Spinning Forks - I want one of those
April 13, 2008 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Where can I learn to make fork whirligigs?

A long while back my friend bought a very cool fork spinner at a fair that was comprised of two forks - one for the base and one that spins on 1 prong balanced perfectly on the other fork's base. I've seen some photos here and there on line of similar pieces but never instructions on how to make one myself. Can you help me find how to make one of these whirligigs?
posted by watercarrier to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Can you link to one of those photos?
posted by hydrophonic at 11:23 AM on April 13, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah this is a simplified version.
posted by watercarrier at 12:41 PM on April 13, 2008

Response by poster: Here's a vid of them in action
posted by watercarrier at 12:48 PM on April 13, 2008

Best answer: I would think that you'd get a pair of needle-nosed pliers, a sack of forks from a thrift shop, and practice, practice practice. You might then find that it'd be good to have a small blowtorch to heat the metal, which might then lead you to get some decent gloves and goggles to protect yourself while heating things... but really, it strikes me as something you work out for yourself, in the main, unless you can find a local craftsperson making them who will take you on as an apprentice fork-bender. I doubt you can learn much about it over the internet, beyond having the visual guides that you've already linked to.
posted by mumkin at 4:49 PM on April 13, 2008

Best answer: The "spin spot" on the bottom fork, on which the top fork balances, could be soldered on or done with one of those nifty spring loaded metal marking punches.

I don't think there could be any instructions other than bend it how it looks in the picture, and adjust until it balances. If you want super-specific instructions, they would only apply to one of the many, many different makes and models of forks out there.
posted by yohko at 5:27 PM on April 13, 2008

Best answer: I think any instructions would be :

1. bend forks until they look like the examples
2. keep tweaking until the top fork balances

Round nose pliers would help if you want to curl the tines as they are in the video. To get that even, gentle sweep of the handle like the top fork has in the video, bend it around a thick pipe before you do any other bends.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:08 PM on April 13, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Will try it !
posted by watercarrier at 5:13 AM on April 14, 2008

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