Behind the Scenes: Making Prototypes

via Update #11 on Kickstarter:

Prototypes for Benefactors are Finished!

During the time the Kickstarter project was funding, we discovered that the torch we owned at home didn't get quite hot enough to create the kind of bond we wanted for your prototypes.  The samples we'd made previously are great for testing, filming, and using, but we want to make sure the prototypes you get have the strongest soldered bond we can possibly make. 

When the funds from Kickstarter cleared after the project ended, Shawn Michael bought a new torch - time to deliver the heat!

Your handmade spoons are finished and will be shipping out as soon as we collect your information.  Look for an email this week with your backer surveys; we'll be asking for your current mailing address to scoot them over to you!

I (Rachel Eva) caught Shawn Michael last week at the end of his workday and was able to witness the final step in the soldering process.  We thought you might enjoy seeing it:

Shawn Michael solders a spoon together, showing us one step in the process of making a prototype. 

Here are some shots of the prototyping process:

standard spoon prototypes pieces.JPG
standard spoon prototypes assembly.JPG
standard spoon prototype cutting sparks
standard spoon prototype silver solder 1
standard spoon prototype silver solder 3

Silver soldering is an extremely precise process - where the handle connects to the spoon bowl, it has to mirror the contours exactly. Each surface must be completely clean and dry; one little fingerprint's worth of oil will ruin the bond. Silver soldering is far superior to welding for this project because it doesn't leave a big old ugly weld scar at the joint - this is the same process used for making jewelry and other finely finished metal crafts.

standard spoon silver soldering stages

Here's a great snapshot of the spoons in various stages of the soldering process - the bottom spoon is not attached, and the surfaces are prepared to be soldered together. Moving clockwise, the next spoon has just been soldered (as you saw in the video). The heat from the torch discolors the surface, and needs to be smoothed and buffed to look like the top spoon. The final stage is polishing the surface to a bright, shiny, Standard Spoon.

Look close enough and you can catch Shawn Michael, his iPhone, and workbench full of tools.

Cheers,

Rachel Eva and Shawn Michael