Gone Fishin’

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 12-10-2014 02:26 PM 2060 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here it is….This year’s handsawgeek shop toy project for the grand-kids’ Christmas gifts…

This nifty little fishing reel game came from plans published in the June 1994 issue of Wood magazine. Only two of them were needed to fulfill the Christmas gift requirements, but four were built anyway, mainly since enough materials were on hand to do so.

Most of this project is fashioned from dowels of various sizes, wooden toy wheels, and wood balls. The fish, of course, are made from those wooden paint stir sticks purloined from the paint department at the local BORG.
Other required pieces include some half inch round magnets, small screw eyes, and some good quality twine.


This project has a lot of small parts that are required to be cut and a lot of holes to be drilled. Because I insist on doing everything with hand tools, the project was quite the exercise with the handsawgeek arsenal of eggbeaters and braces. A hastily cobbled V-block helped tremendously with the process.

I stalwartly resisted the call of the bench top drill press sitting a mere few feet away, just outside the borders of the HTOZ !!

The fish were hand cut with a coping saw on the official handsawgeek fret table.

I stalwartly resisted the call of the electric scroll saw sitting a mere few feet away, just outside the borders of the HTOZ !!
I do believe that the transition to Neanderthalism is nearly complete…

How to catch wooden fish….

The woodworker who designed this game devised an ingenious method for catching the fish – the ‘hook, ’is a small wood block with a magnet epoxied in place, and pictures of a hook are drawn on the sides of the block. After all, you don’t want to give small children a toy reel featuring real fish hooks!

Rather than merely drawing the figure of the hook with a permanent marker, I chose to woodburn them in.
The school of fish is outfitted with small round-head screws inserted in front of their mouths. Perfect for snagging them with that magnetic hook.

An Embellishment:

This wasn’t in the original plan, but being ‘the geek’, I thought it would make a fun extra feature.
Holes were drilled through the fake hooks and some rubber worms inserted. The worms came from the fishing lure section of the sporting goods department at Wally World.

Time for some fishin’

Now that all is done, it’s time to take one of these babies for a test drive.

I happen to have a great fishin’ hole just on the other side of the workbench…

Drat! Nothin’ but water weeds…..

Just like real fishing….

I’ll just try a re-cast….

Now, this is very disturbing……

Anyway, sawdustike shenanigans aside, I can’t wait to watch the grand-kiddoes go a’ fishin’ with these on Christmas Day!

Maybe they can have better fishing luck than the handsawgeek.


-- Ed

5 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3013 days

#1 posted 12-10-2014 04:07 PM

You did a fine job on these and I know that they will love them. These look like a really fun project.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1820 days

#2 posted 12-10-2014 09:37 PM

Nice work, this is a case of you and the kids being chuffed!

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View stefang's profile


15948 posts in 3481 days

#3 posted 12-11-2014 01:27 PM

I’m sure the kids will enjoy them. They would be great for cats too with a toy mouse for bait.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View handsawgeek's profile


648 posts in 1542 days

#4 posted 12-11-2014 01:56 PM

I’ve found yet another use for them… picking up dropped screws and nails from the shop floor!

-- Ed

View handsawgeek's profile


648 posts in 1542 days

#5 posted 12-30-2014 03:48 PM

Took a couple of pictures of the grand-kiddos ‘fishing on Christmas day…

Unfortunately, the rubber worms didn’t survive the day…the ends broke off right at the wood block. Other than that, the toys held up quite well after a lot of play time. I just had to help the kids untangle the strings every once in a while, but that happens in real fishing, too.

-- Ed

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