Tying desk design- Please comment


Active Member
So I think the next project will be a piece of furniture rather than something setting in the water.

Please see that attached concept and for all you guys who tie, let me know your thoughts.

The idea of the center bay is peg board cards that slide out with storage for small packages each side.


Looks great. A few comments:

- I like my work space to be really deep, but not sure about how much room you have. I think you would definitely want that work light to be right on the area that you are working with, not above. I use two lights to reduce shadows.

- Make sure there are outlets along the back wall area, or make cut out holes so that you can run cords back.

- I also like this for my work area: Adir Reversible Self Healing Cutting Mat. Comes in various sizes - and makes a great cutting mat for cutting foam, gluing stuff, etc. Really protects your nice worktop from a variety of day to day damages. The built-in measurements are also helpful for consistency in materials, and the angle lines work well for scaling things up and down. Plus reversible.

- If I had to do it again, I would have incorporated a ruler right into the leading edge of the desk, maybe with a nail or pin on one end that I could, for example, loop the perfection loop of a leader onto. I'm always measuring/repairing/building out leaders, etc., and having it built in would save me looking for a measuring tape.

Very impressive design. My desk is much more simple, and I think the different compartments will definitely keep your desk cleaner, and the materials right at your fingertips. I agree with Darryl, I also prefer to have the light right on the desk next to my vise. but of course to each his own. Good luck on the construction.

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
I got a new desk recently and tied my first flies on it today. I had the lights up on top the desk and after one fly moved the light down along side my vise. Up high doesn't give the light that fly tying needs.


Yup, the light must be close to the vise jaws for best illumination.

I'd probably also go for a light colored top to the desk so you can find hooks that wander off on their own.


Active Member
I like one lamp to have a magnifier, and a second lamp, both on long adjustable arms.

less helpful comments....
Me, I would need a matching full height closet to store all my supplies.
Then there is the gray card to put behind your vise when taking pictures.



Active Member
Sorry for the confusion regarding lighting, I had cut and pasted a desk lamp ad set it on top to indicate there would be some lighting.

I plan to have a strip light under the upper center section for general illumination and two articulated desk lamps, one magnifying and one LED. I might also include an articulated camera mount.

The ruler and cutting mat are good ideas.
Does having a slight recess in the top sound like a good idea, to contain the odd hook, eye and dare I say---bead?

Do you most of you guys have separate tool caddies or do you want built in's?

How about a simple list of anyone's favorite features or things they wish they had.
Here's another idea. I see that you have two banks of small bins - which certainly look great, but I'm sure are a lot of work. Another option is to go to someplace like the container store and get a bunch of these clear acrylic stacking trays:


Minus the jewelry of course. Instead of bins, just make slots for pull out trays. You could load one with beads, or hooks, or if you have some sort of common pattern you could pre-load the bin with materials and then just pull the tray labeled "sculpzilla" out.

The trays are also great for lining the drawers for storing flies. But one tip - let's say the tray is 12" wide. One option is to put two together and make the drawer 24" wide. But if you build a grid of thin wood slats slightly taller than the tray, the bins fit into this grid and you can stack multiple layers. Include the outside edges in the grid - that way you can take up any slack on the outside edge with shims if needed. You don't even need to glue them in.

Being clear you can see what's below, and with the slats of wood between you can pull the trays out more easily than if they were all butted together. Plus, I think the wood grid gives it a classy look, and isn't a lot of work.

The trays come in many combinations and sizes. But worth planning trip at least to see what is out there.

Teenage Entomologist

Gotta love the pteronarcys.
I just have a desk, with a cork board on it that I nail on all my bag of fly tying supplies with, it works great! image.jpg That's a teens fly tying desk for you. As I get older I'll get a better desk to go along with the more supplies I'll buy.


Active Member
Thanks Guys, I did a site search for tying desks and saw that most everyone had lots of small packages of stuff they had picked up at some shop. Rather than spend the cost and energy to relocate (lable) all that stuff, I thought the best approach was to supply a system of organization for the stuff you buy most often. Small plastic bags pulled off the sales shelf.


Ott lamps are probably the best ... the light is more natural and easy on the eyes.

I use a foam portable tool holder that a friend gave me as a gift. I didn't think I'd ever use it but I've found it is danged handy for moving my tools from my office to the deck or front room so I can tie flies in other spots of the house.
Hello Ross,

I was lucky my heavy base from the Danvise matches perfectly to the new Jvice. And yes I like to move around in or outside the house.
Notice that the plate on the base is a magnetic plate so if a hook fals no problem anymore..

I've been pondering the same project and trying to incorporate the peg board into two doors that close off the work space and make the thing look like a box shape when it is closed.....hadn't thought about sliding panels....pretty good idea!