Fly Tying table/desk

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Chris Puma, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Anyone have input on what makes for a really good fly tying table/ desk. I finally have the opportunity to buy a table/desk specifically for fly tying. I'm assuming a higher table/desk would eliminate back problems. Can any of you hardcore tyers share your experience?
  2. Courtesy Flush aka Sean

    Posts: 96
    West Seattle
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Totally hard core noob's experience. I just picked up this desk for $40 on Craigslist. Other than a fly tying class and a couple bootlegged DVDs I don't have a damn clue what I'm doing. But the desk looks pretty.

    [IMG]
  3. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
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    Flush, wanna tie this weekend? I just got a new vise!
  4. Mark Walker Active Member

    Posts: 2,760
    So. Cal.
    Ratings: +221 / 1
    Chris, you will find several here who favor the roll top desk as a beginning. Craigslist is a good place to search for a decent deal.
  5. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,458
    .
    Ratings: +434 / 0
    Some professional tiers (A.K. Best among them) recommend a low vise position; low enough that the upper arms can hang from the shoulders in a natural position. Not having to continually support the weight of the upper arm with the back muscles while tying alleviates the pain and stiffness that often settle into that spot directly between the shoulder blades. This tying position can achieved by either placing the vise on a lower surface or sitting on a taller stool/chair. When tying for long periods at fly fishing/tying shows, I find I usually have to put a couple of cushions or some other kind of booster on the chair in order to achieve a more comfortable position in relationship to the vise. At home I tie on a rather high workbench and have found that I'm most comfortable when I stand (or sit on a barstool) while tying.
  6. bfic Member

    Posts: 212
    Marysville, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Another vote for a low vise position. I've made an extension so I can get my vise off the edge of my desk and down almost in my lap. Previously I could only tie two or three flies without neck/shoulder pain on a pedastal base vise. Now I don't have any problems with the low vise position

    As for a desk - I use a roll top so I can close it when we have visitors, especially small children.
  7. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Room. Plenty of room. Start with a small space and you'll outgrow it quickly. Gotta have enough room for stacks of stuff, piles of shit, layers of feathers, boxes of hooks, pyramids of thread, unused tools, bottles of glue, bags of beads, stacks of foam, packages of dubbing, plugs of hair, bundles of flash (a thousand kinds), tubes of wax, rolls of wire, cards of eyes, sheets of skin, skeins of yarn, and of course don't forget to have enough room for a "plethora" of misc. You should be warned up front, a dedicated place to tie will likely bring out the collector in you. Next step...a bigger house!
  8. johnk Active Member

    Posts: 58
    Tunkwa Lake, BC
    Ratings: +139 / 0
    Excellent advice as I suffered with that pain until I got A.K.Best's book, "Production Tying" and all it took was lowering my vise 3" and voila!
  9. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    Big desk with lots of storage and surface area. Or if you are anal like me, get a desk that is expandable...that you can buy matching filing cabinets, bookcases, hutch, etc, for as you'll continually outgrow and need more storage.

    I also find the "L" type desk works good for me. I tie on on side and have the hutch and materials on the other side.

    I couldn't tie for long periods unless I had other things that I do when I take a break from tying, ie....I have a TV in my tying room and I sit in front of a window.

    The other big change for me was lighting. I always used to just tie with the room lights. I then had to tie up some flies smaller than 20 and I couldn't see them. I went and got a Ott via a half price sale at Hobby Lobby and what a big difference. I couldn't image tying without.

    Here's some desks to look at to give you ideas. http://luckydrift.tripod.com/desks.htm
  10. Norm Frechette Active Member

    Posts: 602
    Norwich, CT
    Ratings: +77 / 0
    i went to an unpainted furniture store ang bought a cheap table that goes behind a sofa. i stained and it works for me

