|Project by ZLP||posted 03-10-2016 02:29 PM||1349 views||5 times favorited||7 comments|
This is the project that started my garage woodshop obsession.
I’ve fished my whole life, and finally started dabbling with fly fishing. Being the construction guy that I was, I couldn’t stand the thought of spending hundreds of dollars for a quality wood handled net, and couldn’t stand the quality of the cheaper ones.
So I decided to build one.
I bought a stick of walnut and a stick of hickory from the local lumber yard and ripped the 4/4 material into 1/8” strips. Taped together several sheets of graph paper and using a compass and french curves roughed out a pattern. Soaked the strips overnight in my wife’s tub, and clamped them to the pattern shape and let dry for several days. Gorilla glue is the best for everything…right? Glued the dried but now bent strips up and clamped them again the form. My next one won’t be glued with Gorilla.
My favorite neighbor often mentioned his grandpas old cabinet shop. I twisted his arm one Saturday afternoon to take me up there. With my glued up net in the back we went for a ride. Many of the old machines had been disconnected from their power source. Luckily the planer, wide belt sander, and spindle sander still fired up. That’s all we needed to flatten and sand my experiment. Back home over the next several weekends I routed the edges and hand sanded everything smooth.
Here’s where my problem started. I had figured out the hole spacing around the perimeter to tie on the rubber net. So many of the expensive nets had a groove around the perimeter to recess the string and knots. The cheaper I didn’t like nets were simply tied on the surface. I couldn’t groove it with my table saw, didn’t have the steady hand to carve it with a chisel…and couldn’t cut a groove with my hand router and limited bits in my collection.
And like this it sat…for 4 years. I asked several cabinet shops and other wood guys how to do it…they all gave me a puzzled look and nobody came up with a good idea. Then one day I saw a bearing kit for router bits. I realized that I could switch out the bearing on a slot cutting bit that would allow only an 1/8” groove to be slotted around the curved exterior. Next problem…nobody I knew had a router table in their garage.
So I built one…and I’ve been turning in my old finish carpentry and job site tools into better “woodshop” type of tools ever since. I haven’t been able to park my truck in the garage the past two winters…but I finished my fishing net and it ignited the woodworking interest I’ve had most of my life into a serious hobby.
-- We had too much time a while ago and not enough time now!