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:

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.

--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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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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