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Burl Source
07-14-2012, 01:50 PM
After suggestions from several of you guys for a more traditional Japanese style chopsticks, I am trying something different.
This thread will show what happens as I fumble my way through the process. Feel free to post any suggestions or tell me I am messing up.

I am using some old Indonesian Ebony for the wood. Since it is a really hard and durable wood I thought it would work out good for the strength needed for sticks with thin tips.

This is a photo ecchef posted along with some of the Ebony.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/001-25.jpg

First I ground a side profile.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/002-18.jpg

Then did the same thing for the other sides.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/003-12.jpg

Right now they are too angular, but I have a profile to work with.

Keith Neal
07-14-2012, 02:05 PM
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5756-Ivory-Chop-sticks!!!

Randy has some good quality photos in this post of the ivory chopsticks he made. I think the profile is perfect.

Keith

Justin0505
07-14-2012, 02:25 PM
Lookin good! I like the design of the reference photo and the contrast in that first pair that you're working on looks like it's going to be really nice.

Burl Source
07-14-2012, 02:32 PM
Here I knocked off the corners of the top half of the stick.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/005-3.jpg

Looking at the end you can see the shape is not exact but most of the bulk is gone.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/006-2.jpg

So far the shaping has been done on a stationary belt sander.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/007-2.jpg

I am not overly coordinated so this is as far as I will be going on the belt sander. It can eat a lot of wood really quick so now I go to hand sanding for the rest of the shaping. A lot slower, but I will have much more control.
I made a sanding block with a flat piece of wood and adhesive backed 180 grit sandpaper.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/008-2.jpg

Burl Source
07-14-2012, 03:21 PM
Here I have it rough sanded to shape.
A bit more rounded with the end about 1/16".

http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/009-2.jpg

Does this look better to you guys?
If yes I am going to make a bunch.
If you have any suggestions for changes, please let me know.
Thanks, Mark

pitonboy
07-14-2012, 03:25 PM
They look good, but why not make a test batch and sell them to see what the feedback is?

EdipisReks
07-14-2012, 04:02 PM
man, i gotta learn to use chopsticks. i'd buy a set in a second, if i could. these look great!

Keith Neal
07-14-2012, 04:11 PM
http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m580/nealkeith/chopstickends.jpg

I have dozens of chopsticks collected over the years, and they all have smoothed but still square handles, presumably for better control. Since they are all like that, I guess it is important. Randy's ivory chopsticks in the photo are that way, and work perfectly.

SpikeC
07-14-2012, 04:41 PM
Have you tryed a spokeshave? Clamp one end in a vise and shave away, them reverse. It would save you a bunch of time and energy, and make shavings instead of dust.

markenki
07-14-2012, 05:30 PM
I have dozens of chopsticks collected over the years, and they all have smoothed but still square handles, presumably for better control. Since they are all like that, I guess it is important.
I agree that smoothed square ends would be good, and would presumably be less work as well (maybe?). The Japanese chopsticks I have are that way.

Regards,

Mark

Burl Source
07-14-2012, 05:31 PM
A spokeshave would be a new tool for me to learn and you know what they say about old dogs.

Here I am starting the 1st set of the new profile.
Still square in the photo. Tips are at 1/8" and ends at 5/16". When I round the edges they should slim up a bit.

http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/011-2.jpg

Still-edo
07-14-2012, 06:48 PM
Wow always something amazing on this forum

Burl Source
07-14-2012, 07:08 PM
I know I am making this a lot more complicated than necessary.
But....I thought if I was able to make a pair that was just right, then I could work out how to do it again and again.
In time after repeating the process I would become more time efficient.
What I have done here is taken one that was profiled with a square cross section. Then I sanded a consistent bevel on each of the corners.
I thought the crisp geometric shape looked a little more refined than just rounding over the corners.
I am having a tough time showing what is going on with the photos.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/021.jpg

ecchef
07-14-2012, 08:37 PM
Much better Randy! The shape of the shaft is entirely up to the artist really.
If you're holding them corectly, they won't roll...round, square or whatever.
Tip no bigger than 2mm for finesse work.
Looks like you need to bring the taper a just tiny bit higher up the shaft...nearing perfection though!
Sign me up for some.

markk
07-14-2012, 09:20 PM
looking good.

Burl Source
07-14-2012, 09:37 PM
I noticed the one on the left is a bit thicker after the photo.
Still in the sanding stage so I can fix the thickness.
It is tough to see in the photo but these are square with beveled corners instead of rounding over the corners.
I think I am getting closer to what I was trying to do.

http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/025.jpghttp://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/024.jpg

They still look a bit chubby in the middle too.

markenki
07-15-2012, 03:47 AM
Hard to tell from the photos, but looks promising!

Burl Source
07-15-2012, 03:41 PM
I think I have things worked out right now.

http://youtu.be/RAGPYgiaAA0

JBroida
07-15-2012, 03:42 PM
those look good... some will like a slightly finer point, but thats a very good middle of the road

markenki
07-15-2012, 05:10 PM
I agree, those look good. Are the large ends squarish?

markk
07-15-2012, 05:21 PM
those look great!!!

Burl Source
07-15-2012, 05:41 PM
I agree, those look good. Are the large ends squarish?
Yes they are.

wenus2
07-15-2012, 06:16 PM
Those look good Mark.
I would like a pair of those in ebony with order if you will have any available.

