Dear Drivel Starved Nation-
I have been crazy busy the past two months. I went to China to finalize version 2 of the Chopstick Master and I am pleased to announce that when this version hits the streets this fall, it will sell for $195 buckaroos. That by-the-way, is $50 LESS than our HP-8 with depth skids ALONE. This is a screaming cool value. And our pledge to you; even though this is made in China, the quality is as good—or better—than what you have come to expect from Bridge City over the past 33 years.
Three weeks ago we attended a media event in NYC regarding the Chopstick Master v2 and I will share the results of that jaunt as they come in. A couple of fashionistas made chopsticks for their… hair!
Everybody thought this looked cool. Me? Glad I am not a girl.
Last weekend I attended Maker Faire in San Mateo and will have a full report on that trip this Thursday. You won’t believe what I found – the most disruptive new power tool I have ever seen.
OK, here is a sneak peek at the new Chopstick Master sitting on our showroom workbench;
Now for the changes;
- The main body has been simplified.
- The hook has been redesigned.
- The sliding table and saw blade have been eliminated. This is a significant change. The unit is much more kid friendly − as well as eliminating a significant expense.
- Eliminating the saw blade was a top priority to make this kit airplane friendly. Our goal is to open kiosks at the major airports in China and the saw blade was a no-no for carry on belongings. The CSM is a fantastic and fitting gift for travelers returning home from China.
- The kit will come with one red arm that makes chopsticks with a 5mm tip diameter. The green arm, which makes a 2mm tip diameter, will be available as an accessory.
- The original depth skids are now set flush with the HP-8 plane sole to which a new, PIVOTING depth sled is attached.
- The pyramidal final is now cut with the plane.
- Loosen one thumb screw and the final components pop out for easy storage.
- The new box is half the size of the original version.
- Everything else remains the same, 10 pair of chopstick blanks in six species of wood and 10 drawstring chopstick storage bags are included.
By the way, the metal work is done in the same factory that makes the iPhone bodies. And the box is made by the same maker that makes all the Apple product boxes. The work is stellar.
Yes, I am thrilled with the results. Here is a little video on how the finial is made;
As most of you are aware, I am a huge fan of depth skids on hand planes. The new pivoting depth sled does a couple of really cool things…
- Makes it impossible to get the depth setting wrong.
- As you can see in the video, shearing cuts on the Ceylon iron wood chopstick blank are brain-dead easy. And the quality of cut cannot be improved upon. P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N has never been easier.
- Perhaps equally important, when tapering the blanks, the plane pivots to your most comfortable wrist position which feels s-o-o-o-o much better.
- The longer depth sled makes engaging between the rails much easier.
- Without the pivoting depth sled attached, the depth skids can be used for other needs when required.
We will open up pre-orders for the new version some time in June.
Lots more to report but right now it’s time for lunch!
-Your Favorite Tool Potentate
5 comments on this post:
I love the iteration, doing more with less!
Very sleek looking chopstick machine, congrats on v2.
Couple questions: will the arms from V1 fit this one; does skewing elimate the need to plane backwards; how does the swivel skid attach and will the skid fit the older HP-8s?
The arms from version one are identical to version 2, so yes they are interchangeable.
The swivel sled attaches to one depth skid via a friction pivot. It pulls off so the skids can be independently set.
Yes, the sled will fit older HP-8s. One of the existing depth skids will need a hole drilled for the sled to attach.
FYI, the pivoting sled does NOT help if you hit reverse grain. And in some cases it makes it worse because the angled attack is a lower attack angle than straight on so it can really lift reverse grain. We are going to offer another iron for those with swirly wood grain.
Pretty slick! The Sushi bar is always impressed when i tell them I made my own chopsticks.