Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Make Fork Hooks

I've seen so many interesting ways to reuse forks, so I decided to give it a whirl and make my own coat rack of sorts out of some extra forks that I had. Less silverware in the cabinets = less dishes to wash! Plus I get the added bonus of more storage space for whatever need be.

I looked around on the internet for tutorials on how to bend forks, and amazingly I couldn't find too many that were useful to me.  There were some which involved using a blowtorch and other blacksmithing materials, of which I do not own, then there were others that simply said to bend the fork using a pair of pliers.  The pliers method was the one I was going for, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, I couldn't figure out how to bend the forks without breaking them, and none of the tutorials mentioned anything about breakage.  It just seemed as though everyone had a miraculous way of bending forks into beautiful shapes without the tines breaking.  I finally figured out that there is a method to it, and after countless broken forks and a few blisters I had it downpat.

These are the basic materials you will need:

The obvious....forks!  I used 3 for my rack, but you can use as many as you want.  I found the cheaper the fork, the easier it was to bend.  Since I have about 20 forks in my kitchen utensil drawer, it was easy for me to surrender a few to my project.

Tools.  A hammer to pound the fork tines flat, different size pliers for the bending process, a clamp for holding the fork still while you're bending it (although I would recommend a vice grip if you have one), a drill for drilling holes into the forks and then onto the board, and of course, an old piece of board that you have laying around the house.


Now, the trick to bending the forks with your bare hands and a pair of pliers, is to do it slow and strong.  I quickly learned that if I went too fast, the tines would break very easily.  I originally wanted to bend all the tines sideways, modeled after a beautiful picture I had seen of a fork hook where they were bent into a celtic knot.  I soon realized if I wanted to do that, I would need to learn the art of blacksmithing, which I may do sometime in the future, but for the time being, I needed to keep it simple. 

I found it much easier to bend the tines forward.  After much trial and error, this was my first successful hook.  I clamped the handle of the fork to my workbench to hold it still, then I grabbed the very end of the tine with a pair of pliers and slowly began bending in a spiral like motion.  It takes a lot more strength than I realized, so I really had to find the right balance of speed and muscle to get it to bend smoothly.  As I said before, if you go too fast,        THE TINE WILL BREAK!

After I got comfortable with bending forward, I decided to give it another try on bending sideways, just a little bit.  I couldn't get it to spiral, but I was able to get it to bend just enough to give it the illusion of being a hand giving the peace sign.  I thought it looked cute, and appropriate for my son's room, so I left it at that.  I picked the three best looking forks, then bent the handles upward to form the hook.  I then drilled holes into the forks, figured out where I wanted to position the forks on the board, then drilled holes on the board.  Then I just drilled the forks into place!  I was going to paint the board, but I liked the rustic unfinished look it had to it.  I sanded it down a bit to give a smoother look, and....


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