Clothespin Update
(The Current Planet Whizbang Newsletter)

Dateline: 21 June 2014

Custom grip-groove saw, in the making

I don't lack for things to blog about these days, but I do lack for the time to get them written down and posted here. That said, I'm going to take a little "summer vacation" from blogging. I can assure you I will not be sitting on a beach, basking in the sun. I'll be doing something much more enjoyable (from my perspective)….  I'll be working at my home business and in the garden. The letter below is an e-mail I sent out to my Planet Whizbang e-mail list. If you haven't subscribed to the list, you can do so Here. Lord willing, I will return from my summer vacation and begin blogging here once again on July 1st. 

The Newsletter…

Dear Friends,

Hardly a day goes by that I don't receive at least one e-mail from someone wondering when I will have more Classic American Clothespins back in stock to sell. And I have gotten numerous requests from retailers who want to buy the clothespins in quantity at wholesale prices. I have, thus far, made and sold around 12,000 clothespins, but I think that I could have sold half a million if I had them to sell.

My problem with getting enough clothespins made is, first, that Planet Whizbang is pretty much a one-man operation, and making clothespins is just one small part of what I do to make a living.

Last summer my oldest son was just out of the Army and he helped me get the first two production runs of clothespins made. But he has since moved on to a job with an electrical contractor. Making clothespins with dad was "boring." Truth be told, handcrafting clothespins is a long, tedious, monotonous process and I can understand my son wanting to pursue other things.

The second problem I have when it comes to getting more clothespins made is a severe lack of room to make them. My home workshop is smaller than a 2-car garage and literally packed to the ceiling with Planet Whizbang product inventory. I also have inventory packed into my house and down the road in another house where my son lives.

Last year's first two production runs of Classic American clothespins were actually made under a 10' x 10' canopy tent set up on the lawn outside my shop. The tent-workshop worked very well… until cold weather came in the fall.

And then there is the matter of tools… I am making clothespins using basic woodworking equipment, which isn't well suited to commercial production.

Upon hearing of these problems, most people would suggest that I build a bigger workshop, buy some production tooling, and hire some help. Problem solved.

Well, I've certainly considered those things but they are not possible for a couple of reasons. One reason is that I don't have the finances for that, and I am dead set against borrowing money. I'm a pay-as-I-go guy. I have no debt. None. I like being a free man, as opposed to being a slave to the money lenders.

Besides that, I don't want a big operation with a lot of employees. I like having a small-scale, hands-on, home-based business. The allure of making more money is not enough for me to trade off the simplicity of my current business model.

I have related all of this for those of you who may not know my situation, and who may be wondering why it is taking so long to get more Classic American clothespins in stock.

Now, here is my plan, and an honest assessment of when I expect to have more clothespins for sale...

During the month of July, I will be working to get caught up with various other Planet Whizbang business demands. I will also get my custom grip-groove saw (with a power feeder) finished. The saw is pictured above. The new saw will (hopefully) allow me to cut the three saw grooves on each clothespin with one pass, instead of three separate passes. And I will get the workshop-tent set up again. Then, as time permits through the months of August and September, I will make clothespins. I will hopefully get at least 40,000 clothespin halves made.

During October and early November, I will work at getting some of the clothespins tumbled, sorted and packaged, so they are ready to sell by Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the cold and snowy months of winter, I will work at getting the rest of the clothespins finished.

That schedule for making clothespins is pretty much how it went last year, and it will probably be how it goes every year, as long as I remain a small-scale clothespin crafter.

Thank you for your interest in my Classic American clothespins. If you stay subscribed to this e-mail newsletter I will be sending out a notice when the clothespins are once again available.

In the meantime, I invite you to read This Great Clothespin Review by Jane.

Best Whizbang Wishes,

Herrick Kimball


Warren said...


While pining away for your top quality pins and considering buying the kit to make them myself, I got to wondering about another option.

It seems from the reviews of other pins that the spring is the key part that makes or breaks it. Do you think your springs would fit other, cheaper (and, of course, uglier) pins as a partial substitute while supplies are limited? I guess since they are stronger, they could just snap the wood, even if they did fit.

Maggie Maurer said...

I'm wondering if you have a waiting list for customers? I'd like to be on that list for pins, either completed or the diy kit.


lance said...

My wife requested some whiz-bang clothes pins. She just bought some junk pins in the store last week and already they are breaking.


Alice said...

I to would love to be on the waiting list for your pins, DIY or assembled.

Will keep a close eye on your site just in case one gets started.

Herrick Kimball said...


There is a link at the clothespin web site to sign up for the Planet Whizbang newsletter. I will be letting everyone know that clothespins are available through the newsletter.

Anonymous said...

Sir, I am in agreement with you...I gave up working for money, years ago. What motivates me is ceeating jobs