I got the idea for this collection of wood samples from those fan-like color swatches you see at paint stores. I use my wood-swatch fan at the lumber store and at home for selecting complementary woods. It also comes in handy at the computer, when I’m adding wood color to my Sketchup project drawings.

To make the fan, I cut several 1/16-in.-thick strips of the hardwoods I use most often, making them 3⁄4 in. wide. I left one side unfinished and varnished the other side. I drilled a 1/4-in.-dia. hole in one end of each strip, then used a machine screw and knurled knob to hold the strips together. With washers on both sides, the thin pieces are less likely to split. With the knob fairly tight, the strips stay put until I’m ready to pick out one or two for comparison. Bart Brinkman, Post Falls, ID
February 5, 2014