Winding Sticks

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Project by need2boat posted 11-14-2011 08:22 PM 4691 views 4 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made these from some left over wood from a try-square I’m making. The wood is Macacauba and quite straight grain. Are lots of ways to go about making them. Mine have holes so I can hang them and I will paint a target on the one if need be. I haven’t had a lot of experience using them so I’m sure design will alter a bit as time goes on.

-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

19 comments so far

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 3267 days

#1 posted 11-14-2011 08:41 PM

Great looking winding sticks… What length did you make them?

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2688 days

#2 posted 11-14-2011 08:47 PM

I want to say 24” or there abouts.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View Brit's profile


7374 posts in 2838 days

#3 posted 11-14-2011 11:14 PM

I am liking them Joe. A nice set are on my to do list. At present I use two pieces of aluminium angle with some black electricians tape on one of the pieces for contrast. They work well and don’t fall over, but they don’t look as nice as yours.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 11-14-2011 11:18 PM

The angle iron I think for a pair over 24” is a good call. Truth is if I had some I most likely wouldn’t have made these. ;-)


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2921 days

#5 posted 11-15-2011 01:25 AM

Joe, they do look great, however, the winding sticks I have seen for sale all have an alternate color at the top of one of them so you can easily see how much your board is out.

I would think that with the beautiful grain on yours, it may not let you see the twist as clearly.

Maybe they work fine, I am thinking I would have trouble seeing the difference (older eyes maybe?).

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 11-15-2011 03:33 AM

Yea Randy I my end up painting or using some tape if need be.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3919 days

#7 posted 11-15-2011 05:30 AM

I have been using hand plans more and more I think I will make a set as well thanks for reminding me about them.

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 2466 days

#8 posted 11-15-2011 07:09 AM

Hi all,
My use of winding sticks is mostly confined to the reconstruction of tall clocks. When I reassemble them I need to know that the waist and the base are pretty much in line. As a matter of expediency when I set up the first time I grabbed a couple of 24” levels. Been using them ever since.Actually the whole set up uses three levels.
I know that they are not all that fancy but I don’t have to worry that they might go out of straight or square.
BTW n2b’s winding sticks are very nicely done.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#9 posted 11-15-2011 08:04 AM

Very nice . I tried using winding sticks but I could not find where you wind them up :))

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Arminius's profile


304 posts in 3799 days

#10 posted 11-15-2011 03:09 PM

Are you working through Jim Tolpin’s book? Straight edge and now winding sticks, both on my list from that book.

On another note, have you ever considered making a WW paddle? Thinking about that for next season, I will probably start with a canoe paddle first.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2966 days

#11 posted 11-15-2011 03:44 PM

I don’t want to rain on anyones parade, they are quite beautiful, but the grain, while beautiful, might be a distraction to function. You said you might paint the top edge and that would be a good idea. I’d make one white, the other black.
The length will work well for checking boards or glue-ups up to about 18”, but the length, at 24”, is too short to use for a table top effectively. Winding sticks need to be longer than the width of the surface being checked.

I hope you don’t take these comments as mean or ill willed. I’m just trying to offer some constructive criticisim.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2650 days

#12 posted 11-15-2011 04:11 PM

Very nice. These should work just fine.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2688 days

#13 posted 11-15-2011 04:22 PM

I’ll work backwards,

Crank49 no worries. The grain doesn’t bother me and they work well without the lighter color on the second stick. I have the advantage of 20 years of prepress that helps. I check proofs for type and color and at this point see thickness differences in my sleep. Also adding an inlay of a lighter wood really wouldn’t be to hard afterwards. I made these from scrap and finished with BLO, so they were quick to make and no real loss.

Arminius I have not read jims book. I will google it. I read Chris Schwarz book and these were some of the tools on his list. I have made paddles, and had the good luck of becoming friends with Jim Snyder who makes some of the best wood paddles I’ve used. you can check out his here I don’t know the type pf paddling you do but one of the best things I’ve made is wood hand paddles. It’s been years since I’ve made them but I will post some pictures if your interested.

tom427cid yes anything will work metal rules or levels are great. I guess the advantage to wood is it’s easy to true them. I know if I put 3 levels next to each other they may be level but I’m not sure true.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 2466 days

#14 posted 11-15-2011 07:39 PM

Good point,however, making sure that a level is “on the level” is easy. First mark a spot on a relativly level surface and use the mark as an index. Set the level on the mark and note where the bubble is. Reverse the ends of the level and put it in the same place and if the bubble does not return to EXACTLY the same place-discard the level. This applys to any level,the inch and a half 50 cent give aways to the six foot hundred dollar door jamb.
Hope this hellps.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3111 days

#15 posted 11-15-2011 09:49 PM

a very nice set :-)
may they be true for ever


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