Tools Needed to Make Spoon Rings

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With a few tools, you can turn old flatware into heirloom rings.
With a few tools, you can turn old flatware into heirloom rings. (Image: spoon in box image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com)

Spoon rings first gained popularity in the 1970s, but have quickly become a do-it-yourself jewelry box favorite. Old spoons are readily—and inexpensively—available at thrift shops and garage sales, and spoon rings can make a lovely heirloom when formed from family flatware. Shaping a spoon ring from sterling silver or plated copper/brass metal spoons just requires a few basic metalworking tools.

Jeweler's Saw

The first step in making a spoon ring is to cut the spoon’s handle from its bowl. This is most easily and inexpensively done using a jeweler’s saw with a blade. Saw frames come in a number of sizes and depths. A basic four inch frame is a good beginner’s size—large enough to saw sheet metal, but not too large as to make fine detail work difficult. You will need a large saw blade to cut through the thickness of a spoon. One of the two largest, thickest jeweler’s saw blades—1/0 or 2/0—should be sufficient.

Files

Metalsmithing files come in a wide variety of sizes and fineness of grit, often in sets. After you saw the spoon handle you will need to use files, moving from coarse to fine, to smooth away the sharp and jagged edge left by the saw.

Ring Mandrel

Ring mandrels, graduated cylinders around which you can form and size rings, come in either steel or wood. Steel mandrels are customarily recommended because of their durability, but either material will work for spoon ring making.

Mallet

Mallets are soft hammers used for tapping, shaping and work-hardening metal and wire. They are usually made of nylon or have a head covered in rawhide. Mallets are essential to make a spoon ring because you need to hammer the spoon handle into a ring shape around the ring mandrel, but you do not want to leave the pits and marks that a metal-headed hammer would leave on the ring.

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