turning old silverware into kitchen pull handles

My wife is building a new kitchen, is totally underwhelmed by the selection of kitchen cabinet pull handles and overwhelmed by the pricing.
She has dozens of silverware that is better made and nicer, and will never be used. She wants to silver solder two barrels (with internal threads) to each piece and use them. I like the idea, but am clueless to start.
Questions, info/comments to snipped-for-privacy@sterkel.org 1. what is that "internally threaded barrel called?" 2. where can I get it? 3. is silver soldering the correct method 4. is a specific type of solder the best? 5. any dimensions I need to be aware of? 6. anything I am too clueless to ask?
thanks, all answers to snipped-for-privacy@sterkel.org
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terry wrote:

It's called a "stand-off"

Check your local hardware stores.

It should work - although you might want to compare the melting temperature of the silverware alloy to the melting point of the solder (-:

Probably; but this probably isn't the best ng to get authoritative answers for metalworking. We don't usually braze or solder wood...

Probably not. If everyone has to download and read your question, then everyone is entitled to read the replies and, when appropriate, offer corrections. This process helps to ensure that you get higher quality information than you might get by e-mail.
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terry writes:

I'm doing something similar at a beachside condo apt remodel, but with hunks of coral scavenged from the beach, and cut on a wet tile saw.
Rather than try to bond female hardware onto them, I plan to just drill a thru-hole and have a brass screw head showing outside, with a nut inside the door. Plastic spacers to get them to stand off from the front of the cabinet door.
Would also be cool to cast your own knobs out of old silverware melted down in a coffee-can foundry. Then you could just drill and tap them.
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thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately, the boss wants to not see the attaching hardware, so I neet to bond the stand-off to the Underside of the silverware.
ANY ideas out there? thanks! terry

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In an electronics parts supplier, look for "threaded standoffs" You can find them in a variety of materials with no threads or almost any combination of male and/or female threads in a variety of sizes and lengths.
Norm
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You might want to consider finding some brass drawer pulls and cutting off the threaded portion. I say brass because it's easy to solder. The threads are typically 8-32. There are many choices of silver solder, or solder that has silver content. In jewelry they often refer to soft, medium, and hard, each with ascending melting temperatures. I have seen silver solder sold at a local hardware store, such as "Ace". Not typically at Home Depot or Menards. J&L Industrial supply carries it, as does MSD.
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I'd suggest using stainless or aluminum spacers and attaching them with epoxy or a two part polyurethane like RayCrete.
Go to http://www.mcmaster.com/and search on "spacer".
http://www.raycrete.com /
The difficulty with soldering is that with knives the blade is usually steel (silver soldering won't work) and the handle is usually hollow. Unless you have a lot of experience silver soldering and a small jeweler's torch you will likely melt through the handle.
Other pieces are probably solid but the melting points of the flatware and the solder will need to be known. A jeweler's torch would still be a good idea.
RB
terry wrote:

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My wife is building a new kitchen, is totally underwhelmed by the selection of kitchen cabinet pull handles and overwhelmed by the pricing.
She has dozens of silverware that is better made and nicer, and will never be used. She wants to silver solder two barrels (with internal threads) to each piece and use them. I like the idea, but am clueless to start. Questions, info/comments to snipped-for-privacy@sterkel.org 1. what is that "internally threaded barrel called?" 2. where can I get it? 3. is silver soldering the correct method 4. is a specific type of solder the best? 5. any dimensions I need to be aware of? 6. anything I am too clueless to ask? thanks, all answers to snipped-for-privacy@sterkel.org
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terry wrote:

In the electronics industry they are called "threaded standoffs". Shapes are usual;ly hexagonal or round with lenghts from about 1/8" up to several inches. Threads typically range from 4-32 through 1/4-20. Look at digikey (digikey.com?) or other electronic supplies for bulk pricing. Material varies from plastic (nylon), aluminum, zinc plated brass, and plain brass. Solder will not stick to aluminum but should work fine with the brass and plated brass.
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terry wrote:

A number of things, including "internally threaded barrel". You might look for brass spacers (threaded). Such spacers are commonly used in the electronics industry, but they're usually aluminum. You'll want brass, and to have yours silver plated (and be ready for the plating to wear off on the insides where your hands wear on them).

