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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During this winter I plan on building a net. I have found a couple good websites on how to build one. Mostly I am concerned about what wood to use and how to mill the strips to 1/8'' thick. I plan to use it for when i go backpacking so, 10 X 8 bow will probably do.
Type of wood, bendable/strong?
cheap form making?
rubber nets?
Using water proof finishes/epoxy all around?

Please feel free to post any websites and advise
 

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I built one as a prototype about twenty years ago. I used cherry veneer strips that were paper thin and just kept building it layer on layer until I got the thickness I wanted. I laid them inside a sheet of plywood that I hand made the cutout shape of. It has a knotted net because they didn't make knotless back then or ones that were readily available, anyway. I carry it around with me though I haven't used it much in many years. It's small and delicate looking but very string because of the many layers.
 

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I had some experience this past summer working with ash and bending it into small circles. This was not for a fishing net, but for the ends of traditional indian drum beaters, which have a circle on the end of about 3" diameter.

the choice of ash was for its straight grain, and its bendability.

We soaked the sticks in lake water for several days before bending them.

The strips were about 1/2 inch by 1 inch in cross section. We thinned the ends where we were going to bend it.

As we were doing alot of these, we learned to recognize how the grain and layers of wood needed to be oriented relative to the curvature to avoid having layers of wood peel off as it was bent.

Like all such crafts, one might want to make some trial runs to get familiar with how your material behaves rather than expect to get great results on the first try and be frustrated.
 

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As far as wood goes, almost any straight grain, knot free material will work. Milling it can be done on just a table saw if it tracks very true and you have a good jointed edge to start with. If not then a planer will help even out the strips. I like to use 1/8" strips and then plane them down to 3/32". I built a steam box using sewer pipe, coleman stove, metal gas can and a radiator hose. I then steam them for 30-45 minutes and bend them around my form. I let that sit for 2-3 days before gluing. I apply a light layer of paraffin to my form before glue up. I use Titebond III for my adhesive and let that sit after clamping for 2-3 days. If you can't steam them you can soak them in a bathtub for a day and then bend them. If you go to http://www.flyanglersonline.com/ go to articles, Our man in Canada, scroll to bottom and go to archives , when the next screen pops up you can find an article on making nets. This is what I used when I started. As far as net bags, i have used a lot of differrent ones, but my new favorites are the Measurenet bags. They are rubber with the measurement strip in the net and are lighter than comparable bags. They also zip on instead of laceing them on. If you want to lace the net It will take about 45-60 minutes to do so. If using a rubber net do not lace to tightly or you can cut through the net. My favorite cord is duck decoy line or an old flyline. Both work very well and will last a long time.
 

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I made a bunch on the same jig a few years ago and gave 'em away to friends. I used cedar, ash, and vg fir and some spruce I had all milled out on my table saw, clamped 'em up in a jig that had the shape I wanted, glued with gorilla glue and they all came out fine and never delaminated. So, any wood works, netbags are where you find 'em, I drilled the holes right on the jig before pulling the frame off because it was easier. I finished them either varnished, poly, and a couple I coated with epoxy. I tried making my own bags but they sucked. They all have landed fish, and nobody returned 'em. After all the work to set up, you might as well make a few.
 

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I would agree with using ash. Add a little heat and it bends well. Oak is the other go to wood for bending, but Ash takes glue a little better. If you want to save some money and have a band saw you can rip them out on that, otherwise use a sharp, thin Kerf blade on the table saw. You could glue a piece of mahogany between two pieces of ash and then rip out the strips for a nice two tone look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sage 1 wt build and homemade net.
I plan on bending the wood next time I make one. This one is not that great, but it was fun to make. It gave me a good idea of what i wanted to do. Any of you know how walnut bends?
View attachment 46632
 

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Steam is the way to go to get a good bend. Best case is u build a steam box and clamp your 1/8in strips to your form in the steam box. Keeps them from splitting. But that box has to be huge and take up space. I made a steamer with a cheap clothing steamer from walmart and pumped the steam into that flexible/collapsible hvac piping. Turn up you temp in your shop and work fast pulling strips out of the steamer and putting them on your jig. Any waterproof glue is good. Gorilla glue is messy but good. I used west system epoxy for the finish. Any decent table saw should do fine making the 1/8" strips. I've used tons of different woods and they are really all about the same unless u are making a really tight bend. Then go w a straighter grain. If u can get red elm, it won't split, I know from burying wedges and axes in it over and over.
 
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