Instructions on how to build a pasta measuring tool for the kitchen. This pasta planner magic wand kitchen gadget can be built using hole saws, scrap wood and sandpaper to smooth out the edges.
All you do is grab a handful of spaghetti strands and slip them through one of the holes. The size of the opening, of course, determines the number of servings (or the size of a portion).
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Build a pasta measuring tool for the kitchen and your spaghetti shortages or surpluses will be ancient history.
OK, we'll admit it . . . this particular kitchen gadget isn't a necessity by any stretch of the imagination. But we still think it's valuable enough to make some folks want to knock out a few samples and give them to pasta-eating friends as gifts.
To tackle the project, you'll need a scrap of wood measuring 3/4 inches by 3-1/2 inches by 10 inches, a series of hole saws (or an expansive bit that can cut openings up to 2-1/2 inches in diameter), a ruler, and a coping saw. First, sketch the general shape of the wooden wand onto your slab, using our photo as a guide, then cut along that mark—with the coping saw—to form a teardrop-shaped billet.
Next, scribe a longitudinal line down the center of this board, and, starting at the narrow end, measure off four points—at distances of 1-1/2 inches, 3-1/8 inches, 5-7/16 inches, and 8-1/4 inches—along the line. By drilling 7/8 inch, 1-1/2 inch, 2-1/4 inch, and 2-1/2 inch openings successively at these points, you can form a hand-held gauge similar to the one pictured.
To finish it up, round the utensil's sharp edges with some coarse sandpaper, smooth the grain further with fine-grit paper, and dress the wood with vegetable oil.
And using the device is easier than threading a needle: All you do is grab a handful of spaghetti strands and slip them through one of the holes. The size of the opening, of course, determines the number of servings (or the size of a portion). After a little trial-and-error experimentation, you can match the hole choices to your family's appetite . . . or simply resize the bores on a fresh blank to suit your needs.
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