helpful gadgets

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Randy Diefert, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Randy Diefert

    Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    I was sitting at my bench tonight combing out some dubbed seal buggers with a homemade dubbing teaser made from a posicle stick and self adheasive velcro and was wondering how many homemade gadgets are on peoples benches. Do you have a homemade wingburner, or tool that you'd like to share?
    I've got a good dubbing brush maker that I used a sewing machine motor and a regular light dimmer switch to control the speed of rotation, wing burners that I've made with sheet brass, lead wire cutters,etc.

    I just have to figure out how to attch photos on this site but, I'm willing to share. What have you got to share? :beer2:
  2. Bill Douglas

    Bill Douglas blue collar dirtbag

    I use a chunk of drinking straw as a hackle guard...
  3. hikepat

    hikepat Patrick

    Dubbing spinner made from a cabinet knob and cup hook.
    half a ball point pen to help place half hitches
    Small beard comb to brush out yarns etc. {the cheap one that comes with the razor}
    Large sewing needle for picking out dubbing.
    Electrical power cord winder to strip off line from reels for quick cleaning.
  4. Randy Diefert

    Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    Yeah, now that's what I'm talking about. Those are some great ideas!
    Thanks for sharing
    coffee grinders for dubbing blenders, Rottiserie motors w/a dowel rod and hunk of Styrofoam for a fly dryer,You get it....
  5. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

    Keep the ideas coming I am taking notes.
    jesse clark
  6. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    I learned a trick from Les Johnson. When you use your bodkin for epoxy, head cement, flexament you can end up with a mess. Take a film container, fill it with course steel wool and put the cap on. Poke the bodkin through the center of the cap. The steel wool will clean the bodkin and you end up with a good storage container on your tying desk.
  7. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Gun cleaning bore brushes, with spiral bristles of copper or stainless steel, made an agressive dubbed body brush. You can hold the threaded end in your fingers (somewhat difficult) or buy a wooden handle from Lyman into which you screw the bore brush.
  8. SpeyRodBeBop

    SpeyRodBeBop Member

    A good dubbing brush for small flies can be had from your dentist. Ask the nurse for some of the small files they use for root canal work. They have tons to spare and they throw them in the garbage after a short time. They will autoclave them to kill the germs.
  9. Randy Diefert

    Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    Here's another one that I like having on my bench. Take one of those Plastic cooking spoon holders that your wife has next to the stove and drill a small hole in it between the spoons.Take a refrigerator magnet (flat Bussiness card type) and glue it to the uderside). Take some plumbers putty and put a gob of it over the screw hole on the underside. Now flip the whole thing over and place it in a convieiant spot near your vise and screw it to the desk top. I use this to hold hooks and beads and small items when I'm tying and no longer have hooks and stuff spread all over my desk.
  10. willapabay

    willapabay New Member

    I use 22 cal. brass bore brush for a dubbing teaser .
    another teaser I have used is as a small brass bristle "toothbrush type/size" brush found at hardware stores.

    My favorite tool is this bobbin threader.. I use plastic/nylon? dental loops. I have come to love using these things over store bought bobbin threaders.

    I hang these on my fly tying vise where they are readily available for use. I don't have to fool with wires bending on me or damaging my bobbin.. and since there is several in the package and reasonably inexpensive,
    If I loose them no big deal.. I just reach for another.
    I have taken them to fly tying classes and gave them away to students for use in class. The only difference is you insert the dental loop tool through the bottom end of the bobbin vs. from the top. I buy my dental loops at WALMART, in the dental hygene isle.. there are several in a package

    have a great day, Ron on the willapa
  11. Randy Diefert

    Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    Thanks Ron, That's a good one!:beer2:
    It's hard to believe that there have been a couple of hundred views of this post already and only 9 submissions, Put your thinking caps on people and share some of that knowledge;)
  12. Don Johnson

    Don Johnson Duke of Furl

    I have a couple small Pony clamps bolted to my Nor-Vise table. They are what I call my 3rd and 4th hands and I use them for holding hides or bags of material or feathers, etc, ready for use and conveniently located.

    I have one of those little sewing tomatos (pin-cushion) that I dive my bodkin into. It also cleans the tip much like Les Johnson's little trick with the steel wool. Before the pin cushion I used a kitchen sponge; the type with the Scotch-Brite on one side. It worked well too.

    I have tying wax melted and poured into a Altoids tin (the really small one). I never wax the thread but rather use the wax on my fingers for traction and this works great. Those finger moistener cakes from Staples (or similar) work great for this too and are really cheap.

    My head cement is actually Spar varnish. Still on my first quart I got at the hardware store 10 years ago for less than the price of a bottle at the shop!

    I tie standing a lot as it isn't as hard on my back, neck or ass. When I do this I fill two empty boxes (from cases of beer) with pea gravel from our garden paths and stand barefoot in them (one for each foot). It sounds goofy but it's like getting a foot massage and I can tie for many more hours that way with very little fatigue.

    My best tool is my whip finisher. It's a 1967-vintage, faster than anything you can buy and I never seem to have a problem remembering where it is. Its only fault is that it's right handed only.
  13. hatenot2fish

    hatenot2fish New Member

    I use clear nail hardener for head cement........I also took a drill to a couple peices of 2X4 and use it to hold tools and bobbins, etc. .......Store almost everything in small screw and nut organizer (with the plastic drawers) that I bought at Wally-world and every thing else is stored in plastic boxes from the dollar store.....My Wife's friend gave me a plastic tray used for organizing sewing machine bobbins. I think it cost her $5.00.
    An aluminum 9X9 pan with a small hole in it that my vise goes through serves as a material catcher........
  14. willapabay

    willapabay New Member

    HEAD CEMENT / helpful gadgets

    Head Cement: I found the use of spar varnish something to consider, just hate to keep it around until the second comming....

    I think many of us or even most of us have used at one time or other nail polish.. my problem whith the kind(s) I have been buying does not leave a nice glossy head as I would like.. any suggestions on easy /INEXPENSIVE head cement alternatives.. I think finding alternatives in fly tying, especially bargins is part of the fun.. thanks, Ron on the Willapa
  15. Randy Diefert

    Randy Diefert aka: Longears

    Sally Hansen's "hard as Nails" with nylon is realitively clear and glossy. But, I still favor good old water based Min-wax polycrylic for a clear glossy finish that can be built up. The other alternative if you really want to build up the head is 5 min Expoxy.
    Hope this helps and thanks for the tip!:beer2:
  16. SpeyRodBeBop

    SpeyRodBeBop Member

    I use Sally Hanson's as well. Lately, on larger flies I put on a second coat of coloured nail polish--it tends to be much thicker and and gives a smooth, hard, glossy head. I send the wife to check the cheap shelf at the drug store, and she usually spends about a buck per bottle. There are numerous colours available.
  17. TheShadKing

    TheShadKing Will Fish For Food

    If you use a whip finish tool, here's a cute trick...

    I caught Sylvester Nemes the other day doing a short expo downtown.

    Sylvester takes the non-working end of a whip finish tool, and using the corner of a file, files a deep notch in the end.

    Rather than using scissors to clip the end of the thread when finishing the head, he just uses the notch.

    Works great!
  18. sixfinger

    sixfinger Ryan Haseman

    All I can think of is Don Johnson standing barefoot in two boxes of gravel.

    but i made a dubbing spinner out of two paperclips and a brass fitting
  19. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    Half inch copper pipe and a paper clip bent straight with heat shrink tubing.

    Been using these two for the last 20 years.

  20. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Well seam ripper works well in cutting thread also. Which is what I use to get close to the fly or cut off the trailing thread.


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