. (Here’s a description with a drawing.) With these campaign pieces, the “rivets” are put into a blind hole.
My suspicion is that these “rivets” are likely brass screws that have had their heads filed off after they were driven in. However I am keeping an open mind to other ideas that are as simple or even simpler.
This morning I installed the lockset on this folding bookcase and decided to mess around with the riveted look. I had to use longer and bigger screws to do this, so I reamed out the countersinks in the lock. Then I bored the pilot holes all the way through the case and installed the screws.
I used some old brass screws from my grandfather’s stash. Well, I thought they were brass. They actually were brass-plated steel. I found this out when I sawed off the tips of the screws and saw shiny steel instead of shiny brass. Oh well, a coat of stain should take care of that detail.
I think it looks OK. I might try building a small chest using screws and then filing off the heads.
— Christopher Schwarz