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I’ll occasionally buy tools from Bridge City Tool Works, a US-based company that custom-designs and builds a wide variety of very unique and exquisitely crafted items. I say ‘occasionally’ because more often than not, they’re prohibitively expensive but I do respect their work; their planes are nothing short of art.

One system they released last year is the Chopstick Master, a device which allows you to take a square blank and perfectly plane the gentle tapers of a chopstick. It’s an interesting concept but I was not impressed with the final product; it’s gotten rave reviews otherwise so maybe it’s just me. In any event, I figured I’d attempt to build my own.

There aren’t too many tools needed for this project. A table saw and/or router table is needed to make the base and sled as well as a hand plane to integrate into the final product. A measuring device which is calibrated in Metric is a good idea as well; In my case, I used a digital caliper to measure the depths of the channels.

I also had a small supply of 1/4" brass rod on hand which came in handy for a few of the components.

Step 1: The Concept

We have a short series of operations which need to be applied to a blank to get the look we’re seeking. We want a chopstick that tapers from a square on one end to a perfect octagon at the tip, with a 4-sided pyramid on the back end. To do this, we must do the following:

1. We need to refine the size and length to be a perfect 7x7x270mm block.

2. The primary taper must be made on the first two sides, i.e. plane 1mm away from 2 adjacent sides so the blank becomes 7x7mm on one end and 6x6mm on the other

3. The taper must be made on the second pair of sides, reducing the blank to 5mm at the tip

4. The edge tapers must be cut to create an octagon at the tip.

5. The pyramid finial needs to be added to the top. This is a 30 degree, four sided point. To do this, we’ll construct a block with the required negative tapers so that the blanks can be inserted and planed to the final dimensions.

The plan is to use a stable, thick block of wood with a separate channel precisely milled to support each operation. We’ll also need a sled to hold a small plane which will do the cutting while not destroying the block or the blanks.

<p>MissionSRX, I love this. I have been looking at the Chopstick Master for a while now, and just could not bring myself to buy one...</p><p>You are getting my vote, and may I offer some feedback? Step 2 is pretty long and very detailed. I saw all the photos you took and they are wonderful. However, since i'bles top loads all the photos, it is hard to track with photo illustrates which instruction. Breaking Step two into three or four steps with the few photos that go along with the instructions on that page would help clarify your instruction set especially for anyone who is not a addicted maker, like the fool in the picture to the left of this comment... :)</p>
Thanks for the vote/contest as well as the vote of confidence!<br>I appreciate the feedback; I'll see about splitting up the step to make it a little more clear. I realized too late that it was getting rather long and couldn't decide how to fix it.<br>The CM is a cool gadget but I don't think the quality is there. I originally wanted to make a setup to cut my own 7mm blanks but it quickly morphed into recreating the whole thing.
<p>Very cool! Voted!</p>
Thanks!
<p>great job!! I voted!</p>
<p>Thanks! I appreciate the vote.</p>
Wow that's above my pay grade but I love it. Some day I'll be confident enough to try this one.
<p>You should go for it! For all the projects I've done, this is a little complicated to get the angles right but its far from being the most difficult thing I've tried.</p><p>Thanks for checking it out!</p>
Good work this deserves to win in my opinion voted
<p>Thanks!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Engineer by trade, amateur woodworker and author in the off-hours. Most commonly, I build flag boxes for retiring military members and occasionally gifts and furniture ... More »
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