Introduction: (bitter)sweet Hair Pins

About: Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.

Unless the fact that I prefer my wife getting her (very) long hair unpinned sometimes it might be useful to pin things up.
Usually she uses chopsticks (well that's a nice hack!) but as a maker I thought her hair deserved better.

So here's a short I'ble to show you how I transformed some pieces of hardwood a friend wanted to burn (are you kidding?!) into a bunch of hair pins.

All you need is some scrapwood, a miter saw & a belt sander.

Making wooden hair pins is accessible to every woodworker. You can make them as complex as you want or just keep it simple. I made a few examples just to show how far you can go - and if you google a bit you'll see you can go veeeeeeeery far. Mine's are peanuts, compared to some.

Bittersweet? Well, while making the one with the knife handle I was thinking this could be a severe selfdefence tool. It's completely legal - just an innocent hair pin - but in the hands of a furious women this tool could do just a little bit damage.
I'd think twice before aggressing someone in the streets...

Special thanx to member AngryRedhead to transform some of my DIY-translations into decent English ;)

Step 1: Slice It

Gather some (scrap) hardwood - I got some oak (the light one) & meranti.

Use a miter saw to cut slices of about 1/3 inch wide and 10 inches long (10mm-300mm).

Note: My wife calculated that for 'average long hair' everything between 8 & 9 inches should be okay (ornament included). This means that mine's are just a bit too long to be comfortable.

Step 2: Go Triangular

Aim is to build conical pins, so you'll have to cut some piramids.
If you want to go sofisticated: cut out your design first.

Note: be aware that this kind of precision cutting with the miter saw can be a dangerous job. Instead of keeping the slice of wood in place manually I always clamp it with a second piece of wood (visible on the picture left above). Most miter saws have ready-made side clamps so you just have to clamp a piece of wood under the clamp & on the slice. Secure the whole & start cutting in all safety.

Step 3: Round It

Use a belt sander & have fun shaping.

Step 4: Decorate & SAND

With a grinder you can do some great work. Use it, that inspiration!

What follows is sanding. A LOT of sanding...

Two things I learned:
- the oak is way much harder than the meranti
- the more brutal the sanding, the greater the collateral damage - exit one hair pin

Step 5: Finish!

You'll finish that job with natural oil - walnut stays my ultime favourite. Wipe the excess with a towel.


Hope you liked it & thanx for watching!

Step 6: Bonus: the Knifed Hair Pin

No big deal. Cut a few holes to fake the rivets, make a nice round stick, smash it with some cyanoacrylate or bicomp in the holes, cut & start sanding.

Holiday Contest

Runner Up in the
Holiday Contest

Workshop Contest

Participated in the
Workshop Contest

Manly Crafts Contest

Participated in the
Manly Crafts Contest