Originating in England during the 18th century, spoon rings were fashioned from sterling and stainless spoons because precious metals were too expensive for commoners. In modern times, the spoon ring is considered traditional yet trendy, and is a thoughtful gift for holidays and birthdays. Making a spoon ring makes that gift even more special, but it requires speciality equipment, space, and knowledge of tools to avoid injury. Difficulty depends on the type of metal used to make the ring. Sterling is easier to mould than stainless steel. Sterling spoons are stamped with the number "925" or simply read "sterling."
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Metal spoons
- Ring mandrel
- Hacksaw (or access to a hardware store)
- Grinder (or Dremel tool)
- Torch (for use with steel)
- Charcoal soldering block (if torching)
- Metalsmithing tweezers
- Jewellery polishing cloth
- Ring size
- Safety goggles
- Safety gloves (heat and flame resistant for use with steel)
- Polishing cloth
Select the spoon you want to make into a ring. Look at patterns on the handle and decide which one you like the best, and consider width according to finger size.
Put on safety goggles. Saw off the spoon bowl with the hacksaw, beginning at narrowest part of the spoon.
A hacksaw is a common household tool. It is shaped like a rectangle and has a fine toothed saw that is framed for tension. Most blades are 10 to 12 inches long; however, smaller ones are available.
Grip the handle of the saw firmly. Press the handle of the spoon down at the edge of your workspace, letting the bowl end dangle off the edge. Saw back and forth, letting the length of the blade saw through the narrow part of the spoon until the bowl falls.
Slowly saw the metal down to size until you reach the desired length for the ring size. This can be done with the hacksaw or at a hardware store.
Hammer the spoon with the mallet (if using sterling) to add texture to the metal. Hammering gives the metal a wavy look. If you don't want to change the look of the spoon, hammer less. A textured look requires more hammering. Hammering is more difficult, if working with steel.
Sand the raw metal edge of the ring until smooth, using the grinder. Dremel tools have grinding heads and these can be found online or at hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's. Grinding heads are used to smooth out jagged edges and remove excess material.
Wrap the spoon around the ring mandrel and shape according to desired size. This will not require any heat if using sterling spoons, because sterling is soft.
With stainless steel, wear safety gloves and goggles, and use a torch to heat the metal. Be sure you are in a spacious, fire resistant area. Small torches are available for jewellery making, and some attach to soldering tools. You can also use a simple butane torch, which has one setting.
Wearing gloves, hold the spoon with the metalsmithing tweezers. Fire the spoon with the centre of the flame, because it isn't as hot as the flame tip. Hold for thirty seconds to one minute, and set the spoon down on the charcoal block.
Metalsmithing tweezers and charcoal blocks are available at craft speciality stores and online speciality sites.
Shape the spoon ring into its final form with the mallet. If you used the torch, hold the spoon with the metalsmithing tweezers. Bend or expand into desired size, using the mandrel.
Examine the spoon ring for rough edges. Polish if necessary with a jewellery polishing cloth.
Tips and warnings
- Work with sterling for an easier, less time consuming process.
- Only torch stainless steel if you are experienced with torches and metalworking.
- Always wear safety goggles and gloves to avoid injury.
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