Thursday, August 29, 2013

Corn Stickers

Corn Stickers

Corn stickers mounted on cabinet door.

Car key and house key. Notice the points aren't needle-sharp.

Car key and house key before cleaning the tips.

Vise Grips holding a key.

Vise Grips and keys.



 A few days ago I said I'd show you how to make some really neat corn stickers—those little deals you hold hot corn-on-the-cob with, so you don’t burn your fingers.
  Did you ever receive a car key in the mail? One sent by a car dealer? They used to send them out with regularity. The idea was for you to go to the dealership on the following weekend and try your key. If it cranked the brand new Cadillac or Grand Whatever they were trying to sell to you, it was yours to keep. You might be a winner! I always figured that out of 25,000 or so keys they sent out, my odds were pretty low. They weren’t high enough for me to waste a weekend day in a car lot listening to sales talks. I have no idea if anyone ever won one of those cars or not.
            I do know I kept the keys. I’m a hoarder of sorts, holding onto anything I feel I can one day use. I had four keys, still pristine, and all with rubberized hilts, making them easy to hold between your finger and thumb. They were nice keys, but had no function. I needed to give them a reason to exist. I did.
            I was sitting around trying to find a use for the keys, and at the same time we fixed some corn-on-the-cob. When I checked for corn stickers, I found out we had only one-and-a-half sets. We had three stickers, and all three were different. It’s a good thing we weren’t entertaining the Queen of England.
            An idea popped into my head—use the keys for corn stickers! I washed one of the keys and tried it as it was. It only dented the cob. It wasn’t sharp enough to pierce it. No problem. I sharpened the end of one of the keys on my grindstone and had a point in no time. I pushed it against the end of the cob and it slid in, easy as pie. With a little experimenting I realized the points didn’t need to be needle-sharp, either—just so-so sharp. In ten minutes I had two sets of corn stickers.
I examined the three corn stickers we’d bought at the store. One type had two needles, or nail-like stickers, and they shot right in the cob, too. But I also had one that was all plastic, with a twisty end that seemed too fat to pierce the cob. But it did. My point is (nice use of the word point, huh?) that you don’t need a real sharp point on these. This is a good thing. You don’t want your kids or grandkids screaming and bleeding as they try to use the unique corn stickers you made for them.
You can make these corn stickers without a grindstone. All you need is a good file and a vise to hold the key steady. If you don’t have a vise, a pair of Vise Grips will work. I tried all three methods, and one is as good as the other.
When I get an adequate point on the keys, I take the file and smooth the end, taking any burrs off. Then I hit it with some steel wool, and I’m done. I wanted several pairs of corn stickers, so I used some keys that didn’t have the rubberized hilts—house keys, for the most part. They work as well as the car keys.

I bought some inexpensive hook-hangers and mounted the corn stickers on the back of a cabinet door. I’ve included some photos to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and do it—make some really neat corn stickers. 

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