Just Stirrin’ Things Up

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 11-21-2014 07:52 PM 1629 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

At my age, 20/20 is hindsight. - handsawgeek

In the handsawgeek blog file reside a number of entries which I have written over the past few weeks that I would consider as filler material. These are ‘waiting in the wings’ for those weeks in which I don’t really have any significant shop or project progress to report (I’m thinking lathe stand), but still want to maintain a weekly blog schedule. Cut and paste…(sigh).

This is one such offering…..

Every time I go shopping at the BORG, I always make it a point to stop by the paint desk and grab a couple of those freebie wood paint stir sticks they always have sitting around in buckets. (Nowadays, you have to ask a paint desk employee for the larger of the two sizes).

These have become a staple in the handsawgeek shop because they can be used for so many things.

Here are a few uses I’ve come up with: Wood clamp pads, shallow drawer/box dividers, furniture leveling shims, rip-cut kerf wedges, story sticks, make-shift winding sticks, hand plane rests (to keep the iron up off the bench), key ring holders, garden row markers, plant spikes, small tool racks, small parts templates, drill marking guides, sandpaper ‘files’, bench stops (for face planing thin boards), edge trim for small plywood panels.

And not to mention the many small parts that have been fashioned from them for use in toy projects.

I’m sure all you fellow LJrs out there could think of many more uses.

Stir sticks even featured prominently in the construction of the Hudnut Sorter I blogged about awhile back.

I even used a couple of them to fashion myself a poor man’s center finder tool for marking dowels and lathe turnings.

Oh, and did I mention that they work great for use in stirring paint and stain?

Basically, they are just a handy item to have hanging around the shop any time one needs a short, thin piece of wood.

The only down side to these sticks is the inked-on advertising that has to be sanded off if they are to be used in any sort of visible part of a project.

Now let’s see….how many stir sticks would I need to glue up into larger boards to build that Chippendale High Boy reproduction……

-- Ed

5 comments so far

View ToyMakingDad's profile


83 posts in 2494 days

#1 posted 11-21-2014 09:54 PM

Handsawgeek, once again you are scaring me.
Tonight I’m wearing a double thick tin foil hat (shinny side out) to prevent you from reading my thoughts.
Here is a toy that I still have in proof of concept/prototype phase.
It will be a unicycle rider that you push on a stick. His legs and the fork for the wheel were made from a BORG paint stirrer.

-- Toy Making Dad, Northern Virginia,

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 1878 days

#2 posted 11-21-2014 10:02 PM


-- Ed

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2490 days

#3 posted 11-21-2014 10:49 PM

When I worked at the big orange box I used to make 6 or 8 birdhouses each month to give away as door prizes at our Ladies Night. Paint sticks were a regular staple on my houses. How ‘bout some furniture for the porch…


More than once those paint sticks became roofing and/or siding.


And this one was paint sticks stood on end and glued in an overlapping pattern around a 6” wood circle.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View technoslick's profile


764 posts in 1842 days

#4 posted 11-23-2014 01:51 PM

Good tips. But no one around here wants to give me any paint sticks for free. I wonder how much electricity it would take on the table saw to slice up a whole bunch of these from an 8’ length of 2’ x 4’? ;)

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 1878 days

#5 posted 12-01-2014 02:28 PM

Nice use of these things!! And since some of it was done at HD, you didn’t have to bother to sand off the adverts.

-- Ed

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