George V. Reilly

Story Sticks

Story Stick

I assembled a couple of adjustable shelving units today. Trying to count the same number of in­den­ta­tions on all four legs for each level quickly grew tedious, and I realized that I needed to make a story stick. I cut a "stick" to the right length and then I was able to place the stick along the leg and instantly read where the next pair of snap rings should be placed. I mentioned this to Emma and she had never heard of story sticks.

Wood­work­ers have used story sticks for a long time to build furniture and to get re­pro­ducible results. Instead of writing down a mea­sure­ment on a sheet of paper and later using a tape measure to cut something to that length, the mea­sure­ment is instead marked on a stick and trans­ferred to the new piece of wood. It’s less error prone, especially if the actual mea­sure­ment is slightly off from the prescribed mea­sure­ment. A story stick often has several marks, describing different aspects of the piece being built.

More: 1, 2, 3.

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