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Tip #111
What Is A "Winding Stick"

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"Winding Sticks" are nothing more than two sticks of stable, kiln-dried wood that are used to determine if boards have any "wind" or twist in them.

Since they're used by laying them across the grain of the wood on its flat (or face) surface, they're usually only about two-feet long by 1/2" to 3/4" thick by about 2" wide.

It's important that their opposing (edge grain and face grain) surfaces be parallel to one another.

Many people make them out of light-and-dark contrasting woods (walnut and maple, as an example)...or make them both out of maple and glue a 3/4" wide walnut strip along one edge-grain edge (remember, both sticks should be the same 2" [or so] width when finished.

To use them, lay yur board in question on your benchtop. Lay the edge (not surface) of one stick across the grain at the far end of your board (with the light wood edge up)...and the edge of the other stick across the grain at the near end of your board (with the dark wood edge up).

Crouch down so your eye is approximately even with the stick's top edge at the board's near end and sight down toward the stick at the far end of your board. Move your eye closer and farther away from the near winding stick until you can get a good view of both sticks when you sight from one to the other. If the top edges of the winding sticks appear to be parallel to one another, your board has no twist. If they do not appear to be parallel, your board is twisted.

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