Framing Silver Forks


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Founding Member
Jul 30, 1997
Leawood, Kansas USA
I asked this when bidding this job and am now into the mechanics. These are Civil War dinner forks saved from Sherman's army. We worked up a velvet-lined shadowbox with the forks crossed at their waist.

I'm having a terrible time keeping them there! I'm trying EZ-Tach between the tines, then again at the point where the "fingerhold" would be, but they're not very secure.

Is there any form of stick-um acceptable for these guys? If there is, I could secure them to the mat with just a touch under the bottom of the handle. I could do a sink but don't think the client would like that at all.

Any help with this?
Silver is very vulnerable to sulfur and the velvet
should be synthetic and not silk, which is a slight donor of sulfer. Straps of polyester sheet
(Mylar) are the best bet for holding them in place.

Thanx, Hugh. The velvet is a cotton or a cotton/synthetic blend: the ol' upholstery sort, short nap. I have Mylar but was just hoping for the easier solution of some acceptable way to stick them in place.

I didn't really think there was. :( Hate it when that happens.
If you wanted to put up with the smell, you could use rabbit skin glue to hold them in place while you stitch and mylar and EZtach. It's archival once the smell evaporates (about 24 hours)
A teensy dab of LOW TEMP hot glue, (or parrafin) here and there might help as well. None of these will hold the metal for long, but can be used to stabilize things and make it easier to stitch down.

Keep in mind that these may leave marks on the fabric, so use them judiciously.
Originally posted by MerpsMom:
[QB] ...I have Mylar but was just hoping for the easier solution of some acceptable way to stick them in place... [QB]
Clear film straps are not only the best choice for many jobs (like this one, for example), but they are also quick, easy, and cheap.

If you're looking for an "easier solution", I wonder if you misunderstand the method. What difficulty are you having with clear film straps?
you know,

On these, the strongest thing you could use is silicone. A very small amount ,if left to cure, will not hurt these over the long hall. And if you only put it in places on the back that are flat it is easily removed,if need be. It will also be strong enough to hold for years and no sewing or mylar will be neccessary.

I'm sure once again I will be told that this is not arcival but it works and I have even done it to some spoons from WWII. They have beened framed for 3 years and they still look wonderful.

It's all in what you want to put into it.

Just a little worry about keeping the strips secured very tightly to the back of the mount. These forks are crossed and so they slide easily against each other.

I'm piercing the mount package in two places right under the handle to make the slots for each strip. Correct?
MightyMounts are good in theory, and I have used them in the past. However, several Grumblers have reported problems with the plastic crazing and failing in the long run. This vulnerability is apparently accelerated by exposure to UV light. I believe the problem has occurred even when using CC glass, however.
Having said that, these forks are probably much lighter in weight than a typical ceramic plate, so perhaps they would be adequate for this job.
Thanx, all. I'll stick with the Mylar for now unless I lose my mind trying it. Several have mentioned in the past that they've had trouble obtaining Mighty Mounts. Bob Victor Mid-America Chops in Topeka carries them now.
I think I mentioned this another time, Cathie, but not too long ago, we finished a sweet shadowbox that included lots of metal goodies, including pen knives, eyeglasses, stick pins, necklaces and several spoons 'floating' above hankies and paper ephemera. We stitched them down in several places with a taupe-y gray cotton/poly thread and it looked virtually invisible when it was all done. We even used Museum glass. I don't see why you couldn't truss the two forks together with a bit of thread to hold them stable.

If you feel your sanity about to make a run for it with the mylar, give it a try.

edie the ithinkitmayevenbec/p goddess
Well, Edie, today's the day the mind either goes or stays. Can't put this off any longer. And I wonder whatever made me think I have all of my mind still in attendance.

The thread idea is a good one as well. I'll pass on the results tomorrow.
OK, Merps. Here's how to do it...

Cut your straps as wide as you can, visually, because the wider the strap, the more surface you will have taped on the back. As little as 1/8" width would support the weight of the fork, but it could pull out of the tape.

Cut your straps to have at least 3" of each end protruding through the slot.

Cut a single slot for each strap, and pass both ends through it after looping over the fork.

Place a small tab of 3M #889 double-sided tape on each side of the slot, and adhere about half of each strap to the tape.

Fold each strap back, over itself, and crease sharply.

Place a second piece of double-sided tape in the fold, leaving about half of its adhesive area to stick to the mount board, and stick the folded strap end to it. This locks the strap in place so it can't pull out.

Cap each taped strap with single-sided tape, and burnish thoroughly.

No pull-out. No problem.