Picture of Stylish Chopsticks With Toothpick Storage
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These chopsticks are easy to make, look great, and have a hidden compartment to store toothpicks or anything else you would want to store (but mainly just toothpicks).

Made of hardwood and aluminum tubing, they are low cost and durable, allowing them to be reused many times.

Also, using your own utensils over and over again helps reduce the cutting of trees to make new chopsticks (albeit by a very tiny amount).

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of materials
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All you need for this is a 6mm dowel and a piece of 6mm aluminum (or really any kind of metal) tubing.

In the spirit of re-purposing, I used an old Airsoft barrel I had lying around for the tubing. All I needed to do was to wash it thoroughly to remove grease.

Both tubing and dowel can be found at any good hardware store or home center.

You could also cut up an old pair of chopsticks to use in place of the dowel, but I didn't have any.

At my local Ace Hardware (Northern California) you can get materials for four pairs of chopsticks for $7.50.

Step 2: Tools

For this build I used:
a craft knife
a marker
a ruler
a file
a hot glue gun
a mini hacksaw
and a tubing cutter

I also used some olive oil- any kind will do

Step 3: Cutting the dowel

Picture of Cutting the dowel
Measure and cut two 2 inch lengths and two 4 inch lengths. Try to cut them as cleanly as possible.

Step 4: Cutting the tubing

Picture of cutting the tubing
A toothpick is approximately 2.5 inches long. The tubing needs to be at least that length plus one inch. I cut my tubing at 3.5 inches. 

Cut two pieces of tubing 3.5 inches long. make the cuts as clean and straight as possible. If possible, use a tubing cutter. Ream the ends out a bit and clean up any burrs or sharp edges.

Step 5: The parts you should have

Picture of the parts you should have
This is what you should have.

Step 6: Mark dowels to carve

Picture of mark dowels to carve
Now, make a mark 1/2 inch from one end of each dowel length. This marks the area that you will have to carve in the nest step.
acoleman33 years ago
also a bloody good way of making collapsible hashi for ease of transport. like.....putting them in a pack, if you carry one around, so you always have them with you. although i *would* use brass 'cus aluminium is slightly toxic and the oxide rub off turns your fingers dirty. ....but cudos to you for re-using the airsoft barrel. quite brill of an idea there.
ilpug (author)  acoleman33 years ago
thank you. I didn't consider the oxidation. I was considering coupling these with a little carrier that would also include a chopstick rest. maybe for a bored afternoon of the future.
ilpug (author)  ilpug3 years ago
I have been using these and other virtually identical pairs pretty much daily since i made this instructable, and never once have i had any rub-off. you may be right, but i just haven't observed it :/
shortone ilpug2 years ago
Aluminum still isn't very food-safe. It isn't a huge deal here since that part isn't actually TOUCHING the food, but it would be safer to use brass (plus it isn't too tough to get ahold of brass tubing-pretty much any hobby store will have it). :)

Nice 'ible though, the simplicity of design is really lovely. These would be really nice made out of a fancy hardwood!
ilpug (author)  shortone1 year ago

Woah, haven't been on this Instructable in a while.

Yeah, I'm definitely thinking of making a few more pairs of these, they definitely look cool.

ilpug (author)  shortone2 years ago
Yeah, I think I may revisit this idea later on, Brass also looks better!
neo716651 year ago

brass is a copper and zinc alloy often with lead mixed in. I'd use aluminum before brass.