New tying station/tool caddy

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by IveofIone, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. IMG_0078.JPG View attachment 36720 IMG_0079.JPG IMG_0080.JPG I spent a few hours over Christmas eve and Christmas day knocking out a new portable tying station. The old one was too small and cluttered and had been added onto over the years. This newer model is more organic than the rectilinear older unit and a little easier to see things and reach. Instead of attaching the vise directly to the unit as I did in the past I reverted to using my solid base which also serves my old Regal. The stem of both vises index right into the wood base and provide both another level of support and vertical adjustment. It can be easily removed for travel and serve duty on the nearest picnic table.

    I can use this station on my roll around tying table and tie in my easy chair or move it to the permanent workbench in the den. Both have large industrial halogen lamps for illumination and the bench in the den is backlighted with fluorescent as well. As a retired tool and die maker I have been using those same Ralmike's visor magnifiers for the last 50 years or so and couldn't do without them. They are the best with various power lenses available and an eye loupe for added magnification as well. Often imitated, never equaled.

    I use a piece of sticky backed vinyl floor tile for a cutting board that is still to come and always have a ruler at the front edge of the station. Measure the first piece of material I cut then adjust all the rest to avoid waste. I'll also add an adhesive back piece of Velcro on the left side to hold hooks that I am too lazy to put back in their proper place. Use the soft side of the Velcro.

    I'll mention a couple of things I have been doing at the bench for years, maybe they'll work for you. I keep a small block of Styrofoam on the bench as well as a box of round cocktail toothpicks. Each fly I finish is placed on a toothpick and then stuck in the foam. That way I can compare size and proportions as I tie. The added benefit is that there is never a fly in any of my boxes that needs the eye cleaned out while I'm fishing.

    Masking tape. There is always a roll of masking tape on my bench. I tear off a few of inches after every few flies and pick up the debris. It is particularly handy when using marabou as that stuff goes airborne if you try to sweep it and vacuum is a no-no around a tying bench.

    Both my roll around bench and my permanent bench are made of 3/4" white formica covered particle board faced with oak trim. The same is used for my workbenches in the shop. It reflects so much light and makes everything just that much easier to see.

    This was an easy project, most of the time was spent just laying out the various holes and then drilling them to the correct size and depth.

  2. Nicely done. As long as it works for you that's all that matters
  3. Cool!
  4. very nice
  5. Nicely done Ive, how much do they get for the magnifying visors?
  6. Chris, those are manufactured in Kansas by a company called Donegan. It is called the Donegan OptiVISOR and sells for under $40 on Amazon. I have several of the diopters in various strength but use the #5 for my tying. It focuses at about 8''. I also have the OPTILOUPE 2.5 auxiliary lens which is just outstanding for digging out splinters in your fingers!

    There are a lot of look a likes out there but this is the real thing. I have 2 of them and the fact that the newest one is 40 years old already gives you some idea of their durability.

  7. Great job, Ive! I'm in the process of redoing my bench, too. Haven't found a really good solution to the space/storage issue yet though.
  8. Super job I like it very much!
  9. I've
    Thank you for sharing. Your tying station is very well thought out. And +1 on the Optivisor. I use one that came with 3 lense and I have grown to like it. Its focal distance is also approximately 8" for my eyes.

    I did this same project about 4 years ago. At that time I had only been tying a year or so. Little did I know then how many bobbins, scissors and other tools I would "need".
    I am curious about the hole sizes you selected and does each hole have a smaller diameter hole for the tip of the scissors? Did you select you holes based on tools you are using today or just a variety of sizes.

    I really like the curves on the interior of the tool Cady board and this looks to provide more room for tools!

    Awesome design!
  10. Always look forward to your threads/posts, Ive.
  11. Very nice! I have a newbie woodworking question, how did you cut the curve? Router? Bandsaw?
  12. The hole sizes were determined by measuring each items diameter or footprint then picking the appropriate size drill for it. I have about every size drill there is from .011" to 1.5" and many in metric as well. But a standard set of flat bottomed wood drills from 1/8" to 1/2" will cover all but the biggest holes. A spade drill set covers the rest. By now my tying is predictable enough that I don't anticipate buying any more tools. But in case I do I left room to grow at both of the front corners. And I have room for many more spools as well.

    As for cutting it out, I used a Bosch Sabre saw. For years I had a Porter Cable that was difficult to change blades on and had the nasty habit of piling sawdust on the line I was trying to cut to. That resulted in my having to lean over and try to blow the sawdust off the line while making the cut. It was not only hard to do but resulted in breathing a lot more dust than I should have. Every time I used that damned thing it resulted in the air turning blue with volley after volley of profanities. Finally one day Susie was working in the other side of the barn while I was attempting to make a cut with the Porter Cable. She had heard enough and asked: "When are you going to stop calling that thing a rotten cocksucker and buy a real saw?"

    She made a good point so I immediately went in and ordered a new Bosch. I bought the barrel model without the handle. It is a much lower profile, feels more ergonomically correct and is easier to steer than the handle model. Blade change takes about 3 seconds and it has a puffer that keeps the line clear that I am cutting. Best of all are the Bosch blades that come in a wide variety of teeth configurations. I bought about 60 blades initially so I could try different types. The blade used on this project was a fine tooth hollow ground blade that left an unbelievably smooth cut. I have a bandsaw with many different blades but none of them can match the smoothness of the Bosch.

    If you are just starting out in woodworking and haven't bought a sabre saw yet save yourself some grief and get the Bosch. Better to work with a smile than high blood pressure!

    Dave Evans and Jeff Dodd like this.
  13. As a former furniture maker and fabricator of all things imaginable, I have been using the same Bosch Sabre saw for well over 20 years. Before they designed the quick change system for blades. I have cut more linear inches/feet with it than any and all other saws combined except a table saw. Those inches include both sheet and shaped stock of steel, aluminum, brass and plastics. There is no better hand held saw. In all those years I can only remember replacing the brushes once or twice and the foot once. I agree that for general use the barrel is more versatile and accurate than the newer top handle style but when you have to use a lot of downward force (cutting steel sheet) to keep the saw from jumping the top handle comes into its own.
    Their old logo that said "Runs like a sewing machine, cuts like a chain saw" was spot on.

    Dave Evans likes this.

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