Repairing Garbage Disposal Damaged Silver Flatware
Well, it’s happened again, without malice, that beautiful silver spoon or fork has inadvertently fallen into the garbage disposal and emerged mangled and damaged almost beyond recognition. It happens so often, and so quickly, that one is always shocked when they hear that metal grinding sound from the disposal. Now the question is what to do now? Can this be repaired? Do I have to start looking for a replacement? Is it worth it? Or, is even a replacement to be had?
Fear not, this is a common occurrence that I have encountered numerous times and have performed miracles. With fork tines wrapped around each other or with the bowls of spoons badly dented and gouged, silver, luckily, is one of the most malleable metals. With skilled hands, silver can be brought back virtually to its original condition.
I start by attacking the worst damaged areas and bringing them back into a semblance of their original shape. Of course, a lot of this is done from hours and hours of practice and experience with the thought in mind of what the piece looked like originally before it was damaged. Using some special tools, mandrills, and hammers, I bend, work and straighten the metal, getting closer and closer to its original shape. I use the same eye and hand skills that silversmiths have used for hundreds of years in moving, forming and shaping silver.
I keep refining the piece until it is virtually 98-99% perfect in its shape and configuration to its original. When I feel I can get no further with straightening, hammering and shaping, I then start the process of finishing and polishing. It’s a process of going basically from coarse to fine, doing careful filing, using special files, sanding, buffing and polishing, resulting in a final, beautiful scratch free jewelry finish.
Then comes my favorite part – the responses from the client when they receive the completed repair. “Mr. Friedman, thank you, thank you, thank you. I never thought it possible to repair this important family heirloom.”
My ultimate goal has now been achieved, only to start on my next project and begin again.