New Accessories and Ideas for the Chopstick Master™

"Of all the possible utensils that could have been invented to eat rice with, how did TWO STICKS win out?"— Unknown

Drivel Starved Nation-

Today we have some cool things to share.

A while back, I shared how the grids for my sculpture “Fog of War” were made and you can see the pics here.

It is much harder to do accurate work in small scale but it can be made easier with an approach that yields consistent results. In the case of the grids mentioned above, the components all had to be the exact same thickness. This was surprisingly easy because all of our small planes accept depth skids which makes thickness planing thin stock a breeze. Without depth skids, there would be no Chopstick Master.

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The Best Deal from Bridge City Tool Works in 33 Years!

"A thousand years ago the Chinese had an entirely codified kitchen while the French were still gnawing on bones. Chopsticks have been around since the fourth century B.C. Forks didn't show up in England until 1611, and even then they weren't meant for eating but just to hold the meat still while you hacked at it with your knife." — Ruth Reichl

Drivel Starved Nation,

As always, you are the first to learn what is happening behind the scenes here at BCTW via this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog!

I have great news to share regarding our Chopstick Master. Version 2 of the CSM is going to be announced real soon and the details are below. But first, a pic; Continue reading

Chopstick Master Version 2 with a Really Fun Twist….

Dear Drivel Starved Nation-

I have been crazy busy the past two months. I went to China to finalize version 2 of the Chopstick Master and I am pleased to announce that when this version hits the streets this fall, it will sell for $195 buckaroos. That by-the-way, is $50 LESS than our HP-8 with depth skids ALONE.  This is a screaming cool value.  And our pledge to you; even though this is made in China, the quality is as good—or better—than what you have come to expect from Bridge City over the past 33 years.

Three weeks ago we attended a media event in NYC regarding the Chopstick Master v2 and I will share the results of that jaunt as they come in. A couple of fashionistas made chopsticks for their… hair!

Chopstick Hair 1

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New Mystery Tool from Bridge City Tool Works… Guess It and Win It!

"If I had 60 minutes to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes defining it and 5 minutes solving it."— Albert Einstein

Drivel Starved Nation-

This I know about the DSN; you have too much time on your hands. You cannot possibly justify spending time on this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog. And you love solving a mystery.

So, here is a new mystery tool for you to ponder.


The rules to get your hands on this incredible gizmo/contraption/device/awesomeness for FREE are at the end of this post! But first some clues… Continue reading

HP-10 Foxtail Convertible Plane Crown Kit …

Dear Drivel Starved Nation;

For those of you that follow this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog, you know that one, you need to get a life – you should be in your shop making something. Oh wait, you are at work… Continue reading

Tapered Sliding Dovetails: Setting and Sharpening the Irons…

Drivel Starved Nation-

As mentioned earlier, we are short-staffed here until sometime in March due to my travel schedule. Tomorrow I leave for my annual work retreat and I have so many ideas to persue…can’t wait to get started!

First, we are shipping the final 25% of the TS-2v2 Try Squares and here are a couple of answers to the most asked questions;

1) The inserts (either orange or black) float in the handle, they wiggle by design. Besides the cool decorative element, they serve as a flange to help in dis-assembly.

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Tapered Sliding Dovetail by Hand Video and other News…

“People forget how fast you did a job – but they remember how well you did it.” — Howard Newton

Drivel Starved Nation!

I know all of you out there in DSN land are wondering, why has John’s Blog been one big void for the past six weeks?

Well, I had a doctor’s appointment and it has taken me this long to chew through the leather straps… Actually, we did a little blog makeover and it took longer than we thought.

Bridge City News Dept.:
Michael Berg, who has basically been running this place for the past nine years has moved on. We wish him well. Because of my travel schedule in early 2014, I will not be seeking a replacement until March. Until then you are stuck with me for production updates.

Production Update Dept.:
I will see the first milled body of the CT-18 Plane within the next week or so. What a complex process.

We have begun shipping the TS-2v2 in both aluminum and stainless. The metric versions will ship last. I anticipate all will be shipped no later than the first week of Jan.

The FC-1v2 Flushing Chisels will also ship in Jan.

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BCTW Tapered Sliding Dovetails: Step-by-Step Pictorial

"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."— Marthe Troly-Curtin

Drivel Starved Nation;

Our Skunk Lab is full of tool parts that are being boxed and will soon be on their way to our fulfillment facility. Soon, you will be able to make sliding dovetails completely by hand. Bunch of other stuff too!

I spent last week and four days this week putting our HP-6 Tapered Sliding Dovetail Kit through its paces. The results are stunning – the image below is 3/4″ thick Ash and the joint is 7″ long.

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How to Build the Economaki Nutcracker …

Normal perception depends on ignoring, but the appreciation of beauty and the creation, so called, of art, depends not on ignoring. It depends on looking, and the more you look, the more you see. What you see, in anything beautiful, is not only all the features of it but also the visible relations between them. — David Pye

The nutcracker pictured below is currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. I designed it in the winter of 1975 and made several to give away as holiday gifts – we had no money to buy anything. In 1977 it was photographed by Joe Felzman and was ultimately acquired by the Renwick Gallery in Washington DC. I have made several hundred over the decades and it is a fun project. Since the holidays are quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to take you through this project so you can make it yourself.

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How to Make the Fog of War Board in Pictures…

In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.— Friedrich Nietzsche

Last April I taught two classes at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking on how to make my “Fog of War”, which is a metaphorical sculpture posing as a chess set.

There was not enough time in the week to make both the players and the board and I promised to make this post available for those who wanted to complete the piece. So here ya go!
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