Dateline: 27 December 2014
|Classic American clothespins with a different spring assembly.|
(click picture for an enlarged view)
I first mentioned the idea of starting a business making high-quality, traditional-style clothespins In This Blog Post back in April of 2012. It was impossible to find a good, American-Made clothespin and I was going to change all that. There I wrote...
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a new, made-in-USA clothespin manufacturing business (home-based, and on the family-economy scale, of course) begins with one clothespin. So that is my challenge—to handcraft one clothespin. Stay tuned."
One month later, I Blogged About My Progress. I had lined up a spring manufacturer and had 50,000 springs on order. I had also made a few prototype clothespins, using a few prototype springs. I was very serious about this new idea.
But it would be 15 months later (August, 2013) before I blogged, We're Making Clothespins! My oldest son, fresh out of the Army, helped me with the first production run. It was a long, tedious, and somewhat discouraging job.
The clothespins we made in 2013 sold out quickly. And the clothespins I most recently made this year (2014) sold out very quickly (8,000 ClassicAmerican clothespins were sold in a 12-hour span of time).
Now, there are new developments in the world of high-quality, handcrafted, traditional-style clothespins...
The Pete Lilja Spring Assembly
If you look closely at the picture at the top of this page you will notice that the springs on the clothespins are different. They are the same stainless steel, American-made springs I have been using from the beginning, but they are on the clothespins in a unique way.
That spring attachment method was “invented” by clothespin maker, Pete Lilja of Cedar Falls, Iowa. I have named it the “Lilja Spring Assembly,” as opposed to the "Traditional Spring Assembly”...
|These handcrafted Classic American clothespins show the "traditional spring assembly."|
What you can’t see in the picture at the top of the page is that the spring coils fit in their grooves in the clothespin halves so much better with the Lilja Spring Assembly. Besides that, the clothespins have a tendency to close more evenly, which is to say, without a “side bite” (Pete calls it “longitudal torque”).
I have added this assembly option to the Clothespin Assembly Instructions page at my web site. If you’ve purchased some Assemble-Them-Yourself Clothespins from me, I recommend that you give this assembly option a try and see if you like it better.
Speaking of web sites, I recently purchased the internet domains of: GoodClothespins.com, QualityClothespins.com, TraditionalClothespins.com, BestClothespins.com.
All those domains lead people to a web site named Good Clothespins, which is a directory of artisan clothespin makers. There are only three artisans there at this time, but more will come along. Once I have six clothespin makers in the directory, I will do some extensive marketing to get the word out.
More clothespin makers need to come along because there is no way I can make enough clothespins to meet the demand. The idea of creating a decentralized network of independent small-scale artisan clothespin makers has been part of my dream from the beginning.
In an effort to attract more enterprising woodworkers to the idea of making high-quality clothespins, I have also bought the domain of MakeYourOwnClothespins.com.
I have updated and revised the clothespin specifications I sell and I hope to have everything ready to go with MakeYourOwnClothespins.com in a week or two.
With lots of clothespins in mind, I purchased a second order of clothespin springs this month. My initial order of 50,000 is almost gone. 100,000 stainless steel clothespin springs was a major investment, but by purchasing 100,000 springs I was able to keep the cost down to the 2012 price. In case you wondered, an order of 100,000 stainless steel clothespin springs weighs 900 pounds.
Clothespin Review By Jane
|(photo by Jane)|
And finally, I would like to recommend the excellent clothespin review, Clothespin Woes No More, posted by "you can call me Jane" at her excellent blog, Thy Hand Hath Provided. Thank you, Jane!