A Basic Overview Of How
Clothespins Are Made


The process of making clothespins involves some basic woodworking power tools but I would not classify this as a basic woodworking project. Everything has to be done just-so. The pictures that follow were taken by me in 2012 when I was prototyping my clothespin design. I have changed the overall design slightly from what these pictures show, but the process is pretty much the same.


(click pictures to see enlarged views)

The wood is ash. Boards are planed down to 3/8" thick.
 Each board is crosscut into pieces 3.5" long. 
I call these pieces clothespin "flitches."


Each clothespin flitch is machined just-so before the 
clothespin halves are cut. In this picture you can see the 
three "grip grooves" that have been cut with the table saw.
(if you look closely, you'll see that one groove is off)



Various other cuts are made in the flitches using 
a router mounted in a router table.


Here you can see the machined flitches


The flitches are clamped to a "flitch sled" for ripping 
on the table saw, as shown here.


The mouth end of the flitches is ripped down with the blade 
at a slight angle. Then the flitches are flipped 180° 
and the handle end is ripped at an angle. 
The second ripping cut is shown here.


The final cutting step is to rip the clothespin halves out of the 
machined flitches, and that's what is happening in this picture.


After the halves are cut out, they are put in plastic 
bags and tumbled for a period of time. This tumbling 
action serves to "sand" the sharp edges smooth. 
Then, pieces of terrycloth, dampened with linseed oil 
and turpentine are added to the bags and the 
halves are tumbled some more. After the second 
tumbling, the pin halves look like you see here. 
After air-drying, they will be assembled 
with stainless steel springs.


If you purchase the Clothespin Starter Kit, you will get access to a special web site with lots more photos of my clothespin-making process.