Better Winding Sticks | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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Best winding sticks

Sticks are very useful for measuring the twist of a board, but they are difficult to read. My improved version of these time-tested helpers brings out the twist.

I start with a couple of straight and flat 2s– wide sticks in 3/4– thick wood of light color. Then he stains them both darkly – the darker, the better. When the stain is dry, cut shallow grooves on both sides at the top of both sticks. This exposes a light colored wooden tape over the stained surface on each face. To cut the grooves, set the blade height to 1/2 and the fence 1/32 tighter than the stick. Tear off all four grooves from this setting.

Join the top edge of a board to remove the stain. Then tear this board tighter than the width of the groove on the other board. That’s all there is to it.

In use, the narrow stick goes in front. Any twist in the board shows as a dark colored wedge between the top of the groove on the near stick and the bottom of the groove on the far stick.—Stephen Youngerman

The higher winding stick in the back shows the direction of the twist in the board.


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