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How to Make a Forged Silver Bracelet

2012-11-02   Views:3

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Silver is a popular, attractive and relatively affordable precious metal. Beloved for its durability, shine and cool hue, it is prominent in many types of jewellery for both men and women. Necklaces, anklets, pendants, earrings and bracelets are just

How to Make a Forged Silver Bracelet

Silver is a popular, attractive and relatively affordable precious metal. Beloved for its durability, shine and cool hue, it is prominent in many types of jewellery for both men and women. Necklaces, anklets, pendants, earrings and bracelets are just some of the adornments commonly fashioned with silver. Silver bracelets are classic accessories that virtually anyone can wear. While they are available in a variety of styles at many clothing and jewellery retailers, they are also fun and fairly simple to make.

Skill level:Easy

Things you need

Sterling silver sheetHeat-safe work surfaceButane or propane torchLarge bowl of cold waterMetal tongsPaper towelsPencilRulerJeweller's sawFileSandpaperBracelet mandrelRawhide mallet

Instructions

1 Obtain a single piece of sterling silver sheet in the gauge, or thickness, that you desire your bracelet to be. Note that sterling silver sheet comes in a range of gauges; the higher the gauge, the thinner and more pliable the sheet.

2 Heat, or anneal, the sterling silver sheet with a butane or propane torch. Note that annealing is a process that makes silver more pliable and easier to forge into a bracelet or other form. Position the silver sheet on a heat-safe work surface. Move the torch's flame back and forth over the surface of the silver sheet. When the silver sheet takes on a dull, red glow, pull the flame away and turn off the torch.

3 Grasp the sterling silver sheet with metal tongs. Drop it into a bowl of cold water. Allow the silver sheet to cool completely before removing it from the water.

4 Remove the sterling silver sheet from the bowl of water. Dry it thoroughly with paper towels.

5 Determine how long and wide you want your bracelet to be. Use a ruler to measure the length and width on the piece of sterling silver sheet. Draw an outline of the bracelet on the silver sheet using the ruler and a pencil. You should draw a basic rectangle in the length and width you want your bracelet to be.

6 Cut out the rectangle shape from your sterling silver sheet using a jeweller's saw. Hold the blade of the saw at a 90-degree angle, perpendicular to the silver sheet, as you cut into it.

7 File the rough edges of the sterling silver rectangle. Use sandpaper to soften the edges of the rectangle completely. This will ensure your bracelet is comfortable to wear.

8 Position the sterling silver rectangle against a bracelet mandrel---a tapered, cylindrical form made of wood or metal that is used to form metal bracelets in various sizes.

9 Strike the sterling silver rectangle with a rawhide mallet---a hammer used to form and bend metal without marring it---to bend it around the circumference of the bracelet mandrel. Hammer the rectangle repeatedly until it is completely wrapped around the bracelet mandrel and the two ends of the rectangle nearly meet. Leave a gap between the two ends of the rectangle. The gap should be large enough for you to slide the bracelet on and off your wrist. Slide the bracelet off the mandrel.

Tips and warnings

Polish your forged silver bracelet with a silver polishing cloth to bring out its natural glow.

To hammer decorative marks into your forged silver bracelet, strike its outside surface with a chasing hammer before hammering it into shape around the mandrel with a rawhide mallet.

How to Make a Forged Silver Bracelet

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