I felt a mild surge of anticipation as I cut the firebox free of the fret and set to embossing the stay bolts and rivets from the back. Others are able to use half-etched rivet holes to make convincing, even rivets. Beautiful, even.
So far, this is not a skill I can count on. Maybe it is easier with a softer material, like brass. Next time I design something that requires half-etched holes to be turned into rows of closely-spaced rivets, I will include some practice rows in the fret.
Fortunately it is only the tightly-spaced rows at the corners and around the mud ring that are sub-par. These are mostly obscured by wheels or brake details. So the minor transgressions shouldn’t be too noticeable.
After all the dimples had been embossed, the surfaces had become concave. There was no way I could bend them with my fingers, and so, I annealed the part on the stove before straightening the bits that should be flat and bending the bits that shouldn’t be. The annealed surfaces oxidized and are more difficult to solder, even after a good rubbing with fibreglass pencil.