My wife does not just sew, but she is a seamstress who likes to do tailored garments. She recently returned from a couture sewing class where she fell in love with the seam stick. It is a wooden half-round about 18 inches long that allows ironing the backside of a seam without the risk of making an impression of the seam's edges on the good side of the garment. Previously she used a ham, which is a firmly stuffed cloth tube; but a ham, even one of a small diameter, does not allow the edges of the seam to fall away untouched by the iron in the way a seam stick does. When she returned home she asked me to make a seam stick for her. I had some 1 1/4 inch diameter fir closet rod on hand. The problem is to rip it so the end product is what was planned. Ripping round stock is always a challenge no matter what kind of saw is used. This Instructable is a combination woodworking project and sewing Instructable.
Step 1: Why freehand sawing is a bad idea
It is tempting to make a straight guide line on the length of the closet rod and saw it by hand with a bandsaw, or perhaps a common carpenter's hand ripsaw. Invariably, your wrist will roll a little on the bandsaw table so the surface that is supposed to be flat actually has a twist in it. The twist might be small and the seam stick might still function, but it really is not what you want for the end product. It is also possible for the handsaw to wander from the line without noticing it.
Step 2: Make two blocks with a "V" notch
Mark and cut two blocks from 1 x 2 firing strips. Make them about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. Cut a "V" into the center of the long side. There is no need for great precision. That will be corrected later.
The second photo shows how these two blocks will cradle the closet rod later.