Check Small Parts, www.smallparts.com. I don't know if they have them, but it's a place to work. If you're determined you may want to have something made, but you may spend more $$ than you would on door pulls. You may also do well getting brass rod, then drilling and tapping the ends for screws. This would be difficult, but with a steady hand you should be able to do this with a hacksaw, a vice and a hand drill.

Soldering should work very well. If done correctly on real silverware a soldered joint should last until your grandchildren are old. If it's just silver plated flatware you'll solder onto the plating, and your joint will only be as strong as the adhesion between the plate and the parent material.

You want something that will tend to acquire the same patina as your silverware. There are specific solders used by jewelers, you should probably check with a jewelery supply house (they may have your barrels, for that matter).

For strength you probably want to use 8-32 screws, and 3/8 inch barrels -- but the barrel size is an aesthetic choice as well, and you can get an 8-32 thread inside a 1/4 inch barrel.

Undoubtedly, but I'm too clueless to know what they are.

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terry wrote:

If the pieces you want to use are sterling or silver plate on brass or steel, you could machine and internally thread the standoffs. I would suggest brass since it is easy to machine and easy to plate. Silver solder the barrels to the silverware, clean thoroughly to remove _all_ flux residues and silver plate the pieces.
If you don't have plating gear, check out "brush plating" at http://www.caswellplating.com/nsindex.htm Brush plating is the most efficient technique for small stuff and/or infrequent use. I still have perfectly useable solutions I made up in the 60's.
Ted
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snipped-for-privacy@sterkel.org (terry) wrote in
Now why would I email you any answers? If it was important enough to post in a newsgroup, then there probably other people interested in the answers.
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||Now why would I email you any answers? If it was important enough to post ||in a newsgroup, then there probably other people interested in the answers.
Hear, hear! Email request is selfishness Texas Parts Guy
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Murray Peterson wrote:

Also you need the right torch. MAPP works fine. Propane doesn't put out enough heat to overcome heat conduction away from the joint.
Buy a small jar of Sparex (tm) pickle. Nothing else will as safely remove the hardened flux residue (aka "flux glass") once the joint cools.
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snipped-for-privacy@sterkel.org (terry) wrote in message >

You can get brass internally-threaded "standoffs" from just about any electronics or surplus supplier. They are listed in the Mouser catalog, for one.
You can use silver solder, or use the lower-temp "silver-bearing" solder (like StayBrite) you can find in the hardware store. Real silver solder is a brazing technique, and will require acid pickling and polishing afterwards to clean up the metal. The lower temp stuff requires much less cleanup afterwards, and will be strong enough for your use.
Is the silverware you intend to use silver-plated? Or maybe stainless steel? If plated, you probably need to replate after soldering. Stainless can be a bit difficult to solder to, check with the local welding store for correct solder and fluxes.
Plating: you'll want to plate the standoffs in any case, and maybe replate the whole piece once assembled and polished. You could use a silver electroplating outfit, but there is another approach that works ok for this kind of thing -- use an "instant plate" solution like those made by Jax. Their silver dip-plating solution works very well. Just remember the plated surface reflects the prep -- polish well first, then clean spotlessly, then plate.
Sounds like a fun project.
Regards,
Bob
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Any jewelry store with a on site jeweler should be able to silver solder the two together. If you do it yourself and use silver solder you will have to have a torch of some kind as well as a special flux. Tools and stuff for electrical or plumbing won't work with the high temps needed. I do a little silver smithing as another hobby and this shounds like a very simple project. You COULD use soft solder by the way but it won't be as strong a joint. Also, you won't be able to use aluminum standoffs for either type of soldering. The Epoxy is also a good idea as long as you keep it neat. Good Luck
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