    [IMG]
  11. Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    Posts: 575
    Coupeville, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I fully agree with Preston. The more that your arms hang at their natural position ; the more comfortable that you're going to be. I have a large drafting table for my tying bench in the house and use a bar stool type chair with it. My back is constantly aching after a few hours at this bench. the only good thing that I can say about it is that it has the tendency to collect mass amounts of shit (materials) on it and gets cluttered quickly.maybe I've got too much stuff, I don't know...:hmmm: The tables that we use in the shop are lower so I don't feel the pain even after doing a 9 hour class. I think that you should look at comfort first storage can be handled in many different ways. Hoped this helped you. The reason why they put those tables/tyers so high at the shows is so that you're eye level with them as they're tying and you don't have to stoop over to see whats going on because usually the light is above the vise and if you were above that , you wouldn't be able to see what the tyer was working on.
  12. Adam Taylor Member

    Posts: 138
    Newtown, CT
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Lighting is key. I picked up an Ott light from Costco for considerably less than the fly shop. Huge help. My bench is a converted oak entertainment center. I built a sliding shelf that my vise and threads sit on and use a padded barstool. I have the ott light and added a another flourescent light, type that would go under a cabinet as well. With the barstool end up with a low vise height. underneath I have storage containers (clear tupperware) that hold my materials and I can close the doors when not in use.

    Storage is key..but I think something to keep your tools accessible and neat is a must. Pick something that will work for you and get in the habit of putting things back asap...if it goes down on the tying table amongst the materials...you are going to lose it.
  13. grizz New Member

    Posts: 24
    Campbell River, B.C. Canada
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Like mentioned lite is very important. Also the back ground. Having it white (will say) is a plus. The fly sticks out at ya. Makes it easier on the eye balls.

    As for the height of the vise, lower is nicer, however I have no problem as I do not tie commercial, so I'm not at it for 8 hours.

    Most important, be comfy and enjoy.....................
  14. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Thanks for the responses everyone! I am definitely looking for a lower table now. It definitely makes a lot of sense to have your arms in a comfortable position. I just received a Barracudda vise as an early bday present. So far it's awesome. Can't wait to get everything setup. I need to pick up a copy of that production fly book. Although I won't be tying professionally, I do enjoy being able to tie massive amounts of flies to replenish my boxes.

    Keep the advice flowing!
  15. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,398
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,356 / 9
    Chris, I know it has been mentioned above, but not only is the right desk/table height important, but an adjustable/comfortable chair is a must too. If you spend any time sitting in a crappy hard chair like mine you'll be missing out on a lot. I've been on the lookout for a better chair, but so far I'm just suffering through on a hard tractor style seat. Best of luck getting it all together.
  16. Arthur Vakulchik Young Gun

    Posts: 525
    lynnwood, wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i just use a computer chair. the only thing that sucks for me is the table i use is super short so i end up bending over the entire time. it hurts my back during long periods of time tying. but once you run out of hooks, you dont have to worry about tying anything. :)

    arthur
  17. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Ed,
    Watch the office supply stores for sales on office chairs. Very comfy with height adjustments, not alot of money.
  18. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,398
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,356 / 9
    Scott and Ron, thanks. I pass that place far too often not to have ever stopped in. If it will get me more Zen like so I tie more flies that look like Ron McNeal's then I'm getting me such a magical chair. I know I'm dreaming there, but comfort can only lengthen the time in the chair that I can tolerate and that could translate into improvements. Thanks to both. Sorry for hijacking the thread for my personal comfort issues.
  19. Scott Behn Active Member

    Posts: 1,201
    Lk Stevens, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You sure can find some suitable stuff off of craiglist, and also here. I can't remember if I bought this off of somebody here or craiglist, either way it has served me well. It's a secretaries desk, has plenty of room plus I have a little storage thingy that the wife used to use for her crafts.

    :thumb:
  20. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Here's what I decided on: I bought a cheap $40 table from Ikea in all white so I could see all my materials easily. For an early birthday present I also received a Barracuda vise which I'm excited to use. I throught all my records and a couch besides my table so I have a lounging area and music listening station. I reuses a dresser to hold all my fly tying materials. What I did forget to buy actually is a damn chair! Gah. I'm really really tempted to use a friend's discount and buy a Herman Miller desk chair. It'd be sick to tie in one of those things. For the price of the damn chair I could buy another fly rod though... Not to wise but very tempting.

    Pictures to follow!

    ps. The Barracuda is awesome but I don't quite understand how to use the jaws. I must look at the instructions...