How to Use Winding Sticks Correctly

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When using winding sticks, the face of the board should be flat. This tool excels at flattening the board face, but the cup causes a seesaw effect which causes a false reading. To avoid a false reading, center the stick with a vertical line at the center of the stick. To ensure a flat reading, the board face and bottom edge must be clean. Any shavings between the board surface and stick will cause an inaccurate reading.

Plane the taper on opposing sides of the sticks to make the top sighting area thinner

To increase the accuracy of a sighting stick, plane the taper on both sides of the stick. This will make the top sighting area thinner while leaving the bottom fat for stability. Woodworkers typically make matching pairs. They also plane the sticks on opposing sides to improve the visibility of differences in height and level. Planing the sticks is an easy way to improve accuracy and stability.

Using a pair of winding sticks helps a builder judge the twist in a piece of lumber. Winding sticks can be straight or elegantly decorated. They are often made of mahogany or dimensionally stable wood. Winding sticks are also used to check alignment with the bandsaw wheels. Winding sticks can also be used to make a dead-flat assembly table and flat torsion boxes. A common design is a contrasting wood inlaid into the top of the stick. This makes the top of the sighting area easier to read than other designs. A winking stick is another type of sighting stick and relies on two half moon cutouts on the top of the stick. Light under the wood creates a visual reference that aids the builder in determining the level

Plane the taper on opposite sides of the sticks to ensure they are true

When planning a winding stick, the top end must have a flat surface and the taper on the opposite sides of the sticks must be parallel. Planing the top side of the sticks is the best way to ensure they are flat, but they should be planed at an angle that keeps the taper from affecting the rest of the stick. If the top of the sticks is uneven, then planing the bottom side will fix this problem.

When planning the taper on winding sticks, the first face of the stick must be flat, as the cup can seesaw. A false reading is a result of this. To center the stick, mark a vertical line through the middle of the stick. Also, make sure the board’s face and bottom edge are smooth, without any shavings trapped in between them.

Winding sticks are a useful tool for flattening surfaces and discerning small angles. The taper is a measure of the angle, and the rise will increase proportionally as the run increases. To plan the taper on winding sticks, use a ruler or a parallel pair of sticks. You can also use a straightedge to check if the winding sticks are parallel.

If you do not have a woodworking bench or a table saw, it is easy to cut a pair of winding sticks. A 3/4″ x 2″ MDF strip works well. A chamfer and 1/4″ wide flat along one edge makes sighting over the winding sticks easier. Depending on the size of your woodworking project, you can make a length of winding sticks that span boards.

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Check for twist

When working with wood, you should check for twists using winding sticks. These simple wooden pieces can show you where a board or machine surface is twisted. When used correctly, winding sticks can pinpoint defects and minimize repair costs. Winding sticks are especially useful for identifying major twists in long surfaces. Typically, they are used to inspect joints and boards. But they are not as useful for finding bows or creases over a longer distance.

When dry fitting, you should look for any twist in the wood. Even a table that is supported by equal-length legs can wobble. The twist can be caused by uneven clamping pressure. When a table has a twist, you’ll notice the problem when you disassemble it. In addition, you may need to disassemble the table to see where the twist is. For example, if the legs of the table wobble, you’ll need to check the legs to determine if the twist is causing it to move.

Accuracy of winding sticks depends on two things: the design of the stick and the user’s eyesight. It is difficult to detect tiny twists on surfaces, especially when the face of the board is very flat. Furthermore, older eyes have a greater margin of error. To compensate for this, try moving closer to the board. However, keep in mind that moving away from the winding sticks will make it more difficult to judge with accuracy.

The winding sticks should be planed parallel to one another. A little practice with a ruler will help you get a decent result. However, you should also use a square to check the sticks’ parallel edges. Make sure that the lengths of the two winding sticks are similar to each other. This will make them easier to align visually. And the width of the sticks should also be similar. The width of a winding stick is approximately equal to its height.

Check for flatness

Winding sticks are a time-honored method to check for flatness. Placed parallel to the sides of a workpiece, the winding sticks can be used to check for twist. Crouch down to see the top edges of the sticks and then sight across with both eyes. A deviation from flatness will be immediately visible. Repeat the process to check the entire board. Winding sticks are generally made of extruded aluminium and are dimensionally stable. The machined section provides contrast to the wood, reducing glare.

To check for flatness, first look at the edges of the board. Look for high or low spots. If the edges of the board are not parallel, plane it so that they lie flat. You can also use a backlit straight edge to check the board’s flatness. If you notice high or low spots, move your winding sticks or work piece until all edges lie flat. If you notice high or low spots, reposition the winding sticks and check again.

To check for flatness when using winding sticks, you should place the ends of the board parallel to the surface. The length of the board should not exceed one-third of the length of the winding sticks. You can also add a 45-degree chamfer or a 1/4-inch wide flat to one end of the sticks to make sighting over the winding stick easier. I typically use winding sticks 24 inches long. You can easily lengthen them if you wish.

Check for high spots

When checking a board for twist, use winding sticks. Position the first winding stick near one end of the board and the other at the opposite end. Make sure the sticks are parallel to each other. Move each winding stick to different spots on the board, checking each one. If you notice a high spot, remove the winding stick from the board and mark the high spot with chalk. This way, you will be able to tell if the board is twisty or has high spots.

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Winding sticks can be used to check for twists in boards, joints, and assemblies. They are a simple tool that helps you see if a board is free from twist. Place them on opposite ends of the board, looking at one with one eye closed, while the other is nearer. If the sticks aren’t parallel, they may not be parallel. It’s important to check for high spots in different areas and reposition the winding sticks if necessary.

Winding sticks are handy for checking the flatness of a piece. You can make them yourself with a little woodworking experience. They are cheap and easy to make, and are an effective tool for checking if a piece is truly flat. Check for high spots and planks before you start carving! If you use winding sticks correctly, you’ll get the best results. You’ll be happy you did!

When using winding sticks, make sure to use a pair that is three times longer than the width of the board. This will help you see high and low spots where you should cut the work. The winding sticks can double as a straightedge for fine work, as they are shaped like a curved straightedge and can even be used for framing a square. The traditional lengths of winding sticks are 16 to 30 inches, and they tapers from 3/8 to 1/8 inch.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!


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