Hi everybody I’m Mike McCrory and this is Wood U Make It. I know somebody that lives in Austria and she’s a mutual friend of our friends who have baby Leo. She’s asked me if I could make something for him for Easter, so what she’d like me to make is a growth ruler or a growth chart out of wood and I’ve got a few ideas on how I’m going to do that. So… let’s get started! I’m going to make the growth chart out of two pieces. of wood. I’ve got a piece of walnut and a piece of cherry and I’ll joint the face of each board — just one face — and the edge and then I’ll run up through the the planer get an equal thickness for both pieces. There’s not a specific thickness that I need but I want them both to be the same. I’ve tested the edges to make sure that the glue line is nice and even and now I’m marking that edge on both pieces with a piece of tape so that I don’t get them mixed up. Then I’ll run the jointed edge along the fence and trim down each board to be the same width. I’ll save that piece of walnut that I’ve trimmed off to be used for the next step. The piece of cherry is not thick enough so I will have to cut another piece for that. Now I’m drawing a line at one end that’s going to be the line that I use to line the two pieces back up together. I’m now marking all the increments for feet and inches on the walnut and then I’ll do same on the cherry side but I’ll use the metric system on that side.x On the Imperial side, I’m marking every inch and on the metric side (on the cherry) I’m marking every five centimeters. Now for each of the increments that I’ve marked, I’m using my dado set — the two outside dado blades to cut a 1/4″ slot in each piece for each mark for the minor increments that correspond to every inch or every five centimeters. I’m cutting those to be 3/4″ high and then for the next set of increments — so for every ten centimeters or for every half foot, or every six inches — I’m cutting those to be 1 1/4″ high and then for the major increment, which correspond to the feet or 100 centimeters or one meter, those are being cut to be 2″ high. When I get to about halfway across the board I’m going to switch the miter gauge to be on the other side of the blade. I’ll just adjust it so that it’s not going to run into the blade and then I will make the remaining cuts. After making several cuts I realized that the board may be drifting just a little bit as I’m pushing it through the blade, so I decided to start clamping it for each cut. This was even more important for some of the taller cuts because it was easier for it to get out of kilter and then the pieces that I’m going to insert into these slots would not fit as well. I’m cutting one of the major increments for the feet and these cuts are about 2″ high. Now I need to cut some cherry into a thin strip that I can insert into the slots that I just cut because i didn’t have enough left over from the piece that I cut on the table saw. So, I’m cutting that on the bandsaw to be just a little bit more than 1/4″ so that after sanding down to the final size, it will fit perfectly into the slot. Now back at the table saw I need to cut these into individual lengths to fit into the slots so I’m cutting these to be a little bit oversized probably about one inch and I’ll do the same for the larger increments by cutting those oversized as well. I’m using a stop block against the fence to set the length that I’m cutting and it’s important to do it that way so that you don’t risk having a piece bind between the fence and the blade and risk having a kick back at you. Here I’m cutting the 2-inch pieces for in the major increments. Now with all the pieces cut it’s time to insert them into the boards and I’ll do that just by gluing them in place. After putting this together I remembered when my mother was measuring my height (many many years ago) she would put a book on top of my head. So I thought it would be kind of a cool idea to have some kind of a sliding mechanism that could slide up and down and rest on the head. I hadn’t really thought about that in the beginning. If I had, I might have made the piece thicker so that I could put some kind of a channel for the slider to slide along, but I hadn’t done that so I had to think of another solution. I decided to use rare earth magnets so that I can have the slider stick to the board and be moved up and down. Now I’m starting to cut the pieces for the slider. This piece of padauk I cutting to have points on each end. I’ll explain that when we get closer to the assembly. I have this piece of Spanish cedar that I had leftover from another project and I thought that would be a good choice because the theater is much less dense and much lighter than an equivalent sized piece of hardwood. It’s important to have something light when you’re using a magnet otherwise i’m going to need a lot of magnets to make sure this thing sticks and doesn’t slide down because of its own weight. Now into the end of the piece that’s going to sit on the head I’m cutting some dado slots for pieces of wood to be inserted. Now I will drill recesses into the padauk so that there’s a place for the magnets to sit. The magnets are 1/8″ thick so I’m cutting a recess that’s 1/8″ deep. That way, the magnets will be flush to the surface of the wood. Now I’ll use epoxy to secure the magnets in place. I had to be careful when placing the magnets into the recesses because they have such a strong magnetic attraction that there was a risk that they would pull themselves out and stick to each other so I had to carefully hold them down with my hand to make sure they didn’t pop out. I have two pieces of wood to glue into the slider one is the padauk with the magnets and the other is a horizontal bar so that you can see where this lines up with the increments on both the imperial side and on the metric side. I’ll just clamp this and let it sit for a few hours. While the slider is gluing up I can go back to the growth chart and run it through the drum sander so that it’s nice and flush. Then I’ll clean up the edges on the table saw. The rare earth magnets need to be able to stick to something so I’m going to cut a slot into the wood along the glue line and that will give me enough room to insert a steel bar that is one inch wide and an eighth of an inch thick. I bought a six foot steel bar but I only need about five feet so I’m marking the appropriate length and then I cut it off using a Dremel saw-max. This worked pretty well for this application. I