Winding Sticks

  • Advertise with us
Project by Dan Wolfgang posted 10-26-2016 02:02 AM 2454 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been using two 12” steel rules as winding sticks, but trying to make them stand up is a challenge and I feel like 12” isn’t quite enough to really see what kind of twist I’m dealing with. So, I wanted to make some winding sticks. I used some red oak I had laying around and added ash dots to make positioning easier. (As with all of my projects, they are learning experiences for this new-ish woodworker, and I wish I had turned the ash dots to all point the same direction.) While at the local wood store I found a tiny piece of ippe on the cut-offs shelf, and I decided to use it for color differentiation, to make the sticks easier to read. All done with hand tools, ‘cuz that’s how I roll!

Working that ippe was hard! A little Googling says ippe is also called iron wood and that’s definitely borne out by how often I had to resharpen the plane blades. It looks gorgeous, but cutting through it was very difficult. Taking big bites resulted in lots of tear-out, and very small bites is, of course, very slow going. But, the result is nice.

These sticks are 24” long. The base is about 1/2” wide and it tapers up to about 5/16” wide at the top. The stick with the ippe is a little taller simply because I tired of trying to plane it down! I added some curve to the ends because I though it’d look nice, and I obviously don’t need the full length for these to be effective. They seem to work well.

I have used Bush Oil on all of my projects. I like it: it’s easy to use and looks nice. But could I get a nicer finish just as easily? My local wood shop had a finishing demo with Bush Oil that I followed along with. I was surprised to see how the finish evolved through sanding and “cleaning the grain,” and what a difference it made in the resulting shine. I followed through by sanding up to 600 grit, running through the Scotch-brite-like pads, and then applying the Bush Oil—wow, a much nicer finish! I’m very pleased with it! The close-up photo shows the foreground stick finished but without Bush Oil; the back stick is with the Bush Oil.

7 comments so far

View realcowtown_eric's profile


617 posts in 2178 days

#1 posted 10-26-2016 04:07 AM

Me I use my ‘lectic led lit winding strips.Work well for the aged carpenter who cannot focus near and far at the same time!


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 889 days

#2 posted 10-26-2016 11:31 AM

Good job … and thumbs up for rolling with hand tools!

”... added ash dots to make positioning easier.”

Tell me more about this … thanks.

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

176 posts in 1049 days

#3 posted 10-26-2016 01:14 PM

”... added ash dots to make positioning easier.”

Tell me more about this … thanks.

Oh, it’s pretty simple: there are three dots in each stick: one centered, one 6” left, and one 6” right. They just make it easier to be sure I’m centering the stick on the work piece.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 889 days

#4 posted 10-26-2016 01:25 PM

Thanks Dan … makes sence, just never heard of it before. Keep up the good work!

View NormG's profile


6378 posts in 3245 days

#5 posted 10-26-2016 11:51 PM

Well done, these are very useful to have

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View JCinVA's profile


148 posts in 1072 days

#6 posted 10-27-2016 04:33 AM

Mighty fancy and I like the idea of the contrasting woods. The idea of the positioning dots is new to me as well.

View madts's profile


1884 posts in 2581 days

#7 posted 10-28-2016 07:59 PM

I like them a lot.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics