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Design custom sterling silver flatware


#1

I have been searching everywhere. Is it absolutely impossible to
design custom sterling silver flatware without making each piece by
hand? People who do the wax burn out process say it’s impossible,
and to do it with a die, it would be impossible to do it and make
any money because the dies are too expensive. Are there any
alternatives? Any you have would be very helpful. Thank
you Jaime Richardson


#2

Hi Jaime, if its a custom order it does not make sense to tool up for
it (make dies and have them stamped out). I design around what I can
do and I can forge and raise, pretty much anything in a reasonable
time. Yes, tooling up is expensive and its more for the mass
production work. If you however served and apprenticeship as a
silversmith and know what to charge its not a difficult job. As to
casting, cast pieces have no strength, flatware and holloware need
to be forged and raised. If you knew your medium in advance and its
limitations and advantages I feel you would not have a problem.

Ed Dawson
Maine Master Models
http://www.goldandsilversmithing.com


#3
I have been searching everywhere.  Is it absolutely impossible to
design custom sterling silver flatware without making each piece
by hand?  People who do the wax burn out process say it's
impossible, and to do it with a die, it would be impossible to do
it and make any money because the dies are too expensive.  Are
there any alternatives? Any you have would be very
helpful. Thank you Jaime Richardson 

Hi Jaime, I have cast and finished sterling flat ware such as forks,
spoons etc with success for customers who have designed flatware for
companies such as Ralph Lauren and others… There are a few tricks
to the trade that many casters are not familiar with and also some
model making tricks that may be done to increase strength in areas
that are normally too weak. Please contact us off list to see if we
can help you… We aslo do stamping but as you say… sometimes the
cost of the die work is expensive… Best wishes, Daniel Grandi
sales@racecarjewelry.com Tel/fax: 401-461-7803


#4

I have casted large intricate pieces in sterling. Try making a wax,
you might be pleasantly surprised…


#5

Another way to do it is to get it electroformed… I have done
silver flatware prototypes for larger silversmith companies:
it’s very quick and relatively inexpensive.


#6

Jamie, I did a 40 piece one of a kind set of flatware and I made it
by hand .i.e. fabricated. I had the stainless steel blades ‘brazed
dipped’ for the handle attachment. The style of the pieces (5 to a
place setting) was unusual enough to require them to be individually
made. The customer wanted them to be hand made a well. I looked into
casting and the fork tinges will not hold up!! Sue


#7
    Another way to do it  is to get it electroformed... I have
done silver flatware prototypes for larger silversmith companies:
it's very quick and relatively inexpensive. 

Electroforming silver is well and good for prototypes in flatware
but it would be disastrous for silver knife blades or the tinges of
forks if they were in everyday use, as it is too soft. That’s just
one reason, there are many more.

Ed Dawson
Maine Master Models
http://www.goldandsilversmithing.com


#8

Eletrodeposited material will be rather brittle-- Ok for prototype
but probably not for real use. Jesse


#9

HI!

I don’t know the intricacies of your design. But I would design the
handles, use the RT Blanking system for the die, Shape and form a
prototype and then use Susan Kingsley book HYDRAULIC DIE FORMING FOR
JEWELERS AND METALSMITHS ( see chapter on making your own die with
Epoxy for the Bonny Doon Press). This would give more hardness and
strength to the silver. You would probably need a separate
prototype for the knife handles, but you can duplicate the handle
for the spoons, forks etc. and do it yourself without the big outlay
of cash. Contact Sheltec to make up the cutting die, they are
terrific and cost effective. I also would like to make up some
specialty forks someday for myself and that is what I have figured
on doing to get them all done with the minimum of labor. Pat DIACCA
Topp


#10
  Eletrodeposited material will be rather brittle-- Ok for
prototype but probably not for real use. Jesse 

FYI Copper, silver, gold and nickel electroforming has been widely
used since the turn of the 20th Century. Use of nickel electroforming
for mass production of recording heads for hard drives made PC
revolution of today possible. Here is a few other uses of
electroformed (electrodeposited) materials : – stampers for LP and
holograms on credit cards; – injection molds for mass production of
CD, CD-ROM, DVD (up to 80,000 pcs per day per mold); – molds for
making automotive components (plastic grills at the front of the
car); – filters for coffee makers; – rolls for printing on fabric; –
rocket engines; – electrical micro motors for computer CD-ROM / DVD
/CD-RW; – hollow sculpture (Opera de Paris); – dies for bath tub
production; – vacuum chambers; and many others uses that I don’t
remember now or don’t know yet.

In most respectful way I have to say that I found your statement
about electrodiposited materials completely groundless. Best regards,
Alex Belykh


#11
In most respectful way I have to say that I found your statement
about electrodiposited materials completely groundless. Best
regards, 

Actually Alex, Jesse was correct in his assesment that
electroforming was not the way to make sterling flatware , which
takes a massive amount of abuse. This was the original question he
was responding about. Realize that an electroformed fork will be
fraught with problems such as the tines of the fork , which now,
would be hollow, will easily be bent or crushed and would not be
repairable if that should happen. Leaving the fork filled with wax
is also not an option as the forks go through hot water cleaners,
are sometimes exposed to boiling liquids etc … and this will cause
the wax to leak from the tiniest pin hole in the electroform. If you
electroformed over a tin or other softmetal and left the metal
inside for strength then it could not be stamped sterling . Now, If
you were to use a combination of electroformed metalssuch as copper,
nickel, then silver, you may have a strong enough hollow fork, but
this would not be considered sterling flatware and cannot be sold as
such. You are , however , very correct in stating that electroforming
is used in many fields to produce various tools for industry such as
stamping of CD’s and other things… however, in all cases, the
strength of the tools created does not come from the electroforming
process… these dies are backed with other materials to give them
the strength for the electroformed tools created and that is how
they last in production. In the case of using electroforms for
producing molds for production of plastic injected grills and parts
for machinery, the electroformed shell, which is quite thin is
backed by other materials eliminating the need for massive amounts
of strength in the actual electroform. Best wishes, Daniel Grandi We do
casting, finishing in gold silver, bronze, pewter for people in the
trade