Introduction: Folding Spoon-and-fork

Recently I was lazily surfing among newest Instructables, when I found a very inspiring. It's inspiring because it contains a link to an external blog , which contains a pic and a description of a thing that I've always wanted to own: a spoon and a fork together, but not a spork. In other words, a tool for eating outside home without the need to bring all the cutlery needed, because all you need is here! Wohoo!

[white and soft cloud expanding from my head: OK, keep calm, make a deep breath, return to normality...]

I'm sure there are plenty of instructions, how tos, photoguides, telepathy mind sharing (well, maybe not this last), explaining how to do something like this, but why don't give it a try? At least, this is what I said to myself.

So, if you are interested, keep going with the next step.

Step 1: Warning

Before starting, I'll take a moment to be very serious. Here we talk about one's health, so please pay attention.

This project involve the use of power tools that should be used with care.

Working with metal can be very dangerous, so use personal safety equipment, such goggles, working gloves, a mask for the powder.

Absolutely don't be hasty: use all the time you need to avoid damage to yourself, other people or things.

If you feel uncomfortable in using the tools I suggest, and you cannot find a workaround to achieve the same goal, ask for help or leave the project, it's better than injuring yourself or worse.

I'm not responsible for any damage to people, animals, plants or things, so proceed to your risk.

Good, serious moment's over, funny mode activated.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

To create this amazing, simple and useful object, we need something to start with, namely:
- a metal spoon (without plastic handle)
- a metal fork (again, without plastic handle)
- a short screw
- a nut that fits the screw
- 3-4 washers

Screw, nut and washers must be of steel, not iron, to avoid rust.

To turn all those things to the final product we need:
- marker
- tape
- dremel-like tool
- cutting bit (or a metal saw, if you prefer)
- grindstone bit
- metal file
- sandpaper of various grits
- drill with metal bit the same size of the screw
- bench vise

Obviously, all those tools must be suitable for working with metal. Unless you wish to ruin them, of course...

Step 3: Preparing for the Cuts

Fine, now that we have the workbench full of things, we can begin the transformation process.

Take the fork and place it handle to handle with the spoon, with the tines lying against the internal part of the spoon (see picture if it isn't clear). If there's too much empty space between the handles, bend them until you minimize that unwanted gap. When you are satisfied, use a good amount of tape to hold them together.

Mark the tines that came out the spoon, if any, plus a couple of millimeter, to ensure they will not pop out. Then mark the approximate center of the longest handle and add a cutting line about 1.5-2 cm toward the tip of the handle (see picture). Double check everything, once you cut down you cannot turn back...

Step 4: Cut

Keeping the cutlery together, cut both handles at the same time. This ensure a good balance for the finished tool. Then remove the tape and cut the tines, if you have marked them before. This is to avoid being hurt when you put it in your pocket. Sand all cuts to remove burrs. That's all, for now.

Step 5: Drill

Bring back toghether the cutted cutlery and tape them again. Using the mark you made before, or making another, as you wish, drill a hole through both handles. To make this operation easier, you can punch the mark to create an impression on the right place. Sand the hole. That's all, for now, again.

Step 6: Finishing

Untape everything and assembly spoon, fork, screw and nut to create a first prototype. You don't need to tighten the screw for now.

Shape the SAF (short for Spoon-And-Fork, what a fantasy...) as you wish, assuring to do so both in open and closed form. For example, if one handle is larger than the other, reduce the width of the bigger one to match the smaller. Round both tips near the hole to avoid sharp points. Narrow the tines if they are too wide. And so on...

Once you are satisfied, disassembly and sand everything to create an uniform texture. If you want you can polish the parts to make them shine in the morning sun (pure poetry...).

Step 7: Assembly

Now, assembly all your shiny new pieces, alternating screw, washer, fork, 1 or 2 washers, spoon, washer, nut. Thighten them firmly, not too hard to make impossible the opening, but enough to allow some resistance when you open and close it.

If everything works, congratulation! You've just made a SAF by your own! Good job!

Step 8: Caring

Since this is a tool that will be in contact with your mouth and the food you want to eat, you must keep it clean. Since all the parts are made of steel and we haven't use any kind of lubricant, you can wash the SAP by hand or with a dishwasher, like a normal cutlery piece. To clean it deeper, you can dismantle it and wash each piece separately.

Do not use any grease or oil for the joint, it could spread all over the handle and contaminate your food.

Before putting the SAP in a pouch, pocket, drawer or whatever, be sure that it's perfectly dry: humidity can bring to mildew, and some species can be very toxic.

A nice thing to do is to use a small fabric pouch to set aside your SAP and keep it clean.

And now, enjoy your meal!

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