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The making of salt and pepper shakers


#1

I may need to make some sterling silver salt and pepper shakers,
which is something I have never made before. Unfortunately my
decades at the bench have been more narrowly confined to jewelry
making, with a sculptural object thrown in every few years. So I’m
wondering if the collective brain of Orchid has any suggestions on
how to proceed. I do have a hydraulic press available to form the
container and cap. I’m wondering if I should try to thread the
somewhat large caps, so they screw onto the container? I’ve threaded
things that are post and ear nut size, but these might be 1/2 an
inch in diameter. When I’ve looked at others they have big fat
threads that looked stamped in? I’m not sure how to do that. I was
thinking of making a hinge and clasp as a way to solve that problem
and add an interesting design detail? I could just put in a rubber
plug at the base, but that sorta seems like it might be cheating?
Also, is there some rule of thumb about how many holes for each or
what size the holes should be? I mean are there typically fewer and
smaller holes in a salt shaker?

I feel like such an idiot, I’ve been using salt and pepper shakers
my whole life and I’ve never have paid much attention to them! In
fact I went out for breakfast this morning and didn’t even look! All
of the I need has probably passed right through my hands
unnoticed. Any insights or thoughts (or even poems) about salt and
pepper shakers will be very much appreciated!

Thanks,
Mark


#2

One thought that struck me was that a hinge and clasp might not be
as secureas a threaded container and base. You wouldn’t want the
whole container of pepper or salt pouring all over your food,
although I suppose it depends on the clasp.

I’ll be I retested to read people’s thoughts on this topic.

Helen
UK


#3
I do have a hydraulic press available to form the container and
cap. I'm wondering if I should try to thread the somewhat large
caps, so they screw onto the container? I 

I’ve made shakers with the hy. press. You make the two halves and
solder them together. You don’t have to use a screw on cap. Lots of
older, collectible shakers are filled from the bottom, closed with a
cork.

Elaine
CreativeTextureTools.com


#4

Mark- No rubber plug. Plastic yes, rubber no. It will eat the
silver. Also you will need to gold plate the interior and the cap of
the salt shaker as salt eats into silver as well.

You are right about the larger threads being die struck. It’s easy
to make a simple twist and lock mechanism. The top has two bumps on
the bottom edge and the the base at the top has a rim with two slots
that the top fits into and then is twisted to lock it into place. A
hinge is also a dandy way to solve your problem as well.

As for holes it depends on how much you like salt and how much your
doctor allows you to eat. Sigh. Also I like my pepper coarsely
ground, some like fine ground, so make the holes the size you like
yours to have.

Post photos when you’re done.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#5

you can also use wire to make threads that stand out from the parts-
just line them up using precise measurements and registration marks.
Why use a press unless it’s a production run? another consideration
is an inner cap to keep moisture out…


#6

Well, Mark, my brother has made them out of stone, with rubber
stoppers on the bottoms, but I never have. More genericallly,
though, about cutting threads… Probably you are thinking on
the order of 1/2 inchor something for those.

You can cut those threads with pipe cutting threaders, but it would
have to be either solid or heavy pipe,inside and out. They don’t
work on sheet metal because they will just crushit and stretch it,
inside and out. The only real way to cut those sorts of threads into
sheet is on a lathe. Or to do the sort of “raised threads” that are
commonly seen on salt and pepper shakers. I don’t personally know
how to do those but I imagine there’s a tool and die for it, for the
press, somewhere in the world. More holes for salt, fewer for
pepper.


#7
More holes for salt, fewer for pepper. 

In the UK, it’s the other way round. Pepper has multiple holes and
salt often only one.

Helen
UK


#8

Thank you for the great tips! To show my gratitude I wrote you a
salt and pepper haiku breakfast poem.

Salt and pepper specks
Rest upon glistening eggs
Warm coffee cake waits

Mark


#9
Also you will need to gold plate the interior and the cap of the
salt shaker as salt eats into silver as well. 

I wonder if it’s the copper in the sterling silver that the salt
reacts with? Maybe making them with fine silver would avoid the salt
trying to digest the container? What do you think?