Do you spend a lot of money on stringing from your local wood or craft stockist?
If you think about it..it is just a very accurately cut piece of thin wood.
It would be cheap to make yourself but you would need to spend quite a bit on equipment of the quality needed to get the accuracy that would give you quality and consistent stock…
Well..here is a simple jig which takes about 1 hour to make..uses old flat boarding stock…an old but good plane iron and a bit of setup…
Two pieces of board are joined using a housing (rabbet) joint so that they are at right angles to each other and form a perpendicular fence. In my prototype this is the base and fence of engineered oak floorboard…but you can use any stiff, flat board stock like water resistant MDF.
I then cut a recess out of the front of the base to fit a front fence. You need to space this away from the right angle fence as far as the largest stock you intend to use. Do not place it too far away as this adds substantial rigidity to the jig and prevents chatter when thicknessing.
Once this is in place select the iron you are going to use. You need to regrind the iron to a high bevel…say 40 degrees and sharpen and hone. The sharper you get the iron and the flatter its face…the better the cut.
Taking another piece of board stock make a subfence the same as the front fence
Then lay the iron up against the front fence and mark where the centre slot runs on the front fence.
Cut or route a slot along it to allow it and the iron and supporting subfence to be moved back and forth, closer and further from the right angled fence and the stock you are thicknessing. A single hole at midpoint through the slot is drilled through the sub fence to fit a suitable bolt and knob with washer.
The idea is that you cut some roughly accurate stock of near the width you need and don’t worry too much about following the line…as long as you are outside the line you want to work up to.
Then you put your stock against the perpendicular fence….adjust the iron/subfence assembly up to the thickest part and lock off.
I added a clamp for stiffness at this stage but you can add a fancy locking mechanism if you want!
Pull the stock slowly and evenly past the iron to shave off the high spots…and then adjust the iron closer and repeat.
Keep this process up until you have reached the desired thickness of your stock.
You will find that your stock is within one thou all along the length!
Now…cut this lengthways into individual strings and repeat the thicknessing….
And there you have it…cheap, easy, quality stringing…for nothing!
Other modifications in the pipeline…
A microfence adjuster, a subfence/iron assembly lock off and a Bristol lever for the iron. Watch out for more from KT TOOLS!