Our chopstick-making jig is a massive hit wherever we go. Aside from turning out aesthetically beautiful and functional chopsticks, it is a great introduction into the world of woodworking, a great learning tool for understanding grain in timber, and a gentle way of acquainting oneself with the function of a Japanese plane.
We have assembled this extensive kit for those looking to assemble a few of the main components of a Japanese hand-tool toolkit, and fulfil all of this jig's potential. As well as the jig and the 42mm plane that is used with it, we have added a traditional Japanese hammer to adjust the blade and, most importantly, a best-selling Cerax combination waterstone.
The inclusion of a waterstone allows the user to resharpen the blade of the plane as needed. This is a great way to practise the skill of sharpening and maintain the integrity of the tool's edge. By keeping the plane sharp, it is also able to be used as a general woodworking tool.
We are also including a Number 2 mini ebony plane, which features a 3mm-radiused profile. We've found that the No.2 is a great way to finesse the tip of the chopstick to an attractive and comfortable rounded profile once it has been planed to shape in the jig. The use of the No.2 will require some careful setting up and practice to get it right, taking careful note of grain direction on each corner of the chopstick. Again, it is a great teaching tool and a useful profile to have to hand for rounding delicate corners.
The final components we are including in the extended kit are a variety of grits of Abranet mesh and an Iwasaki file. The file has dual uses - it will be required to set up the plane to a satisfactory working standard (further instructions can be found at the final link of the description), and can also be used to shape the held end of the chopstick to a dome or point.
To get you underway the set comes with twelve chopstick blanks, or enough for six pairs of chopsticks. If you have access to a band saw or table saw, rip down your preferred timber to 8mmx8mm blanks and cut to the length of the slot in the jig for an almost unlimited supply of chopsticks. If you don't have access to such machinery, we offer blanks for sale for use with this jig here.
For detailed instructions on using the jig, click here. Before its first use the plane will need to be setup - for detailed instructions on that process, click here.