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Forging a sterling baby spoon

I hope this doesn’t repeat already out there, but I
searched and searched the archives to no avail.

I would like to make a sterling baby spoon. I’ve got limited
experience raising bowls, but only in copper.

Does anyone want to offer advice on spoon making? I don’t really
know where to start!

Thanks so much,
Jocelyn Broyles
Costa Rica ph(011 506) 376.6417
U.S. fax (253) 669.1679

Does anyone want to offer advice on spoon making? I don't really
know where to start! 

Hello Jocelyn,

I recently went through this process for the first time myself. I
highly recommend “Silversmithing” by Finegold and Seitz. Chapter 42
is “Forging Flatware” and pages 397-400 are focused on “Forging a

I found that about an hour with the book and 4 or 5 hours banging
away on the little billet of silver I started with was all it took to
end up with a basic spoon in hand. Give it another hour to trim and
finish and there you go! It was a lot easier than I’d expected though
you should plan on a little trial-and-error.

The spoon I made was a full-sized breakfast spoon. Your baby spoon
project may well take proportionally less time. FWIW I think I could
probably do my spoon again in half the time based on what I learned
the first time around.

I do recommend paying close attention to the selection of hammers
used. As ever using the right tool is the right way to go. I think
I used a total of three or four different silversmithing hammers in
the course of the project.

I use my spoon pretty much every day and I’m still quite pleased with
it. It’s not perfect but it’s not bad either.

FWIW I made my spoon out of Argentium and I found it to be a dream
metal to forge with. Primarily because you don’t need to anneal it
nearly as often as you would regular sterling. And of course you don’t
need to worry about firescale. If you are interested I talk about
some of this stuff on my Argentium blog at

These blog entries are related to the spoon project:

"A few simple projects"
"The oxide thing"
"Some thoughts on work hardening"
"Oxide and annealing footnotes"
"Be it ever so humble ... it's finished!"
"Additional comments on the spoon project"
"Spoon news (tarnish resistance update et al)"
"Spoon update - May '05"

Trevor F.
in The City of Light

by Rupert and Seitz, William Finegold , William Seitz

price: $25.17

Media: Hardcover
Manufacturer : Chilton Book Company
Release data : 01 August, 1983

Hmm. Do you really mean forging? Like from a thick hunk of metal?
Can’t answer that one.

If you want to saw it out you can saw it out of sheet metal and dap
the spoon. I recently made PMC baby spoon and dapped the bowl of
the spoon out. (Yes, yes, I know I could have made it that way
originally in the PMC, why I didn’t is a boring story.)

If you have the right stake you can also do the bowl of the spoon
with a hydraulic press.

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


Jocelyn Broyles, My name is David Baggaley

The following is taken from my web site I thought it might be helpful

What is Handforged Flatware

‘Handforged’, ‘Handmade’, ‘Handcrafted’ and ‘Handwrought’ all have
the same meaning. This is the original way that flatware, or spoons
and forks, have been made for hundreds of years, before the inferior
machine made flatware became commonplace.

To sum it up, a ‘Handforged’ spoon is much tougher than a machine
made spoon. It has extra thickness where needed and has the strength
of sprung steel, and because of this hardness it does not scratch as

During the handforging process the spoon will have been hit with a
hammer over 300 hundred times ! A machine made spoon recieves one or
two blows from a press.

A 200 year old hand made spoon will often be found in better
condition than a 50 year old machine made spoon.

It is true that a handmade spoon will be more expensive to buy
because of the time and craftsman’s skill involved, but it will last
for generations. A machine made spoon will not.

To make a spoon, a bar of silver is marked up to the correct
proportions for the bowl and handle.

It is then heated until red hot and held in tongs and using the
hammer and anvil, beaten into shape. The tip of the bar is pointed
to form the tip of the bowl. it is then hammered to form the bowl.
If a heel is to be added then a section down the centre is left

The edges of the bowl and the tip of the spoon are left thicker as
this is where most of the thickness is needed. The handle is then
started and hammered out to length going from thick at the neck and
gradually tapering down in thickness giving a truly 3 dimensional
and balanced feel. During this process the piece becomes very hard
and has to be annealed several times, then worked again until the
final shape is achieved.

The handle and top end are then shaped using a file. The piece is
held in a vice or held in the hand. The bowl is filed to shape,
often using a metal template. The bowl is then formed using a tin
cake and spoon stake. The molten tin is poured around the spoon
stake and left to harden. The handle is then bent down to 45
degrees. The spoon is then hammered into the tin using the spoon
stake and a heavy hammer, this forms the bowl.

The bend in the handle is then adjusted to match the other pieces
and so it sits correctly on the table. The bowl is then filed level

The surfaces are filed to remove the fire stain from the surface. It
is then buffed to remove any file marks and fire stain from inside
the bowl and is then polished to the desired finish. Our flatware is
never plated, as this wears though with time.

If you have any questions then please contact me and I will do my
best to help you

Best regards.

David Baggaley

Specialists in handforged flatware jewellery repairs and private
commissions of handmade jewellery and Sterling Silver Gift Items

David Baggaley Silversmiths & Goldsmiths
United Kingdom