put glue along the edge on both pieces and then I will be able to insert the steel bar and then glue them up together. I had a couple of leftover pieces of wood that I used to make the increment marks and I’m inserting those into the ends so the steel bar doesn’t fall out and then I’ll clamp it up and let it sit overnight. I have the growth clamped into the workbench and I printed some letters using a laser printer. Originally I had thought that I could print them in a mirror image and then transfer the ink to the wood, and that would be easy. But I tried everything. I tried acetone, I tried xylene, I tried paint thinner, I tried alcohol, and nothing worked. I don’t know what I was doing wrong. It is a laser printer and I know that’s important but I just couldn’t get it to work. So, I’m going to do it the old-fashioned way. I’m going to use my pounce wheel and I’m going to trace around the letters and then I will start carving them out. After tracing around the laser printed letters, I use a pencil to trace the outline just to make sure that it was easy to see and then I drew a line down the center of each of the numbers and this is where i’m going to use a V-chisel to mark out the center line. Notice at the corners I’m also marking some angles to help me to figure out where to cu. This center line is important because when I’m carving from the sides using a straight chisel or a curved chisel it will help for the wood to break away cleanly. Now I take the V parting tool only up as far as I’ve marked where the line intersects with the angled pieces coming from the corners and then I proceed in from the corners. Now I’m using a straight chisel. It’s fairly easy to cut out these pieces that are straight; it’s a little trickier — not that difficult — but it’s a little trickier to cut out the curved pieces. I’m just taking it out bit by bit. It’s important to be patient and try not to carve out too much material and be overly aggressive. Here on the outside of the curve i’m using a larger sized gouge and then on the inside I’m using a straight chisel. I should mention that I’ve never carved before. This is my first time doing it so you should take everything that I’m telling you with a grain of salt. I did watch a couple of YouTube videos so that helped me to figure out the best approach. The reason I decided to do the carving was because I won this set of carving tools from Instructables.com. The only thing I purchased was this larger gouge that I thought I would need for some of the larger curves and it turned out to be a very useful tool to have for that. If I used a smaller gouge, it would be more difficult to get the curves nice and clean without having kind of a scallped look. It took me about 10 to 15 minutes to carve each digit and there were 42 digits total so that translated into about eight to ten hours of effort. This will be a pretty long video if I show me carving each of the numbers but I thought you might want to see just some of the highlights. I think my favorite number to carve was the number four because it was the easiest. Everything is pretty straight although every number was pretty rewarding when you got it completed it because it looked so nice and so clean. When I was over on the metric side it was a lot more difficult because the numbers were that much smaller. They were probably about half the size of the numbers that I’m using to mark the feet so it was a lot more tedious and I almost thought my chisels were a little bit too large for what I was trying to carve and that made it that much more difficult so I just had to be very patient and eventually I got it all done. I’ve got a router bit installed to cut a keyhole slot and unfortunately the battery on my other camera died while I was recording this so all you really get to see is the back of my hand. After I remove the router you can see the keyhole slot. Now the growth chart is ready for a finish and the first step is I’m applying a dewaxed shellac just to seal the wood. One of the nice things about having magnets in this slider is that I was able to just stick it on the column that I have in the center of my garage because I have a metal wire raceway running down it and that made it easy to just stick on the wall and apply the finish. Then on all of the pieces I’m applying a spray lacquer. I don’t have an HVLP sprayer so I’m just spraying out of a can and it worked fine. Here again the magnet worked well because I could just stick it on the chain that I’m using to hold the board up and it was really easy to spray on the lacquer. Well, here’s the growth chart all put together and I just wanted to point out a few features so here’s the slider that goes up and down and it’s magnetic so it just sticks to the wood wherever you put it and when you’re measuring a little child you probably want to mark it on the wood and then slide it up higher to be out of the way. I talked about having the padauk that was pointed top and bottom. The reason for that is I have these horizontal bars where you can align the bar with the increment on the scale and you want to make sure that it’s horizontal so when you align the points top and bottom to the center line, that will assure that it’s horizontal. One thing I think I’ve proven, at least to myself, is how superior the Imperial system is compared with the metric system. Just a look at the precision on the Imperial side and how close these measurement increments are. You get a lot more precision on this side than you do the metric side so that’s one point for the Imperial system. The other thing that was a lot better for me is the amount of carving that I had to do on the Imperial side. It was way less. I have five digits that I had to carve on the Imperial side; I had 37 digits that I had to carve on the metric side so it was way more work. Then, lastly, the Imperial side is way better for your brain because when you’re building things you to go through all kinds of mental gymnastics and exercising your brain to do fractional math adding 1/8″ to 3/16″. Easy, because we do it all the time and we practice. When you’re using the metric system your brain gets lazy because it’s just so easy. So, 3 points for the Imperial system and that’s why the U.S. is never going to change. So now the only thing left to do is to install it. We’ll let Leo warm up to it for a minute and now it’s Now it’s time to give it a try. Well there you have it. So I gotta ask… Would YOU make it? [theme music playing]