(If I win the laser cutter contest, I'll give it to a high school or college near me with the provision that I can use it to make science experiments. I've been a student teacher in shop classes, and a mentor in 1st robotics. I think the laser cutter would be a great addition to a school. It could help bring together science, engineering and shop classes. For examples of my science projects, see any of my -ibles with "physics" in the title)
Drill a hole in the end of a yardstick. Then saw off a few inches, and sandpaper or file rough edges + corners.
It's usually better to drill the stock while it's long, so there's something to hold/clamp. Short pieces have a tendency to spin with the drillbit. It's safer to drill the stick while it's long.
Use string to lash the 1/4-20 wingnut to the wood. Frap the lashings to tighten them up. Use hot glue to secure the windings.