Instructables

Popcorn Fork is Cheater Chopsticks

Picture of Popcorn Fork is Cheater Chopsticks
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.
To see my related Instructables, click on "unclesam" just below the title above or in the INFO box to the right. On the new page that appears, repeatedly click "NEXT" to see all of them.
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Step 1: Components and Tools

Picture of Components and Tools
Components and Tools
COMPONENTS:
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.

Step 2: Modify the spring clip

Picture of Modify the spring clip
Modify the spring clip, shown from two angles in the left view. Clip has two square-ish tabs that grip paper and two oval loops that are squeezed with the fingers. Middle view, clip off each oval loop leaving 3/4-inch length of wire. Right view, carefully straighten the bends while minimizing damage to the plastic coating and without leaving any wiggles in the wire, and keep the remainging corner square. Smooth the ends of the clipped wires.
Diabloscope2 years ago
WHAT !! For popcorn ? I'll stick to my DOUBLE SPOON SALAD TONGS !! Screw Being Dainty LOL I take the cheaters from the sushi place for my wife , we have a bunch ! we have one that looks like a Fortune Cookie , its kool !! http://www.foodhuddle.com/2010/11/cheater-chopsticks-oy-vey/
acoleman33 years ago
....not bad. a good primer for those who have a hard time using chopsticks until they get a handle on how to....well....handle them. of course, for that use you'd omit step three is all.
why not just use chopsticks? much easier.
Yes!
ORLY?
Kaiven6 years ago
LOL! Why do you need cheater chopsticks? I just use chopsticks xD! Well... I guess it is because I am Asian... lol...
unclesam (author)  Kaiven6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Kaiven unclesam6 years ago
Uh... where is the special section? I'd like to check it out!
Kaiven Kaiven6 years ago
BTW, I know alot of Asians that don't know how to use chopsticks, I just said it might be easier for me to learn since I am Asian, ansd my mom, who is Asian, taught me... l.o.t.i.w.h.t.t.o.s.a.o.l.c.o.t.o
lemonie7 years ago
Nicely done, and good pictures. (However, if you're not going to use chopsticks as they were intended you might as well use a fork...) L
well, you can't really use a fork in a big bowl of popcorn...
don_naked6 years ago
great , thx for sharingn
a much more simpler way is just to use chopsticks as it is. they are fine as is and need no adjusting. it might just be an asian thing but other people will find it easy after a while.
What, exactly, made you think that *anything* on instructables.com was about doing things the *easy* way.....
unclesam (author) 7 years ago
Snoyes, good catch re clothespin spring. First thing I tried, but that kind of spring was not easy to bend, I could not make it "capture" the sticks, assembly would sometimes fly apart. I also worried that bare metal spring might eventually show rust.
snoyes7 years ago
Neat. Certainly more durable than the version made with a rubber band and a wad of paper. Looks like you could pull the spring out of a clothespin and save a little modification time, since they start off nearly that shape.
HamO7 years ago
Very well done instructable. Useful item, great pix, especially for a scanner. Thanks for sharing.