Builders’ Tip: Story Sticks Make Measuring Easy
For those of us boys and girls who don’t like to remember numbers on tapes or which side of the measuring mark to use, story sticks can simplify a number of measuring situations.
Click for larger image.
You can buy commercially available gadgets that do the same thing — they are called bar gauges ― but I’d rather make my own. Here’s how:
- As shown in the accompanying illustration, I start with a piece of garden-variety 3⁄4-inch copper pipe about 4 inches long.
- I drill a hole in its side, and then solder a 1⁄4-inch brass nut to the side of the pipe, centered over the hole.
- I screw a 1-inch-long, 1⁄4-inch machine screw with a knob on one end into the nut.
- The screw acts as a clamp, bearing against a 3⁄4-inch dowel that has been split in half.
To use the story stick:
- Simply loosen the screw and let the dowel halves slide past one another until they bear against the surface of the target.
As an example, to measure the inside of a window jamb, extend the dowels against the opening, clamp, transfer to work piece and cut. No numbers required.
- Another option is to add nail points to each dowel half, as shown in the drawing.
They can be used to transfer outside measurements.
- For measuring diagonals such as drawer boxes or picture frames, bevel the ends of the dowels so that they tuck into 90-degree corners.
— Paul K. Kincaid, Lawrence, Kan.
Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2008 The Taunton Press
To contact Fine Homebuilding, e-mail Christina Glennon.
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