This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
Having occasion to make a taper ferrule of irregular form, a pattern from which to cut the material was made as follows: A mandrel of the desired shape was made, a piece of writing paper, soaked in water, wrapped around the mandrel, and a piece of twine wound over it, coil after coil like the thread on a spool. This was allowed to dry thoroughly, using a little heat. The string was then removed and a longitudinal cut made in the paper while on the mandrel. When opened this paper formed the pattern.
A piece of metal was cut from the pattern and the edges were brought together and brazed with spelter. The point of the mandrel was driven through a piece of block tin, about 1/2in. thick. The mandrel was then removed, the ferrule was placed on it, and both then started in the hole made in the tin and driven through it. As the mandrel with the ferrule passed through the tin, the metal was shaped exactly to the mandrel. It is best to oil the hole in the tin slightly. Tin is preferable as it is harder. - Contributed by James H. Beebee, Rochester, N. Y.