Spoon and Antique Cutlery Rings

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About: I'm an independent artist, making wearable art and jewelry. Check out my stuff at http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WildlingTramp

Intro: 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.

Was this Instructable helpful? Let me know in the comments!

If you'd like to see more from me, look me up on Instagram @wildlingtramp, or on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WildlingTramp.

Step 11:

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    32 Discussions

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    MadiH9

    1 year ago

    can someone make me one

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    jblakely

    2 years ago

    Do you ever anneal the piece before shaping? That would make it easier to manipulate, just not sure how it would affect silver plated pieces. Nice tutorial!

    4 replies
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    olmonWildlingTramp

    Reply 2 years ago

    A quick guide to annealing - - http://steamshed.com/annealing%20process.html

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    ooohlaaWildlingTramp

    Reply 2 years ago

    it means heating it up with a torch then quenching the heat in water, which makes it malleable, but you could fire to long and ruin the metal, best to practice on the other end of the silverware first

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    hammer9876

    2 years ago

    Do you use silver or silver plate? I have some silver plated flatware, but I always kind of assumed that the plate wouldn't survive that kind of bending.

    3 replies
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    WildlingTramp hammer9876

    Reply 2 years ago

    Mostly the cutlery I use is a silver mix, rather than plated. But I HAVE used really old silver plated things a couple times, and as far as I remember, the plating was fine. Might not be the best pieces to use, but they should work!

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    cloneberg

    2 years ago

    Wouldn't silver and not plated silver be best for the finger wearing the ring - if the plating wears off there is bad metal against your skin!

    1 reply
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    WildlingTramp cloneberg

    Reply 2 years ago

    I use whatever I can find. I haven't had a problem with plating coming off, at all! I think most of the pieces I use are more silver mixed with other metals, rather than plated, though.

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    tbfreebirdie

    2 years ago

    We made these in the 70's in Junior Achievement to sell. I still have one of them I made.

    1 reply
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    WildlingTramp tbfreebirdie

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh neat! My mom had one from the 70s that she gave me as a teenager, which is where I got the idea.