I am attempting to make some rings and keychains out of silverplated flatware. I've made several rings using cupernil to prevent firescale, annealing with a torch on a charcoal block, quenching in water then forming (by hand and using a mallet) around a tapered ring mandrel. I am wondering what additional tools are helpful, as I am having difficulty forming the metal. Thoughts?
Be careful when heating silver plate. It is, after all, just plated silver and you don't know what the base is under it. Heat in a well-ventilated area, and don't get too hot or the silver will start to draw up and your ring will be ruined. Before bending, file the cut edge and smooth it. The most difficult area to bend is usually the end of the spoon handle where the decoration is. Put the decorative tip of the flatware in a vise (yes, you need a vise for plated flatware) with thick leather covering the jaws---just get it deep enough in the vise that it will hold it while you try to bend it.. Use a hide hammer and whale away at it; this stuff is hard. .Sterling spoons are soooo much easier (and usually thinner)! If you can get the decorated end of the spoon bent into an arc you will have done the hard part. The shaft of the spoon will more easly curve around your mandrel.