Silver spoons, once a mainstay around the dining room table during special meals, often spend more time stuffed away in an old cabinet, all but forgotten, or in a cutlery box inherited from grandparents. The designs on the handles of old silver spoons are often quite appealing and detailed, making them well suited for jewelry making or other recycled art projects. Once the handles are cut from the bowls, the spoon parts can be fashioned into rings, bracelets or pendants. A jeweler's saw, hack saw or rotary tool with a cutoff wheel can be used to do the cutting.
Things You'll Need
Rag or shop cloth
Jeweler's saw, hacksaw or rotary tool with cutoff wheel
Open the vise wider than the spoon handle width. Wrap the portion of the spoon handle that will be held in the vise with an old rag or shop cloth, wrapping it several times for protection. Place the wrapped handle between the jaws of the vise with the spoon sideways and horizontal. Tighten the vise jaws until the spoon doesn't move when wiggled.
Put on your safety goggles. Cut the spoon handle in the desired location using smooth, even strokes if using a hack saw or jeweler's saw. Push straight downward through the spoon metal if using a cutting wheel attachment on a rotary tool.
Remove the spoon from the vise and unwrap it from the shop towel. Place the spoon on the workbench and hammer the cut edge with a rubber mallet to flatten any rough spots. Hold the rest of the spoon down while doing so. Flip the spoon over and hammer the other side of the cut edge. Repeat this process with the other piece of spoon if you plan to use it in a project.
Touch the cut spoon edges gently, feeling for rough or sharp areas. File down any rough spots using a small metal file, keeping the filing motion consistent and in one direction. Flip the spoon over and continue filing any sharp areas. Repeat this process with the other piece of spoon, if using it for a project.
Rub the cut edge with a piece of steel wool to buff out any remaining roughness or scratches.
Forks can be cut in this manner as well.
Search in thrift stores, yard sales and resale shops for old silverware for your projects. Oftentimes, ornate stray cutlery can be found for a low price.
If your spoon project involves bending the handles, heat the handles with a propane torch first to condition the metal before cutting. Hold the spoon with vise grips while doing this, then allow the spoon to cool before bending. This process will make the bending easier after the spoon is cut.
Use care when sawing the spoons; the spoon must be held tightly in the vise to prevent the saw from jumping irregularly as you use it.