DarrenSwerid
07-15-2012, 06:55 PM
Mark I think you have a firm grasp on how to use chopsticks. :sofa:

:biggrin:

Deckhand
07-15-2012, 08:24 PM
The thinner taper especially at the ends is a better version. Great improvement.

tk59
07-16-2012, 12:21 PM
I think your chopsticks are fine. I will say that the important place to keep them narrow is where you grip them. People with small hands will find the thick midsections awkward. Thin tips are nice for picking up tiny things or piercing/cutting but larger, flatter tips are easier for gripping and especially for very soft objects. Personally, I find thicker tips to be closer to ideal.

Burl Source
07-16-2012, 01:42 PM
Looks like I will need to make them both ways.
I seem to do a little better eating with the thicker tips like TK59 mentioned.
But.....I will start making the middle portion a bit slimmer.
This photo shows the regular and the thin tips next to each other.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/tips001.jpg

ecchef
07-24-2012, 12:50 AM
When is the next batch due, Mark?

Burl Source
07-24-2012, 12:18 PM
When is the next batch due, Mark?
I have a couple dozen cut and rough shaped.
Just have to catch up on my normal duties around here then back to making some more chopsticks.
I have also set aside a bunch of small pieces to make chopstick rests.

Vertigo
07-24-2012, 01:29 PM
I prefer a more "Chinese inspired" chopstick, so the set you sent me from the first round is spot on. Having multiple designs clearly won't hurt anything though!

markk
07-24-2012, 03:31 PM
I am really enjoying the ones that I got from the first "batch". Looking forward to this different design.

Burl Source
07-24-2012, 03:52 PM
I am re-thinking the finish for the sticks.
The 1st ones I used butcher block oil.
Ones I took home started looking dull sooner than I thought they would.
They brighten back up with another wipe of oil.
I am leaning toward a lacquer finish for the future ones.
I found some that says baby-safe on the can.
None of the others say anything so I am staying away from them. Don't want to use anything that could potentially be unsafe.

Eamon Burke
07-24-2012, 03:57 PM
Well, while we are all throwing in opinions to confuse you as much as possible, I wanted to say that I don't like shiny chopsticks. Something about it makes me uncomfortable.

Burl Source
07-24-2012, 06:18 PM
Well, while we are all throwing in opinions to confuse you as much as possible, I wanted to say that I don't like shiny chopsticks. Something about it makes me uncomfortable.
My idea for the lacquer finish was mostly for durability and no maintenance needed.
Changing a gloss finish to satin is super easy. 0000 Steel Wool. Rub lightly with the super fine steel wool and it will turn the gloss to satin. Use a real light touch to avoid making scratch lines too deep.
On a side note.
If you are ever finishing wood and want a satin finish;
do not buy the stuff that says satin finish on the can. That has solids in suspension to create the satin look.
Tends to hide some of the finer features of the wood grain and figure.
Use gloss or semi gloss and rub down with the extra fine steel wool after dry.
Gives you a waaaaaay better finish.

JasonD
07-24-2012, 08:32 PM
Good tip, Thanks! I gotta remember that when I go seal up my BGE table I keep planning on building.

Burl Source
07-24-2012, 09:09 PM
How about 3000 year old chopsticks?
Here is a pair I am making from 3200 year old bog oak.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/001-29.jpg

Now that I think of it;
If I am using really old wood, maybe I should use a chopstick pattern that looks really old as well.
Like these chopsticks of John's.
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/5421/img2986l.jpg

wellminded1
07-24-2012, 09:21 PM
Id like a set. Are they available to order?

Burl Source
07-24-2012, 09:28 PM
Id like a set. Are they available to order?
Right now I am just playing around with them.
But....I will be making some that will be available pretty soon.
I will make a post when I have some ready.

kalaeb
07-24-2012, 09:34 PM
Hmm, nothing like putting the dinosaur feces soaked logs in your mouth.

J/K looks good.

Burl Source
07-25-2012, 01:16 PM
Hmm, nothing like putting the dinosaur feces soaked logs in your mouth.
J/K looks good.

Save them for when the in-laws visit.

mhlee
07-25-2012, 02:22 PM
Save them for when the in-laws visit.

:rofl:

Burl Source
07-25-2012, 09:16 PM
Playing around with the chopsticks a bit more today.
Eventually I might get good at this.

Doing better with a lacquer finish and trying something different for Pesky.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/005-4.jpg

Tristan
07-26-2012, 10:07 PM
That last bit with the top portion dressed out is exactly what I was driving at! Silver or horn would work beautifully. Keeping eyes on this.:D

Burl Source
07-26-2012, 10:29 PM
I sanded away just enough to see if I got a good joint.
This is an experiment using musk ox with a pin to keep it from snapping off.
Tomorrow I will finish shaping them and see what happens.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/007-4.jpg

El Pescador
07-26-2012, 11:49 PM
Damn those look great!

markenki
07-27-2012, 12:41 AM
Nice!

ecchef
07-27-2012, 01:15 AM
Playing around with the chopsticks a bit more today.
Eventually I might get good at this.

Doing better with a lacquer finish and trying something different for Pesky.
http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac219/burlsource/apr12/005-4.jpg

Looks good. Make two sets.:thumbsup: