You can use a long narrow board and mark dimensions of a cabinet along that board. If you add a second flat piece of material, you can scribe around the stick and record the size and shape of larger or irregular shapes. The stick should be pointed and used with the same side facing the second piece of material (cardboard, lauan, particle board, plywood). I learned this originally from Wooden Boat magazine as a technique to record bulkhead contours and have used it in multiple ways since. This thread will demonstrate two applications from my Argosy -- creating the contours of a missing outrigger as a welder's guide and registering the contours of a floor section before destroying it.
Two outriggers were rusted away below the rotten battery compartment floor. There was very little steel left but the wheelwell trim gave a good indication of the desired shape. I used a small rectangle of 1/4" ply as my flat template on which to record stick locations. You must either fix this template to the work or have some way of maintaining its position exactly during recording
. (All photos expand to larger size.)
Position the story stick tip in multiple locations along the perimeter to be recorded. It is even being used to record the length of the finished shape in the above photo. Increase the number of tracing locations in areas where the shape is changing rapidly. Individual tracings do not have to be next to or otherwise related to previous tracings. A second shorter story stick is used below to transfer positions for this oblong work.
Below is the template in position, showing the tracings of the story sticks. The tracing outline must be right up against the story stick, so use a sharp pencil or pen.
Below is the template with the 'story sticks' held in their traced position. Below it is the roughed in 1/4" ply stock that will be a guide to take to the welding shop.
I then went back to the Argosy to custom fit the guide until the trim, belly wrap and trailer frame indicated I had a workable replacement.
The welder worked well with my guide and was very glad to have a sized and proven shape. Here is his result on one of the two outriggers replaced -- very close to the original!
...and the final result with POR-15.