The Chopstick Master version 2… V3 is in Production!

Drivel Starved Nation,

I just returned from a trade show in Taipei demonstrating version two of the Chopstick Master.

All I can say is “WOW”.  Just like in Shanghai, the people making chopsticks were about as happy as happy can be. I really feel damn lucky that this idea has been so well received, again. It was 4 days of pure joy – you can view the Shanghai video here. The Taipei video will be done in a couple of weeks and you will be able to see for yourself how much fun I had.  The image below is of Team Chopstick Taipei, the tall freak in the back is your favorite Tool Potentate. The “Chopstick Girls” are in the front row and they truly are Chopstick Masters after this exhibition!

Team Chopstick Master Taipei - The Chopstick Master version 2

We had four active stations on this little bench, it worked out just fine. The Chopstick Master does not need a vise to work but this is one way to control inventory… at the end of the show I was not missing a thing other than my family!

Taipei Work Station 700 - The Chopstick Master version 2

There was much interest in how this gizmo works as you can see here…

Curious - The Chopstick Master version 2

From the minute the show opened, this booth was, by far, the busiest booth in the exhibition. And, oh by the way, there are better months to visit Taipei than July… Geez it was hot!

Busy - The Chopstick Master version 2

In addition to this trip, we have now hosted five dinner parties on our deck this summer where the invited couples had to make their own chopsticks to eat. It was a really well received concept and interestingly, all of the guests were non-woodworkers.  Come to think of it, I have very few local woodworking friends. Weird. Anyway, when they applied mineral oil, I should have taken their pictures, — they were just as giddy about their chopsticks as their Asian counterparts. This came as a little bit of a shock to me, but making something that is perfect out of wood in under 10 minutes apparently has a very broad appeal.  This might be the best introduction to working wood ever. The HP-8 with depth skids is a killer little tool if I do say so myself.

Version 2 fixed two major issues, the first of which is the ability to make the pyramidal final without the need of a Jointmaker Pro, and the second issue was a work holding issue when the grain of the chopstick blank is reversed. The video below illustrates what to do when the grain is backwards…

Version two of the Chopstick Master has a cool new feature, the pyramidal finial can now be cut on the Chopstick Master – way cool. Here is quick video demonstrating the four cuts.

As of this writing, several thousand chopsticks have been made with this tool. Version 3 has minor tweaks and is going into production in China. FYI, we will not make this tool in the USA as the primary market is in Asia. That said, I do believe Americans will find this one of the most fun ways to entertain that I can think of.. . OK, I know what just ran through your mind and I agree – naked Twister is tough to beat.

More later –

– John

14 comments on this post:

  1. What fun! “Chopstick girls”?!? I’ve heard of “race queens”, but you’ve clearly elevated woodworking (or at least chopstick making) to new heights! Congratulations!

    It’s nice to see the videos of it in action – particularly the built-in JMP. I was wondering how that worked. I can hardly wait to give it a try.

    It must be fun to see all the happy faces. Any particularly good stories this time? I particularly liked the fellow from Shanghai who showed his chopsticks to his mother, who thought they were ugly until she realized they were his…

  2. Yes, Chopstick Girls! Remember, I am the Giant White Guy – political correctness is secondary to efficient English. I do have stories but I am saving them for the video post.

    – John

  3. Was the bench brought with you?

    The design reminds of the jewelry bench a friend had in his shop with 4 work areas…

  4. The bench was provided by my host – it was identical to the bench in Shanghai, and is perfect for this activity. It was literally the foundation of a chopstick factory those four days. Pretty cool!

  5. I was in Taipei last month – there are definitely better times of the year to visit!

    My apologies if this has been answered before, but will you be selling the Chopstick Master in the USA even if making it overseas? I know I’d like one for myself, let alone for gifts.

  6. Neat. After your Shanghai post I was kind of curious about whether Asia had a “hobbyist woodworker” market like the US.

  7. Yes, we hope to open the pre-order window in the next two weeks. The first run, which is larger than anything we produce here at BCTW is almost sold out. We will see.

  8. They do, but it is small. Interest in the Chopstick Master really isn’t about woodworking, I believe it is about making something that is beautiful, well crafted and immediately useful that just happens to be made from wood. That, and just about anybody can do it.

  9. Will the Chopstick Master come with a clamping system so you can clamp it to a counter lip in the kitchen? Or a table? Most people won’t have workbenches with a vise.

  10. The CSM does not require a vise, it works like a bench hook. Fits a kitchen counter just fine. And if you put some newspaper down first, you can wrap up all the shavings fairly hassle free. The vises just happened to be on the workbench provided in Shanghai and Taipei and they do offer some theft protection.

    When the grain runs backwards, you use one hand to keep the hook engaged – and that is really easy and obvious during use.

  11. John,

    Is this the picture where you told them about your American friend Rutager? The guys all look unimpressed, but the ladies are, “hey sounds good” and the one on the ends is all “I’ll take two, please!”

    What a fun tool, I’ll be bringing mine with me every time I get sushi; “Sir, here are your chopsticks.” “No thank you.” “Shall I bring you a fork instead?” “Heck no, I’ll be making my own chopsticks while I wait for my dinner!”

    Perfect thing to do while you wait for your dinner- my date will really appreciate not having to talk to me while we wait for our food.


  12. I had been thinking the same thing, Rutager. But after seeing and using the CSM I think it’s a bit big and messy to use at a sushi bar. But the idea of not having to talk with you is appealing…

  13. hi guys…

    have been waiting for this since first coming across it on Chris Schwarz’s site…

    unfortunately the link is not working 🙁

    I would love to be able to find out about the cost and delivery time for this brilliant tool

    cheers from Oz

  14. Thanks for bringing this to our attention- it will be back up in 12 hrs or so – something about a certificate we failed to confirm. All is well.


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