45 comments on “Winding Sticks – Episode 1

    • This I have been asking myself too. It can work. By putting one stick in the middle, I will be able to find the part that twists the most (some sort of binary search). This I actually tried.

      Alternatively, just take the ends and make them without twist; then, plane down everything that sits inbetween. I think I heard Roy Underhill say this. I haven’t tried this (soon will).

  1. Thanks again for sharing your expertise for free. If one looked at all your free videos, they would accumulate a list of very useful tools to do woodworking with.
    It maybe a personal thing, but I think your teaching style is perfect.
    I hope you recover from the cold soon.

  2. I made a pair of winding sticks a while ago – nowhere near as good looking as these of course, but one thing I did which I found really handy with my slightly dodgy eyesight and varifocal glasses was to stick on a couple of bits of reflective strip (as sold for cyclists etc.) instead of putting in the white inlay. Now I just put the winding sticks on the work, hold a torch by the side of my head and sight along. It works really well, especially when checking longer pieces of timber when, if one end is in focus, the other is blurred.

  3. Another great video!
    I, too have made a pair copied from those used by Paul in earlier videos. However, now I’ve seen these I’m eager to replicate them as they are much better than the rectangular design I have used.
    Thankyou, Paul for the clear and and varied options so anyone can make these with nothing more than a basic tool kit.

  4. Thanks, Paul! I have been wanting to make a set like yours, but was hesitant to use my table saw, since I’m rather attached to my fingers. Now, you have shown me, as you always do, how to do it in so many different ways. I appreciate that.


  5. Oh Paul. Like always it is so great to see you work. You make people want to do it themselves. Pity, that I cannot run in the workshop straightaway. I feel a bit embarrassed that I don’t write as much comments as I watch your lessons but what to say. Its just a simple repetition all the time. I simply love your way of teaching and passing on your skill and knowledge. Thank you very much. Martin

  6. Another very inspiring vid. I’m looking forward to making these, too.

    I think the downloadable pdf is a great idea. Might it be possible for your techno-assistants to maybe add a few of these to some of the past videos, where sketches exist? I think I’ve watched the shooing board video about five times (I’m not complaining, I like rewatching the vids, I find them therapeutic!) but I Keep forgeting to write down the dimensions…

    Also I very much appreciate the many alternative suggestions in this video for acheiving the tasks if we don’t have a particular tool.

  7. Your calm manner with the way you teach is wonderful. I will make me a set of these soon as I can find some ebony or might have to use the black sharpie. Thanks again Paul for another great video. I’m off to see episode 2.

    • First let me say thank you Paul for another inspiring lesson.
      What I used for my “Ebony” was Red Oak with two coats of a Ebonizing solution made from white vinegar and iron, You can find a lot of information on how to make the solution on the internet , just search “Ebonizing wood.

      • The problem I see is that ebonizing or any staining will be only on the surface, but I will have to plane the inlays flush. I already used a softwood for the light parts and don’t want to spend a fair amount of money to get some ebony.

        Any more ideas on how to supplement the woods used? I want it to be simple and low cost but not cheap as in using a sharpie. Has anyone tried something that worked reasonably well? How deep does ink sink in? The base wood is oak in my case.

  8. Regarding clamping the sticks for planing after sawing, I found it helpful to use the clamp-in-a-vise method, since this allows to accommodate for the angle and additionally to support the pieces of wood on the vise. I just couldn’t make it work putting them directly in the vise, I wouldn’t get to the lower portion well.

  9. 17:06 “find a different location so I don’t run the same hole”

    It’s remarkes like those, into the beard, that make the difference between a written instruction and a video. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel so much like an apprentice (being there).

  10. Thank you Paul, you are a amazing person such a great teacher I’m always intrigued and learning from your videos. You do such a great service by posting these videos and every time I watch I just want to go into my small shop and try what I just was taught and it always works. Thank you again

  11. Such a wealth of knowledge. I love that you take the time to show all of the alternative methods you could think of. I’ve spent plenty of time in my shop/garage trying to find alternative ways to do things when I didn’t have the proper tools.

  12. I wrecked 2 pieces of 1″ x 1″ oak. My saw cuts were as sloppy as a drunken Sailor on Mardi Gras. I can’t seem to rip worth a darn.

    I put a 1×1 in a face vise and scrubbed and smoothed off half of a face. That’ll have to do because I simply can’t get the saw cuts to cut straight AND to slope diagonally along the long axis.

    • Hello Jeff,
      Pine can be a little soft as far as long term wear and tear is concerned and oak can be prone to movement. I’d recommend a more durable and stable wood such as the sapele as used here. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t work, just that they might not last as long.

  13. Hi, Paul and team… your masterclasses have made all the difference to my hand tool woodworking. I can now sharpen a cutting edge to a razor finish before the other guy has unwrapped his grindstone. In the early days it was all about speed -‘sharpening on a grinding wheel to produce many sparks and a dull edge. Today I can sharpen most edge tools within a few minutes. Now I can create a super sharp edge in no time. You have revolutionised my approach to tool sharpening for which I will br forever grateful. Tony Parnham. Keep up the good work. Thank you! Ps can you tell me how long I have been subscribing to WWMClasses, as it feels like forever – and well worth every penny.

  14. Hello,

    I first watched this video a few months ago. I assembled my pieces and I am finally ready to begin, but I realize that there was not much mention in prepping the first 1×1 blank. I guess my point is, without winding sticks, how do you ensure your starting stock is square and true?

    I think the answer is in that the critical measure was the distance made from the “bottom” planed face to the top. Geometrically, I am not convinced that this 1 dimension between 2 top and bottom planes is sufficient to ensure planarity. Is there something in design or construction method that ensures the planarity of the bottom and top where the indicators have been inlaid?

    I just wonder how you know the bottom is planar and without warp when we’ve only ensured the top and bottom are the same distance from each other.


    • With stock the size of the winding sticks you should be able to determine this from sighting it directly combined with measuring, as well using a well flattened plane. A no 5 or 5 1/2 may be handy for this if you have it.

  15. I noticed that in the video the measurements are shown as 1 X 1 but on the whiteboard I see the measurements listed as 1 1/2 X 1 1/4 . I guess you could make it anything you want within reason but not sure why the video is square stock and the whiteboard is rectangular. I was actually concerned the 1 x 1 might be too light a weight.

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