Introduction: Spoon and Antique Cutlery Rings
A bunch of handmade cutlery rings
Step 1: Choose and Cut a Cutlery Handle
I use a huge pair of tin snips to cut the head from my handles. You can also clamp it and use a hacksaw.
Step 2: Cover Your Clamp in Gaffer Tape or Duct Tape
This keeps the metal divots in the clamp from making similar divots in your ring. You can also use a wood clamp, but I find it more difficult to manage personally.
Step 3: Use a Metal File to Dull the Cut End
You don't want to bleed all over your pretty new jewelry, so file those edges down! Use long strokes with the file to get this done quicker. Be careful! The cut edges are really sharp.
Step 4: Find a Thick Metal Pipe, or Ring Mandrel
For the first of my rings I used the pictured chunk of metal pipe; while it's obviously preferable to have an actual ring mandrel for shaping your rings, metal pipe also works great.
Step 5: Clamp Your Mandrel/pipe, and Handle
It's best to try and put as much pressure on the mandrel/pipe and as little on the handle as possible to cut down on divots in the silver. Make sure your mandrel/pipe is showing its edge along the top of the clamp, to ensure your ring has a proper arch.
Step 6: Use a Rubber or Leather Mallet to Bend the Handle Over Your Mandrel/pipe
Pictured is a rubber mallet that I've wrapped in leather, as the rubber is starting to flake off and damage my pieces.
With the desired face side facing out, hammer the handle over your mandrel to make a curved shape.
Step 7: Move Your Ring So That More Flat Space Is Available to Bend to Your Mandrel
Most of the steps after this point will detail the moving and bending of your ring in the same manner as the last step. Continue to unclamp and reclamp around your mandrel, laying the bended silver against the mandrel and hammering the handle to form to it.
Step 8: At Some Points, You May Need to Bend Your Ring With the Clamp Itself, Rather Than Your Mallet
And this is totally fine! Just use your pipe or mandrel as a guide to clamp your ring around. Moving the handle that will form your ring to hammer it won't always work, because spatial constraints. In this case, take your bended handle and use it as a sort of shelf for your mandrel. Slowly close your clamp around it, bending the handle into a circle.
Note: this step is NOT mandatory! If you can bend your ring without the clamp doing all the work, all the more power to you! The result will be the same.
Step 9: Lining Up the Ends
To make the ring bend around itself, hammer one end (the thinnest is easiest) on an angle when it meets up with the other end. If you want it to bend right, hammer it on the left side, and vice versa.
Continue to unclamp and reclamp your piece as you work, as getting the proper angles to hammer your ring is essential.
Step 10: Voila! If You've Followed These Steps, You Should Be Done!
If you moved your piece in your clamp, used your mandrel or pipe as a guide, and put some sweat into it, you should have a brand spanking new spoon ring.
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