I couldn’t resist this one. The following is for entertainment
purposes only, unless you’re bored and want to try it.
I once had a huge slug made from scrap silver, about 5-6 inches long
and two inches on each side. Put it in a gas forge and then formed it
red hot under a 75 pound Reiter air hammer. Way cool what you can do
with it that way.
Yes, you can forge it while it is red hot and it will move out quite
easily. If you don’t have a torch that will heat it, fire up your
burn out oven. No oven? A good blazing camp fire will work. Work at a
good red heat, but not orange hot or it can crumble or crack. You can
cut it with a sharp cold chisel and 3 pound sledge hammer over a
piece of heavy steel (put a sheet of copper between the silver and
the steel to keep from dulling your chisel when you cut through). Cut
it cold, or if you’re quick on your feet, cut it red hot. Just get
ready to jump back when the cut off part, still red hot, takes off
across the room. Between forging and cutting, you could eventually
get something that would go through a rolling mill, although you’d
have to grind away the surface a bit first, as the hot forging will
work in a good layer of fire scale.
But here’s the problem. It’s fine silver. It’s dead soft and won’t
ever harden appreciably. You’d have a heck of a time melting copper
to add to it to make sterling. I wouldn’t want to try it myself. So,
anything you make of it will stay too soft. You could draw a mile or
two of wire from it and knit a cool Art-sweater. You could enamel on
it, as long as the pieces were engineered such that they weren’t
subject to bending or denting, which would damage the enamel.
Here’s what I’d do with it though. I’d send it to Hoover and Strong
and trade it in for some more useful shapes of sterling silver. What
you’d lose on the deal would be worth it… unless you’ve got a lot
of time on your hands.