The Office Coffee Stapler

Written by: techguru

Picture of The Office Coffee Stapler

The office coffee machine is broken.  The sharp bit that pierces the coffee pods is, well, missing.

The workaround is to stab a hole in the pods with a nail.

I figured I could go more extreme...

Step 1: Planning

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In my head, I saw a stapler with stabilisers.  When I did my manual thinking, it pretty much came out the same way - an arm with a spike on it to pierce the pod.

That's pretty much what I ended up with.

Step 2: Cutting

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I cut my plans out, and drew around them onto some spare half-inch plywood that I found in the back of the workshop.

Using a hodge-podge of sharp things, some of them electrical, I started cutting out the parts of the stapler.  I quickly realised that the thickness of the slices of plywood was enough to not need the stabilising leg thing, which is good, because that was going to be an ugly thing.

I carved out hooks using a sharp spinney thing in a Dremel that was probably not intended to carve wood, but, hey-ho, so sue me.

Step 3: Sanding, drilling, gluing and sanding

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I sanded down the parts to fit, and sanded the arm extra hard to make it fit smoothly between the upright supports.

I then clamped it all together, and drilled through both uprights at once to fit a piece of quarter-inch dowel through them.

I then glued the three base-pieces together, clamping while they dried, and sanded it some more.

Step 4: Pointy thing

Picture of Pointy thing

The whole point* of the stapler is to pierce things.  It needs a sharp thing.

To this end, I found a nail the same size as that already being used to poke holes in pods, cut of the head, drilled a smaller hole in the arm of the stapler for a good friction-fit, and then added a little epoxy resin to make sure.


Step 5: Changing my mind...

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You may have noticed that what I made so far did not actually match what I planned - the arm was straight, with no extension.

That was because I got lazy when I was cutting out the parts (cutting shapes with a bent coping saw and a tenon saw is awkward), and I also though it would look nicer.

Obviously, I neglected the issue of size, and the coffee pods didn't actually fit under the spike.  Oops...

So, back to the original plan, and I made a new arm with the original planned vertical extension.  That worked.

Step 6: Finishing

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I decided *not* to varnish or paint the stapler.  Partly this was because I rather like the look and feel of bare wood, especially as it gains natural stains with use, but mainly this was because I made the stapler as a surprise for the office.  If I stained it, I would have to leave it lying around drying, and somebody might notice and spoil the surprise.

So, all the finishing it got was a trimmed and glued dowel through the uprights and the arm, and a rubber band looped between the hooks of the arm and frame.

Step 7: Use

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Use is pretty straight forward - put the pod in place, and bang down the arm.

Wrench the pod off the spike, and insert it into the coffee machine.