In this Instructable Im 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.
A few tools are needed, the only one that you will probably will need to purchase is the ring mandrel.
Here are videos that show all the steps in detail.
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 dont 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.
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 isnt 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, dont 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.
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 dont have many pictures on how to do this.
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 doesnt catch in the drill.
Remove the ring and hand sand and polish the inside. Your ring is done!
Did you make this project? Share it with us!
I love the sound of your annealing the spoon when it is on fast forward! lol
from a spoon and a ring you get a spring lol
This is cool, but it looks like waaay too much work than Id put into a silver ring..
but juste a question I dont know mutch about silver but I know about brass copper and steel and normaly to soften theses metals you have to let it cool down slowly before forming if you quinch it its harden it and makes tapping process harder
Something to keep in mind. Silver work-hardens. That means that it gets tougher the more you hammer it. You also risk creating cracks and stress points that can effect the ring making process, if you work on hardened silver.
If the metal seems harder to move while hammering, then its time to anneal again. This mitigates possible failures that you probably wont see until near the end of the process.
OOOkay, why didnt you just use the shank of the spoon and wrap it around the mandrel? Why go to all the trouble to make a coin out of the bowl first?
There would be a gap that would need to be soldered, I wanted a solid ring. I suppose you could use the handle and have an adjustable ring.