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Growing up my dad made marshmallow forks out of broom handles and wire clothing hangers.  These were outstanding marshmallow forks because the wooden handle and overall length allowed one to sit back and roast a perfect marshmallow.   This instructable shows you how to make this traditional marshmallow fork from a broom handle and wire clothing  hangers. 

The basic process for making marshmallow forks:
1) Make the winding tool
2) Wind the wire fork
3) Cut and prepare the handle
4) Assemble the fork and handle

Marshmallow Fork Materials
    broom handle (or 7/8 hardwood dowel)
    Coat hangers (or 10g or 12g stainless steel wire)
    Paint

Winding Tool Materials
    1/4" x 20 x 2.5" threaded bolt.  The bolt must be threaded all the way to the head.
    1/4" x 20 nut
    1/4" x 20 wing nut
    2x 1/4" fender washers
    2x 1/4" lock washers

Tools
    Scrap 1x4 (fork mandrel)
    Electric Drill
    Drill bits - 3/16" and assorted
    6d Box Nails
    Diagonal Cutters
    Pliers
    Saw
    Medium Grit Sandpaper
    Adjustable Wrenches
   

Step 1: Material Options

Wire Fork

Typical wire clothing hangers are either 11 ga. or 13 ga. wire.  The heavier gauge wire may seem preferable but my experience has been that the breakage rate while winding the fork is very high (~100%).  The 13 ga. wire clothing hanger does a good job for roasting marshmallows, however, it is not stiff enough for roasting hot dogs.   The wire clothing hangers can be replaced by stainless steel wire.    Below is an annotated list of wire I have used.

<> 10 ga. (0.102") Stainless  Steel -- very stiff, easily handles multiple hotdogs, can be difficult to work with.
<> 11 ga. (0.102") steel clothing hanger  -- high breakage rate (~100%)
<> 12 ga. (0.081") Stainless  Steel -- good for marshmallows, satisfactory for one hotdog.
<> 13 ga. (0.081") steel clothing hanger  -- good for marshmallows.
<> 14 ga. (0.064") Stainless  Steel -- too flexible.

The stainless steel wire can be purchased from McMaster Carr
http://www.mcmaster.com/#stainless-steel-wire/=i0qchy

Wooden Handles

Hardwood dowels can be used as an alternative to broom handles.  A 7/8"x48" hardwood dowel is a comfortable size and convenient length -- one dowel makes two handles.  Also five 7/8" dowels fit within a 3" drain pipe if not heavily painted. 

I typically store 10 marshmallow forks in a 4' section of 3" drain  pipe.  The forks are inserted face to face with the wire fork overlapping the handles.






 
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Hi, great forks! The only warning is that most cost hangers are galvanised with zinc which is highly poisonous and has a low melting point. Stainless steel wire without galv would do the job, and safely. Well done!
saharvey2 (author) 2 years ago
You would never guess from that photo that my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. You can help researchers develop an objective test for Parkinson's by adding your voice to the thousands of recording needed by the Parkinson's Voice Initiative.  It takes just 3-5 minutes.  Please give them a call.

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Don't be fooooled!!! Marshmallows on metal melt and fall off!!
saharvey2 (author)  getoffamycloud2 years ago
Very true for a clean marshmallow fork. But when have you ever seen one.

Once a marshmallow gets burnt on the fork there is a carbon build-up. That carbon helps hold the marshmallow on the fork. It also helps to hold the fork as level as possible when roasting. I typically lose marshmallows that drip through the tangs.
what a great project! This sure beats using a raw coathanger or finding a stick to sharpen. As far as marshmallows falling off, just barb the tines slightly. When you cut off the winding tool bend the wire sharply back then clip it close to make a tiny harpoon.
HollyHarken2 years ago
For some reason I can't get the .wmv files to play, I get a bunch of gobly gook text that makes no sense. Anyone else having this problem?

As for the fire pit, it does look like an old washing machine tub. I've been using one for over 20 years. My cousin made it and had angle iron welded to it to let it stand up. We use it during the year to have nice fires or burn up scrap wood and yard debris. I would suggest contacting your local appliance repair shop to see if they will sell you an old washing machine tub. Place it up on cinder blocks, bricks, what have you, to get it up off the ground. These things will put out some serious heat once they get going. One year we used one at camp when it rained all weekend. The ground was bone dry for at least 4 feet around the fire pit because we kept it full.
saharvey2 (author)  HollyHarken2 years ago
I have added MPEG files. I hope they work better.
Spokehedz2 years ago
My one complaint would be that some coat hangars are coated with varnish or something so you have to be careful to not use those.

Also, if you have a lot of breakage you can heat the wires up with a torch just a little bit and that should help with the twisting.

Otherwise, great Instructable and tribute.
Great instructable. Takes me back to summer youth camp. Question -- is there an instructable on the fire pit in the background ?
saharvey2 (author)  survivethetime2 years ago
Thank You!

The fire pit is a stainless steel tub from a front loading washing machine. My wife gave it to me on Father's Day in 2011. She found it on craigslist. I would suggest searching on "washer tub fire".

As HollyHarken said, the fire pit puts out some "serious heat." I typically toss scrap from the workshop in it. I have a round BBQ grill that I set on top to cook burgers and off course marshmallow. In fact it is actually too hot for marshmallow; the outside gets toasted before the inside gets thoroughly heated.
It looks like the inside (tub) of a washing machine!
Or maybe tumble washer/drier?

Need marshmallows.. need fork.. need stove.. need fuel.. and a match. :)
jtharkness2 years ago
Very nice 'ible - explained well, good pics, simple yet elegant, and inexpensive.
pattymadeit2 years ago
What a great tribute to your Dad! Thanks for sharing.
Kozz2 years ago
I must admit, I was completely distracted by the very first photo. Is that an old washing machine or dryer drum being used as your fire-pit? Very neat idea!

Great idea for the marshmallow forks, too. I'm taking the kids camping this weekend!
jrawling Kozz2 years ago
Second the fire pit question. Another Instructable please!
Xamu2 years ago
Would I lose my eligibity and amateur status if I used these? I worry about that. :o)
kbeindorf2 years ago
Very nice tribute to your father. I can't wait to make these for my camping family!
scoochmaroo2 years ago
Really fantastic. Thank you for sharing this!
paganwonder2 years ago
Great tribute to your Dad. Peace be with you. (I still use ancient camping gear because they remind me of great times with my Dad)
dbarber32 years ago
As someone who has had the privilege of camping with saharvey2, I can tell you they work great.
Musicman412 years ago
I still like using a small stick. I know it is done when the marshmallow no longer turns when the stick does.
iOskr2 years ago
Nice solution... better results... and the best is a low price...

Congrats thanks for sharing.
themoose642 years ago
Very nice, your father would like them.
They look fantastic - very professional. :)