The New Traditional Woodworker-Project #4-Winding Sticks

Lately, I’ve had my nickers in a twist. That’s English for having a hissy fit. And fit I had, when I resawed some quarter-sawn oak—lovely rays and all—only to “flatten” it. But not really, because it had some wicked twist. Crap. Guess I’m going to have to make some winding sticks. Oh yeah. And learn how to use them.

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to make a pair. But Jim Tolpin’s New Traditional Woodworker design calls for 5/4 stock, and I didn’t have any lying around. One night, while enjoying the warm embrace of a Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, I queried aloud, “Why not just use ¾ stock?”

“Well, because they’ll tip over,” came the reply. But, then again, the sticks’ pyramid cross-section mitigates this possibility. So after rummaging through my lumber stores I pulled out some ¾ maple and walnut. Then, I thumbed to page 107 of Tolpin’s book to bone up on the build process and techniques.

As for dimensions, I went with a short stick. Thirteen inches long is plenty of stickage for my winding. That’s because I flatten boards around 6” wide. The abbreviated length also means that the sticks fit neatly into one of the drawers under my workbench.


I enjoyed building a tool to be used on other projects. It was particularly fun to plane a pyramid cross-section.


And to laminate maple to walnut.


Then to add a center-dot detail in the form of a dowel.


Here are the finished sticks.

P05-Winding-Sticks-Finished-A P06-Winding-Sticks-Finished-B P07-Winding-Sticks-Finished-C P08-Winding-Sticks-Finished-D P09-Winding-Sticks-Finished-E P10-Winding-Sticks-Finished-F P11-Winding-Sticks-Finished-G

And now that they’re done, I can focus on fixing the twist in my boards rather than in my nickers.


© 2014, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.


About The Write Biz

By day, I'm a mild-mannered copywriter who harnesses frontal-lobe creativity (right brain) to help B2B marketers generate leads and sales. By night I pick up hand tools to create wooden masterpieces...and give my black lab Bella the "red dot" laser to chase after.
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One Response to The New Traditional Woodworker-Project #4-Winding Sticks

  1. Tim Caveny says:

    My winding sticks, which I’ve been using for over a decade now, are only about 3/8″ thick. They stand up just fine. Don’t worry abou formulas. Just do what works.

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