Reply by Rich

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Posted on Yout Thoughts on this Jig please (chopstick Master)

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5913 posts in 1448 days

#1 posted 01-27-2017 04:16 PM

I have version 2. It works well, with a substantial learning curve. Like everything else from Bridge City, it’s a quality item. Yes, it’s expensive, but so is everything they sell. They’re kind of like the Lamborghini of tool making.

There are a few negatives. One, while the plane is a good quality item, the way it sits in the sled, with the four posts sticking up makes it very difficult to hold comfortably. It doesn’t take long before your palm hurts like hell. Also, I found the final cuts for the octagon to be hit or miss. Cutting until the plane stopped taking shavings often times left one side or two too flat. I attributed that to a lack of perfect straightness in the blank. Also, grain can be a bear. It’s such a small item that once some tear out occurs, your odds of smoothing it away are slim. They make a 50º option, but I’m looking into some options myself.

I wound up making my own sled to hold my LN 102. I have it set to take the finest shavings possible. That helps with the tear out. It’s also infinitely more comfortable. I also made a jig to hold the chopstick for the final four cuts that form the octagon. I can see the progress better, and once I determine the stroke count to get the cut I want, it’s easy to repeat that cut on the rest of the pieces.

I have some other methods that differ from theirs — like the way they have you do the sanding — that result in a much more pleasing look and feel for the final product.

The biggest positive for me is it’s so relaxing. It’s like therapy after a day of milling 8/4 lumber and gluing up 75 lb entry doors. You can pretty much let your mind go blank and enjoy the piles of shavings you’ll create.

One more thing, a Grr-Ripper with the 1/8” blade attached is pretty much mandatory if you want to cut your own blanks. You can get the dimensions off of the pieces they include. I resaw, plane to thickness and then rip them. I think I figured it out once that you can get a couple of dozen out of a board foot, so even exotics come out pretty cheap compared to what they sell blanks for at Bridge City.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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