Chopstick Master v2 Tutorial

"If I ever go to China, I'm going to find a piano and play "Chopsticks"--only not with my fingers... I'll be using two forks."— Jarod Kintz

Drivel Starved Nation-

It looks like the BCTW field trip to China is resonating with the DSN.  I will post complete details next week regarding the itinerary. I also think we may limit this to 30 or so for logistical reasons.

Hey! We received the first shipment of the CSMv2s at the end of December. This is such a fun tool to use!

Here is a real-time tutorial on how it is used — you can tell I had 4 cups of coffee the morning we shot this–oh well… Continue reading

Announcing An Epic Bridge City Tool Works Field Trip!

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”— Mark Twain

Drivel Starved Nation!

I got so fed up with the voluminous holiday email blasts in December, we spared you and kept our antsy fingers off our keyboards until today. How cool is that?

First, the Portland Weather Report: As some of you may know, I am an Iowa son, and no stranger to snow. In fact, it is one of the reasons I wanted to move to Portland. No snow shoveling here.
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Changing the World One Photograph at a Time…

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." — John Milton

Drivel Starved Nation;

It was an exciting time to be a furniture designer/maker back in the 1970′s. I can still remember the excitement of my first commission —it’s such an honor when others want your work in their home. I was so lucky.

But this luck came with a caveat. All of the people who were ordering furniture from me had money. Lots of money. Continue reading

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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Woodshop Field Trip… John’s Excellent July 4th Weekend! Part 1

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”— Anonymous

Drivel Starved Nation-

Here are a bunch of photo clues for you. Guess where I went and you will win…. NOTHING!

-John

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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

The Most Amazing Hand-Held Router I Have EVER Seen…

Drivel Starved Nation;

As mentioned in a previous post, I flew down to San Francisco a couple of weekends ago to attend Maker Faire San Mateo.  It is billed as the “Largest Show and Tell on Earth” and as one who has never used superlatives (lie), I would say this was an understatement (truth).

I realize I don’t get out much (sort of a lie), and it is difficult for me to keep up with current events (pretty much a lie). For example, I just found out that “Leave it to Beaver” has been canceled (big fat lie). I loved that show (truth).

Anyway, if you have seen what I am about to share, congrats. If you have not, prepare to be gobsmacked.

There is a new hand-held router that will supposedly hit the market this year that allows you to do CNC quality shaping completely by hand. Yes, hand held.  Here’s how it works to the best of my limited knowledge (true);

The router has a camera on the non-operator side that scans the work surface for markings on special tape that you put down before you begin.  This allows the router to establish a virtual Cartesian X/Y coordinate system. Basically it knows where it is in relation to the unique markings on the tape.

IMG_2202

The profile that you want to shape is created in a computer and it is downloaded to the router.  The profile appears on a screen on the operator side of the router.

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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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All New CS6v2 Combination Square from Bridge City Tool Works

"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." — Swami Sivananda

Drivel Starved Nation;

I have been busy, so busy in fact I just remembered that the Drivel Starved Nation needs food  more drivel so here ya go…

On the top of our request list is the CS-12v2 Combination Square and I am pleased to announce that we will open pre-orders in the next week or so. That said, I always wanted to make the 6″ version, so we will piggy back the 6″ and the 12″ runs and make both a brass and stainless steel versions of the 6″ combination square.

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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