How I make them

Aaaany day now I'll write some more stuff here :)

Key points:

  • I think aglets were made on the cord, not separately (apart from the decorative ones)
    • I haven't seen any good evidence that they were sewn on afterwards
  • Type 1 aglets sometimes have overlapped edges, this is probably from a slightly large piece of metal being used
  • Type 1 aglets are sometimes pinned, type 2 ones aren't (haven't seen any evidence that they were, yet)

 

Tools used

 

Type 1 (butted or overlapped seam, may be pinned):

  1. Cut trapezoid of brass
  2. Press initial curve into it with grooved anvil and either a cross-pein hammer, or a shaped wedge
  3.  Insert cord/thong to about 2/3rds of length (probably not all the way to the point, so it can taper)
  4. Curve edges to meet in teardrop shape
  5. Tap butted edges down to form cylinder
  6. (This may be where pinning happens, haven't decided yet)

This takes me about a minute and a half per aglet, excluding cutting the brass trapezoids (which doesn't take long, but does involve putting down one set of tools and picking up another). I suspect that pre-forming them into the initial curves as well would significantly speed up the process, and I expect to get this down to about a minute per aglet.

 

Type 2 (rolled in edge seam, no pinning)

Cut trapezoid of brass

Press initial curve into it with grooved anvil and either a cross-pein hammer, or a shaped wedge

 
Insert cord/thong to about 2/3rds of length (probably not all the way to the point, so it can taper)  
Curve edges to not quite meet in teardrop shape

 

 

Flatten into D-shaped cross-section

 

Use cross-pein or shaped wedge to push edges down past each other towards cord, ideally in a slightly oversized groove so that the cord becomes just visible again between the flattened in edges (i.e. they're not overlapping)

 

Roll edges in

 

Tap butted rolled edge down to form cylinder

 


This takes me just under two minutes per aglet at the moment, excluding cutting the blanks.