A popcorn fork lets you eat snacks without getting your hands messy, but the commercially-available model has fragile tines, and it has limited uses. Make my sturdy popcorn fork yourself and use it for everyday snacking and also to enjoy traditional cooked Asian dishes without fumbling with conventional chopsticks. My design is durable, inexpensive, easy and quick to build, and it also makes a novel gift. All accompanying images were made on a flatbed scanner.
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Step 1: Components and Tools
Components and Tools
Pair of plastic chopsticks, approximately 10-3/4 inches long (sold by the pack at kitchen-gadget stores); package may say "Elephant Tusk," but they're made of plastic). One face on each stick usually is decorated, and I will refer to it as the "painted face." Sticks have square cross-section butt ends that taper to tips having round cross-section.
One plastic-coated wire spring binder clip (hardware and office supply stores)
One nylon screw, 6-32, one half inch long or longer (hardware)
TOOLS: Pair small combo pliers and pair long-nose pliers. Small bench vise. Leather, rubber or fabric padding for pliers and vise jaws. Drill and bits 7/64 (0.109) inches dia and 3/32 (0.094) inches dia. Tap, 6-32. Small round file (rattail) (or sandpaper wrapped around dowel). Small flat file (or sandpaper folded over a flat stick). Sandpaper: coarse and fine. Alternatively, an electric rotary hobby tool with sanding disks, drums and grinding wheels makes quick work of the shaping tasks.