Suggestion for wood for a growth chart?

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Forum topic by reytt posted 02-28-2017 02:27 AM 1202 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 764 days

02-28-2017 02:27 AM

I have 11 month old twins and I would like to build a growth chart to track their progress by hand. Something along the lines of I’m not really sure what type of wood to use, though. I had thought a nice piece of walnut, but I’m concerned it’ll be too dark to be able to see the actual “growth marks”. Maybe white oak? Looking for suggestions.

10 replies so far

View John's profile


245 posts in 1729 days

#1 posted 02-28-2017 02:41 AM

I made one for my niece and nephew out of white ash. I finished it with a couple of coats of medium walnut danish oil. Turned out pretty nice. Nothing fancy but it looked good.

-- I measured once, cut twice, and its still too short...

View mudflap4869's profile


1849 posts in 1606 days

#2 posted 02-28-2017 02:52 AM

A poplar board with dark measurements would show up well, and a coat of spar varnish will protect it for years.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1067 days

#3 posted 02-28-2017 03:16 AM


I wish I had your foresight. I am marking the growth progress of my Grandsons on a dry-walled door jamb in the laundry room. I plan to demo and rebuild the laundry room in the new couple of years so now I have to figure out how to preserve the drywall with those growth marks.

I would think that a light colored wood like ash, poplar, white oak, or maple with a dark marking pen are good choices. If it is left unfinished until the growth chart is retired, the pencil or pen markings could be protected with a finish applied when the growing has stopped.

Some unsolicited comments…
I suspect you are already doing so, but if not, mark the date when measuring their progress. I like to measure progress every 6 months including on or about my Grandchildren’s birthday dates. Also having a separate chart for each child would allow your eventually grown twins to inherit their own growth charts.

View WDHLT15's profile


1780 posts in 2623 days

#4 posted 02-28-2017 12:31 PM

I would use a light colored wood like yellow poplar, too.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View HokieKen's profile


6294 posts in 1286 days

#5 posted 02-28-2017 12:49 PM

I made one of these for my granddaughter last year. I used a piece of furniture grade pine and was happy with the outcome. Figured maple would look great. White oak or poplar are good choices as well.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Redoak49's profile


3530 posts in 2136 days

#6 posted 02-28-2017 12:54 PM

Select pine was my choice. We used it and a pencil to mark heights and dates as the kids grew up and worked great. The softer wood was easy to write on with a pencil or pen.

View onoitsmatt's profile


395 posts in 1323 days

#7 posted 02-28-2017 02:26 PM

I did the one for my kids out of ash. Use a sharpie to mark height and date.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View tomsteve's profile


832 posts in 1366 days

#8 posted 02-28-2017 05:33 PM

I made one out oif just plain old construction greade pine 2 years ago for my nieces son. after I routed the foot lines and numbers in then blackened those, a couple coats of clear. the marks are very easy to see.

on the walnut, you could use a white paint pen to be able to see the growth marks

View clin's profile


929 posts in 1143 days

#9 posted 02-28-2017 05:43 PM

Heck, I just painted a BORG 1×2 white and called it a day.

-- Clin

View Lenny's profile


1612 posts in 3674 days

#10 posted 02-28-2017 06:04 PM

If you haven’t already done so, search Lumberjocks for “child growth chart”. You will see an array of wood species. With the Sharpie pens available today, you can use any color(tone) wood and still be able to make legible marks. I made one from Spanish cedar and my daughter has been using a blue or black marker. I too have a suggestion. I noticed the one in the photo of your link sits on the base board and I assume the base board height is taken into consideration. My feeling is to make these growth charts with the intent of it being placed directly on the floor. My daughter has moved and will again. No need to fuss with setting it to the correct height at the new home. I did double stick tape a filler block at the top and midpoint in attaching it to the wall.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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