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Proof that tools don't need to be complicated. I needed a pair of winding sticks to help with flattening stock. Looking around the house, I found package of paint stirring sticks from Home Depot. Already perfectly flat and aligned with each other, I just cut the shaped handles off, drilled out the centers to add a dowel, sanded and stained. At about 16" long, they've been working great for my needs, and were basically free.

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Using the stirring sticks is a neat idea. I've seen these longer sticks but haven't looked at them; I've only used the shorter (12"?) sticks. How thick are they? Do they stand up easily? I used combination square rulers for a while, and they were somewhat difficult to stand up.
 

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If you've never used them you will wonder what took you so long. Make some a bit longer that will stand independently, you'll end up there sooner or later.
 

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How thick are they? Do they stand up easily? I used combination square rulers for a while, and they were somewhat difficult to stand up.

- Dan Wolfgang
These are thinner than I would like. Somewhere between 3/16" and 1/4", so they do fall over if bumped. Eventually I'll make a better pair with a thicker base, but these work well enough for me to use while building my bench.
 

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All they need now is an ebony inlay to increase contrast.

Or a black line drawn with a sharpie.
 

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If you're looking for something a little thicker…. how about if you took a yard stick and run it through the planer to get the numbers off?
 
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