Saturday, December 23, 2017

Solving the pull problem

The drawer and door handles for the kitchen have been a bit of a struggle. I really wanted to use antique cutlery for the pulls. But I really didn't want to drill through the utensils and leave a bolt head visible. So the first attempt was Loc-Tite. That ultimately failed so I moved to attempt number two which was JB-Weld. Most of those failed as well. The metal utensils were simply too slick, even with sanding/roughing the surfaces, for the adhesives to hold up to repeated openings (even if you're being gentle, there is still a jerk when first breaking the inertia of a closed drawer).

If I wanted to use cutlery I'd have to drill through and figure out a way to make it appeal to my sense of aesthetic.
This was definitely not the look I wanted
I'd gotten cute with some of the decorating on the glued pulls and realized the copper spiral looked pretty cool. And I could use that to cover the bolt heads!
These decorated but undrilled pulls gave me my idea
The actual drilling was easy - the drill press, a clamp or two, and a sharp drill bit made quick work of going through the utensils. It was really neat to see what various metals were under the silver plating - copper, brass, and a mystery grey material (not lead - that would be too soft, probably nickel) all showed up as the surface was breached. Then drill through the drawer front, bolt together, turn some copper wire, and decorate. Here's how it looks:
Much better than the first picture
These are wicked hard to photograph. Here is the north wall - first stack is forks, second stack is knives, third is spoons - a complete place setting.
Maybe you can zoom?
 Here's another closeup of one of the spoons.
I love the copper/silver contrast
I hunted antique stores, my Mom's house, my stash, and flea markets for the cutlery. These ice tea ( ice cream?) spoons came from Newberry's!
So you can see both ends
Here's a shot from when it was just glued and tied. I made sure to place the new drill hole so that the logo was still visible. Several of the utensils had maker's marks or initials on the handles and I tried to make sure those could still be seen.
Before drilling
And here's a shot of the cocktail forks from the leftmost stack on the north wall. Yes, those tines are sharp but the drawers are set back deeply enough that I don't catch anything on them. Although I do put corks on the tines when the little ones come to visit. A quick and simple solution that saves a lot of worrying that they might poke an eye out on those things.

Such cool lines
I really liked the decoration I used on the left side of the fork but I'd have to remove it if I drilled through. So I drilled the right side and left the other glued - here's hoping it doesn't fail.
Mash up of attachment styles
The south wall (sink wall). 
All spoons
So now the drawers and doors all have pulls and they're all unique. Drilling and bolting the pulls has made them incredibly secure and I actually like how the copper coiling helps tie together what could be a visual mess. Since the cutlery is all different styles the color and shape of the copper coil adds a consistent design element. Perfect. And let's talk cost - antique cutlery is very inexpensive unless you're actually buying silver sets. I paid anywhere from 25 cents per piece up to $2 for a few that were an unusual shape or style. Compare that to $8 per piece for even inexpensive drawer pulls and I think I got a bargain.

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