Guest written by Hannah Jeske
My family prefers making dinner instead of going out to eat, even on vacation. On our most recent family vacation, we decided to be gourmet and make our own spring rolls together. All six of us (family and two friends) managed to chop the vegetables, create rolls, and fry them to perfection with the sparsely stocked rental kitchen. It was a fun project and we were proud of what we created. However, Dad (Dave Jeske) wasn’t content to leave it at that. Oh no! We had to make our own chopsticks to eat our dinner.
John Economaki of Bridge City Tool Works lent my dad a Chopstick Master which gives people the opportunity to fashion their own chopsticks out of sticks of wood. John wanted to see how we liked the prototype. One at a time we took a break from cooking and attempted to make our own utensils.
The process was surprisingly simple. You set the stick of wood into the holder and used a hand plane to shape the chopstick. John created the jig to make this practically fool proof (which was needed!) You plane the stick down until no more wood shaves off. Then you flip the stick and repeat…and repeat… Halfway through you change a setting on the holder and do it again. At the very end you even saw off the back of the chopstick so they are nice and finished looking. It was super simple with detailed instructions. They all turned out great!
While it would have been much easier to buy chopsticks or even to use a fork, the experience of making our own made a pretty typical dinner very memorable. It was almost like a party game with a personal party favor in a special carrying bag to take home. People enjoy creating for themselves, even those who don’t consider themselves woodworkers or artists (such as myself). It was a fun project that crossed generational boundaries and skill levels. Next time you are thinking about hosting a dinner party or event, skip the board games and order a Bridge City Chopstick Master. It’s a great way to spend time together before the dinner, and everyone gets to have fun creating their own useful piece of art. It’s fun and memorable, and I promise your guests have never done it before!