Introduction: Tea Bag Crane

Tea bags on a string are a great invention for the lone tea-drinker, or the student without a tea pot*, but the string is often a problem; when it falls into the tea, you have to fish it out with a teaspoon, which defeats the original point of the string...

So, I came up with this, a decorative little thing that sits on the side of your mug and holds the string for you.

*You could say they're so poor, they don't have a pot to tea in...

Step 1: Sources

I knew I wanted to make a crane, and, as a nod to the industrial history of my home town, I wanted to make it a dockside crane.

Trawling through both my memory and the internet, the main source for my design was the photo above, of a model made from this kit.

I drew the design in Inkscape, which went through a variety of iterations before the final cutting. I have included the files on this step in a variety of formats.

Step 2: Cutting

This version is cut from 3mm MDF, because I like the lack of wood-grain pattern on a small item.

You can use any material you like, but you may need to adjust the scale for materials of different thicknesses. Keep an eye on whether the size of the hole in the leg-section will cause issues with different materials.

Step 3: Construction

The main body of the crane is made of five layers, super-glued together.

The legs are fixed together (with more superglue) like a small table - take note of which way round the cut-out hole is.

Finally, the post on the main body fits snugly into the cut-out in the legs, and can be fixed firmly with one last drop of superglue.

Step 4: Use

sing the crane is simple - slot the legs over the side of your mug, drop the tea bag into your hot water, and then drape the string over the slot in the arm of the crane.

The paper tag will keep the string from falling into the hot water until the tea is brewed, and you can lift the bag from the water.

Comments

author
Meglymoo87 (author)2016-04-02

love it! Gonna do this :)

author
Kiteman (author)Meglymoo872016-04-03

Cool - post a picture when you do!

author
Ehlers_TV (author)2016-03-05

This one is pretty cooooool :-D

author
Kiteman (author)Ehlers_TV2016-03-05

Thank you!

author
DelfinaFerris (author)2016-02-25

I like yur concept:)

author
Meredithwatkins (author)2016-02-18

Lovely

author
Kiteman (author)Meredithwatkins2016-02-21

Thank you!

author
Meredithwatkins (author)2016-02-18

Lovely

author
Trask River Productions (author)2016-01-28

Great concept and design!

author

Thank you!

author
mchau2 (author)2015-12-22

super meaningful to reflect your home town!

author
Kiteman (author)mchau22015-12-23

:)

author
Raggamuffin314 (author)Kiteman2016-01-13

what is your home town ? (I'm British as well)

author
Kiteman (author)Raggamuffin3142016-01-14

I'm from the Cumbrian coast.

author
mchau2 (author)Kiteman2016-01-15

i am from hong kong, hehe us3 d to be British colony!

author
jeanniel1 (author)2015-12-08

Might consider this for handmade gifts and furniture contests!

author
Kiteman (author)jeanniel12015-12-08

Unfortunately, I published too early to enter those.

author
Raggamuffin314 (author)Kiteman2016-01-13

wasn't there an option to enter it after publishing the project? :-)

author
Kiteman (author)Raggamuffin3142016-01-14

No, that's not how it works.

author
jeanniel1 (author)Kiteman2015-12-08

It's still a great project - so clever that it's inspiring me to come up with some other designs!

author
Kiteman (author)jeanniel12015-12-08

Make sure you post when you do, maybe write your own instructable!

author
instructables fan (author)2015-12-28

I have a question. Do you think the purpose to instructables is to inspire to do, or show how to do?

author

Both, plus to share (show off) your skills & achievements.

author
jeanniel1 (author)2015-12-08

Would be awesome-r if there was a gear to crank the teabag up! I love the idea!

author
kelu28 made it! (author)2015-12-06

Nice thing !!!

IMG_20151205_160244.jpg
author
Kiteman (author)kelu282015-12-06

Sweet!

author
kelu28 made it! (author)2015-12-06

Nice thing !!!

IMG_20151205_160244.jpg
author
charmon9 (author)2015-12-05

my dad is an operator, and this is just what I should do for his Xmas gift!!

author
Kiteman (author)charmon92015-12-05

Cool - post a photo if you can!

author
Maximilian Rainer (author)2015-12-03

Now you should make a version with an attiny 45/85 and a servo that lifts the teabag out of the cup. Something like a "tea timer"

author

You know, I have never used a microcontroller, and never used a servo!

author
audreyobscura (author)2015-12-03

that PG tips mug is adorable! THIS WHOLE PROJECT IS ADORABLE! Great work!

author
Kiteman (author)audreyobscura2015-12-04

Hehe, thank you (that's got to be the first time a crane was referred to as "adorable", though)!

author
OutlawKtulu (author)2015-12-03

Your real name isn't "Doc Brown" is it? :D

author
Kiteman (author)2015-12-03

Oh, I know. It's still a grand project.

author
Kiteman (author)2015-12-02

That sounds like a grand project!

author
M.C. Langer (author)2015-12-01

This is awesome!!! I love it!

author
Kiteman (author)M.C. Langer2015-12-02

Thank you!

author
Kiteman (author)M.C. Langer2015-12-02

Thank you!

author
Mark 42 (author)2015-12-01

I like this idea - I may look for an N scale or Z scale (model train) crane.
I like this simple one too, but a more detailed one could also be nice.

author
Kiteman (author)Mark 422015-12-01

Using a real crane? Cool!

author
Mark 42 (author)Kiteman2015-12-01

Here is an example:
http://www.shapeways.com/product/TETSEWY5T/us-army-crane

author
Raitis (author)2015-11-28

Does steam from the tea affect the MDF? Just wondering, since it sure would plywood.

author
Kiteman (author)Raitis2015-11-29

It hasn't so far, but I think varnish would be wise.

author
bgunville (author)Kiteman2015-12-01

no varnish in my tea thank you but a food grade finish would work.

author
JaydenLawson (author)2015-12-01

Love it :D

author
Kiteman (author)JaydenLawson2015-12-01

Thank you!

author
YaënD (author)2015-12-01

hello,

this is great, i'm gonna do some and thanks for posting a .svg.

author
Kiteman (author)YaënD2015-12-01

You're welcome - post pictures when you make them.

author
capejervis34 (author)2015-12-01

I love it! I want to use it when friends come around!

About This Instructable

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Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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