In this Instructable I'm going to show you how I was able to make a ring from a silver spoon. There is a video that accompanies the write up.
This method of making the ring is based of the techniques to make a ring from a coin. Coin rings are made in this exact same fashion except when using a spoon you need to first cut out a "blank" that will be used to shape the ring.
Step 1: The Tools and Materials
A few tools are needed, the only one that you will probably will need to purchase is the ring mandrel.
Tools and Materials:
- Ring Mandrel or Drift Pin
- Piece of Plastic Conduit Pipe
- Soft faced plastic/vinyl hammer
- Blow Torch
- Center Punch
- Step Drill Bit
- Belt Sander (Optional) or File
- Dremel with Cutoff Wheel (Optional) or Hacksaw
- Various Grits of Sandpaper (150-1500)
- Metal Polish
- A Silver Spoon
Step 2: Videos
Here are videos that show all the steps in detail.
Step 3: Make the Ring Blank
First step is to make a ring blank that will be shaped on the ring mandrel. You will need to flatten the spoon by gently pounding it flat with the vinyl hammer on a piece of wood. You should also anneal the spoon by heating with a blow torch and quenching in water, be careful not to over heat the silver as you can burn and ruin it unlike other metals. Annealing makes it easier to shape the metal and release stress built up by work hardening.
Use a quarter and trace out the outline on the flattened spoon. Using calipers measure the diameter of the quarter and take half the measurement to mark the center of the circle that was traced. Use the center punch on the center of the circle and then drill a pilot hole in the spoon. Once the pilot hole is drilled us a step drill bit to drill out a hole that is approximately 3/8" in diameter.
Use a file to clean up the hole or else any small tears or cracks will grow when you start working the metal. Cut out out the circle with a Dremel with a cutoff disc or hacksaw.
If you have a belt sander use it to clean up the edges and remove the excess around the outline of the circle. You can also use a file if you don't have a belt sander.
As a final step to make the blank completely round I used a drill with a make shift lathe made from a bit and using tape wrapped around many times so the center of the ring blank would friction fit on it. Then spun it up on some sandpaper to smooth out any high spots.
Step 4: Shaping the Ring
Place the ring blank on the mandrel, you might need to start with a drift pin if the hole is tool small to fit on the mandrel at first. This really depends on how big you made hole as the size of the hole determines how thick the ring will be with the size of the circle being equal. You can just drill the hole large enough to fit on the mandrel.
Start tapping gently around the ring blank, tap and rotate, tap and rotate, tap and rotate. Repeat many times, you will start seeing the metal bend around the mandrel.
After working the metal for a bit, reheat with the blow torch and quench to anneal.
Continue working the metal around the mandrel equally all around. This will take time so go slow. Repeat the annealing every so often if you feel the metal isn't working easy. The ring will start forming.
Once you have the ring start taking shape you will want to flip the ring blank around and start working it down on the mandrel with the same tapping technique.
If the metal starts crinkling up, don't worry it will work out, just go slow. Once it starts taking shape you will need to start sizing it. Using a piece of plastic conduit pipe and hammer tap on the edge of the ring, it will force it down further on the mandrel. Work each side equally or else the ring will deform. Keep sizing it until you have the size you want.
Step 5: Optional: Doming Block
This step is optional but you can out a nice round edge on the ring by using a doming block. You can skip this step and go on to final sanding and polishing.
Put the ring in the doming block and using a vice squeeze the ring into the block. You will need to over size the ring if you plan on doming it as this step reduces the size of the ring.
See the video for more details on this step as I don't have many pictures on how to do this.
Step 6: Final Sanding and Polish
As you can see in the pics I used a piece of round aluminum and some tape to friction fit the ring to it on a drill. Easier to look at the pic than explain, polish the ring on some fine grits of sand paper to sand out any scratches, if you have deep scratches you might need to go with a rougher grit. Work through ever finer grits of and paper, I go all the way up to 1500. At this point the ring should be starting to shine. To make it really shine use some metal polish and a cloth to polish the ring with the drill. Careful that the cloth doesn't catch in the drill.
Remove the ring and hand sand and polish the inside. Your ring is done!