Fly Tying Cases

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Project by Paul M posted 05-31-2009 10:00 PM 6221 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This whole thing started of in a odd manner, (Odd by most people but sort of normal for me.)

While rearranging the shop and picking up after completing a project, I happened to look into some of the drawers in my old fly tying bench. This has been moved many times, and I do not think I have used it in probably 30 years, (I kept thinking someday??). While some of the feathers had been used for moth fodder, most including my hackle “capes” where still in good shape. Also I discovered that my fly reels where in decent shape. Now taking stock, I find that I have 4 good English reels, with spare arbors, one English made bamboo rod and 3 fiberglass rods that I had built up.

All in all a bunch of very nice bunch of fishing tackle sitting around waiting for me to try again.

Since the old tying bench had seen better days, and was too big to put anyplace usable, I remembered a portable hobby bench from one of my periodicals. “Shopnotes”
Now the fun starts. The concept of the plans looked good, but the bench was sort of ugly. Fine for a shop or hobby area, but I wanted something that wouldn’t look like what it was. In addition I came up with the following list of changes.
1. The top overhangs the base too much so you have to pick it up by the top, and that could cause problems.
2. The top needs some sort of receptacle to hold small things that are apt to roll off and become lost.
3. The removable top section is a great idea, but could become separated at an inopportune time and have all sorts of stuff fall out.
4. The front needs some sort of doors to keep stuff in and out of sight.
5. When the top is separated from the base, it needs to be place some distance from the top, if not you cannot get into the bottom drawer.

1. Make the top smaller and add lifting handles, that slid up with a tapered dowel to lock the top into position. Since the handles also slide down, use magnets to hold in the up position.
2. Use a solid top of oak rather than the plywood one, and rout in a pencil type depression to hold odd stuff that wants to escape.
3. Make box type doors that will hold small tools by magnets with piano hinges so the doors open fully.
4. Make a stand so that the box sits up enough to allow the top when removed to come to the bottom of the box giving access to the whole chest and keeping everything close at hand.
5. Trim out the exposed plywood with oak pieces and apply iron on oak to the doors.


This is a step in the right direction, and it sort of looks like an oriental shrine box and could be placed in a number of spots totally hiding what it really was.

Now next step was to make the second case done with some Arts and Craft style hardware to work as a base for the first. This second one is larger and has some smaller drawers. Both have doors that double as storage.

This allows them to be used together at home or the top alone for a portable case.
I should have made them both using the same colors, but wanted to do a little experimenting with the colors.

-- Paul from New England "No man is a failure who is enjoying life". William Feather

6 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4440 posts in 2828 days

#1 posted 05-31-2009 10:10 PM

Those are really neat, Paul. Now, if you’d make pair that were the same size and perfectly balanced, we could load them on a mule and head for the Yellowstone country and tie to match the hatch. Those cuts will be running pretty soon and I’m going to miss it. DARN Great cases.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 2871 days

#2 posted 05-31-2009 11:59 PM

Nicest fly tying cases i’ve ever seen.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


15553 posts in 2542 days

#3 posted 06-01-2009 12:52 AM

I’ll bet you could pack ‘em matched or not :-)) That’s about how long my fly tying stuff has been waiting for some day, 30 yrs :-(( So many interests and so little time!

OOps, almost forgot to mention how good the boxes look!!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Paul M's profile

Paul M

72 posts in 2586 days

#4 posted 06-01-2009 02:33 AM

Gee, I could make a duplicate of one to have a matched set suitable for the mules. Never fished out west and those cuts look like fun. Be a good change from my favorite brookies!

Hi Topamax,
At one time I wished I could be a specialist in something and make lots of money, but then knew I would get bored. Too many intersting things to do and look into. Expert at nothing special, but can do many things better than the maddening crowd!

-- Paul from New England "No man is a failure who is enjoying life". William Feather

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


15553 posts in 2542 days

#5 posted 06-01-2009 02:56 AM

A national champion silhouette shooter I shot with told me he shot 5 days a week to stay even and 7 to improve. I do it for fun, that’s a few times a month when I’m realliy into it!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View a1Jim's profile


113203 posts in 2443 days

#6 posted 06-01-2009 03:29 AM

Very unique cool and wonderful great Job

-- Custom furniture

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