Chopstick Master

Big fan of Bridge City Tool Works.  Wish I could afford more of their amazing gear.  I do have their Kerfmaker, which I have used on a few jobs, and had perfect joints as a result.

They also make the Chopstick Master – yes, it seems a bit of a niche tool, but the quality of the tool they make for this purpose is second to noone.

Here is a video by BCTW of their Chopstick Master in action.  This is the 1st gen version, they are in the process of releasing version 2, which does not use a sawblade to create the end finial, but instead uses the supplied plane for all the steps.

Version 2 – crating the finial with the plane

The original video, describing how the Chopstick Master can into existence.

1.5mm MDF

Does anyone know if you can get 1.5mm thick MDF in Australia? 


Custom Jigsaws

Xmas in July work function. Each table had a task to complete an MDF jigsaw I had made with a couple of verses from various Xmas carols. Went over well, and was fun to watch! Even though the pieces are large, it was a bit of a challenge.
I’ve since taken this concept and come up with a jigsaw range that have an engraved image that kids can then colour to produce their own unique, custom jigsaw puzzle.
I had them at the markets this past weekend, but I think they were not clear enough about what they were to get any sales. I think the concept is good, just need to work on the marketing!  
They would be great as corporate icebreakers, party games, let alone as school holiday entertainment.

Bayside & Peninsula Design Market

The Toymaker display at the Bayside & Peninsula Design Market this past Saturday. Great market- lots to see (& buy), and lots of customers. Time flew by. Looking forward to the next one in September


Loot Boxes

So apparently there is a really big thing out there that I was only vaguely aware of, called Loot Boxes.

It is like a high-end version of a show bag that comes to your letterbox once a month (so you don’t have to brave the dodgy rides, candyfloss and wait a year between events for a show).

A very popular version are the Geek Boxes – things that appeal to the fantasy/sci-fi/anime etc community.  One such company producing these is called Lootaku, run out of Hong Kong.  They charge about $US50 / month, and you get a box of goodies worth around $US80 in your mail box.


A couple of weeks ago, Lootaku contacted me through my Etsy store, as they had come across my Game of Thrones inspired Hodor door stop, and wanted to include it in the latest box they were sending out for June.

That was on the Wednesday night, and by the weekend, I had 160 of the suckers made up, wrapped, and flying their way express to Hong Kong.

If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, then a Hodor door stop will make no sense to you what-so-ever.  Fans of the show get it:)

Photo 19-06-2016, 09 53 08

What is fun now, is watching the recipients open their loot boxes on You Tube – videoing the opening is also a popular past time it seems.

Here’s one of the first videos – I’ve fast forwarded it to near where they get to the Hodor.

Cool reaction.  That’s what I enjoy about making things – the reaction of the recipients.  You don’t normally get first reactions recorded for prosperity on YouTube, but that is where Loot Boxes are somewhat unique.

And another

And another

And yet another!

And on it goes……

Transcending language barriers

T7 the big kid on the block? Not any more.

Tormek have released the T8 grinder for the ultimate in sharpening.  Available in Australia in July 2016.

While the changes over the T7 are probably not enough to make all T7 owners want to run out to get one, if you are in the market for a new grinder, the T8 is definitely worth considering.

They are currently available on pre-order from Ideal Tools.

The changes include a repositionable water trough, useful for the changing dimensions as the grinding wheel wears (of course, you have to do a fair bit of grinding to wear the wheel away!  Mine is still pretty close to original dimensions.  There again, if I used it more, I’d have sharper tools too.  Doh!)

The body is now cast zinc, and the drive wheel is also zinc.

The body is enclosed, and there is better splash and run-off management (and that is a good thing – I get quite a river happening after a long sharpening session!)


While many still struggle with the whole concept of a wet stone grinder costing north of a $1000, for those who have been able to justify the expenditure, there is no question about just how good the machine is in achieving its purpose in life.  Ultimate sharpness.

More detail can be found on the Tormek website


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