Over the years I have tracked my childrens height on a door jam just like my Grandmother did at her house when I was a boy. About midway through my childrens childhood we had to move away from our home town and had to leave the door jam and all of the marks behind. I did at least transfer the marks over to a piece of plywood that I took along with us during our move.
Now most of my children are grown and have moved out starting their own families and one has a child of his own now. Because my son is in the military, I know he will be moving multiple times throughout his and his children’s lives. For that reason I decided to build a removable height tracking tool for kids that he could mount to the wall and take along with him throughout his military career.
When I designed the height measurement system, I incorporated a folding headrest that will help with acuracy when measuring the kids height. In the past I would use a speed square when marking the height of my boys on the door jam and with this added addition it should make it easier to measure them.
In order to allow the height tracking device to slide up and down the mounting board I designed a dove tail like slide in the backer board. In the first design I built this into a single piece of wood. While this wasn’t too hard to build, I knew I could make it much easier. For that reason and a few others I decided to redisign it.
I changed up several things in the final design mainly focused on ease of building the sliding head rest. I ended up making all the material 1/2” thick and also made all of the individual parts that get glued up 1.5” wide. That way you could cut multiple parts from one piece of stock once you have it trimmed to the size needed. I also narrowed the sliding dovetail brackets which gave a little more room for the springs. I used springs out of a click pen to provide the clamping force to hold the headrest in place. crossing the springs seemed to provide plenty of clamping force and seems to help keep the clamps in line.
As always, I drew the set of plans I used to build this project. Feel free to download them and build your own. It makes a wonderful keepsake and gift idea. Click the button below