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!
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!
There was much interest in how this gizmo works as you can see here…
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!
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.
Version two of the Chopstick Master has a cool new feature, the pyramidal finial can now be cut on the Chopstick Master – way cool.
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 –