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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To All,

I have a possible commission for a cane with very specific requirements from the customer. One of these is the ferrule at the bottom: it needs to be silver / nickel in color, about 6 to 8" in length, and tapered, almost "pointy" looking. I have been searching high and low on the net, and all I find are the typical short ferrules. I have found a few examples that are attached to antique canes with pricey tags, but obviously that doesn't help me.

I suspect this will need to be custom made, but I don't have any contacts off hand that mess with this kind of stuff.

Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, that could be the answer, as long as I can get the look The customer wants. They mentioned a worn, somewhat beat up silver appearance, as if it were very, very old. I suspect this is to be some type of reproduction piece for role playing or theatrical use.
 

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If the item is not intended for heavy use, how 'bout this. Carve the desired shape. Wrap in pewter wire. Use a buffing wheel and smooth it. Might not need any abrasive, just the heat of the wheel fabric against the alloy. Then put a few scuffs on the smoothed surface, and expose to a tarnishing agent.Or perhaps peen the surface as if is were silver plate. Buff to clean some tarnish away.

FWIW, really old silver is black from oxidization. I once cleaned a silver service that had sat in a wooden crate for about 80 years. It was almost pitch black, but had blue and purple glints rather like it had been anodized in some fashion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That could be interesting. I need to find out in what fashion it will be used. In any case, I'm sure it needs to be somewhat durable. Is pewter fairly soft? Where would I find the wire? Craft store? I have peened copper quite a bit, so I am familiar with that.
 

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I think pewter is fairly hard. Not sure how easy it would be to work.
 

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While looking over wire samples online, I also noticed one site where they offered thin pewter sheets. There were pics of the sheets formed into small cups.

Pewter is mostly tin and lead, w. various additions to make it somewhat harder. Otherwise too soft for implements. I had a metal serving plate that I didn't know was pewter, and it collapsed thru the oven shelf when I left it in a 300-ish oven to keep a steak warm. Its just a guess, but having buffed a number of metals, I suspect wire would both smear from the pressure and soften from the heat.

The other thing I have been looking at is various epoxies designed for metal repair. I've found that there is a variety of J-B weld that has quite a bit of steel in it. I've worked w. epoxy putties before, and found them easily formed. Don't know if the surface would buff up to a metallic sheen.
 

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A really fun place to look for this kind of stuff is http://www.mcmaster.com

They have pretty much anything you could want.

I would think you could achieve the look you want with either aluminum, or a nickle alloy. Of course tin has a melting point of only 425-degrees if you want to explore the world of casting.

If the piece will not be subject to great stresses and uses, you might try the nickel shim stock http://www.mcmaster.com/#shim-stock/=nqd34z
 
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