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May 2014

May 2014

With the lack of a great idea for a message this month I once again went searching for something really interesting. I hope you enjoy this find. One day I will get over this illness and get back to woodworking.

Using Story Sticks to Build Furniture
Charles Harvey, of Berea, Ky., has created story sticks for more than 80 different chairs over the past 20 years. The stick at left contains all of the information he needs to build his standard dining chair, including mortise locations, rough and finished lengths of components, and the profiles of back slats and the turned finials.
The simplest way to ensure uniformity and accuracy is to eliminate some of that measuring, trading the by-the- numbers approach for direct transfer of dimensions. For years, woodworkers have used shopmade gauges called story sticks to create a physical record of a piece, not only improving their accuracy but also saving time.

A story stick is essentially a slender strip of wood (or metal) that holds a series of markings, notches or notations designating the exact locations and profiles of critical elements. The stick can be used to produce multiples or set aside to be reused in the future. The stick saves the time and trouble of remeasuring each time the information is needed, and it virtually eliminates measuring errors.

Sideboard on a stick. A story stick for a case piece must hold multiple layers of information. The horizontal dimensions of the project go on one side of the stick; on the other side are the vertical divisions. Each side also can be broken up into columns. In this case the first column contains the dimensions for the top, face frame, door rails and knobs, and the next displays the information for the cabinet sides, bottom and partitions.

Till next time...