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Jewelry Making/bending silverplated items into cuffs



I have seen some vintage silver-plated items made into cuffs. The items I want to use are vintage hairbrush tops, napkin rings, and various other pieces of silver-plate that I would like to bend and make into bracelet cuffs.
The hairbrush tops, for instance, are mostly oval in shape and have raised designs on the surface. They are flat in shape. I want to form them to make bracelets. The average lengths of these are between 4"-7" and widths are between 1.5- 2,5".
I need to know how I can safely bend them without damaging or breaking the metal. The items are fairly thick-  from 1-3mm on average. I don't know if bending them over a bracelet mandrel would work. Hammering with a rubber mallet would destroy the raised designs.
Would I need to solder these to soften the metal and make it pliable? How would I do that? I am new to soldering, having never done it in my life.
Can you please guide me in how I can a achieve the proper technique, and order the right tools to do this.

Thank you,

First I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. This is the fourth time I've responded to this question, & because I am on vacation in Colorado and am 45 miles from any good signal, the uploads are not working.
I recommend you use a piece of heavy leather to cover your piece when you bend it & hope that the plating doesn't crack. You will have to replace after re polishing if it does, not fun.
PS don't hard solder or aneal.

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Chris Eilertsen


I have been in the Jewelry Industry 20 years and Apprenticed as a silver smith took classes in Casting sculpting repair and trained under master gold and silver smiths as well as some experience in Faceting and diamond cutting and polishing for repair. Plating, Wax work, Diamond Setting, Engraving, Carving, Mold Making, design, some watch repair, tool making, enamel work, refining, mining, sales, sand blasting, casting. Have worked in Platinum, Gold, Silver, Pewter, Brass, Bronze, Aluminum,Steel,Titanium,Wood, Plastic, and Stone. 10 years Appraisal work in Jewelry.


20 years commercial experience in Repair Manufacturing and sales of Jewelry 3 years school 4 year apprentice. Worked on the duplication of the treasure found on the Spanish Galleon Maravalla by Dr. Cecil Humphreys. Traveled with and manufactured the souvenirs and miscellaneous replicas from the King Tut Exhibit when it visited the US.

Former member AGTA and GIA and a ten year member of Memphis Jewelers association. 17 years experience in Tuscon Jewelry shows buying and selling.

JCK Tuscon Show Gude

Classes at MSU and The Memphis art academy in Jewelry sculpting, Specialized Repair school, and 2 apprenticeships in Silversmithing from Juelius Astor, and Goldsmithing from Katchic Yacubian both masters for over 35 years each.Studied with Dr. Richard Prilliman, and several others.

Awards and Honors
JCK Tuscon Show honorable mention in design.

Past/Present Clients
Dr. Cecil Humphreys Finder of the Spanish Galleon Maravalla, The Vanderbilts, Miscellaneous repair antique estate pieces. Elvis Presley Repair and Appraise 2 pieces of jewelry. Rifat Hassan and Nihall Mumtaz With the King Tut Exhibit. Trade work for over 36 Major Chains from Zales to Sams.

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