More beginner questions: Tips on building and finishing a fishing rod rack

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Forum topic by Geologist posted 04-23-2009 12:05 AM 1583 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 2759 days

04-23-2009 12:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing red oak fishing rod rack

Hello Lumberjocks!

For the past 3 days I have been building a red oak fishing rod rack for my dad and so far it has come out pretty decent for my first woodworking project. Although it has several noticeable problems, but in addition to my lack of experience I also have a lack of tools (heres whats in my toolbox: circ saw, cheap planar that I don’t know how to use yet, few clamps not long enough to clamp my fishing rack together, combination square, and a borrowed bosch router which i’m not found of its design, and a borrowed bosch hammer drill). Anyways, some problems that I have encontered are: when i try to counter sink the screw head I get tear out with my new 3/8” drill bit (could this be b/c I was drilling too fast or with too much pressure?), uneven small half circles (these are the grooves that the rod will rest in) caused by free handing them with a straight bit router blade, and the last and currently the most important problem is that I’m not sure how to finish the red oak (I just want a nice finish that will show the red oak’s natural beauty and grain complexity, nothing too dark and nothing to shiny, oh, I also don’t have much money too spend on very expensive stains or sprayers). Any advice on what stains/oils to use on a red oak project will be great, especially if you have an advice on how I should apply the oils and stains. I will be posting pictures of my project tomorrow on this forum (if i can) to hopefully give you guys a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Thanks for all the help!!

1 reply so far

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 04-23-2009 03:02 AM

1. regular drill bits will most likely cause tearout if you tri to use them for countersinking. use a countersink bit (a couple $) will last you a lifetime, and is designed to do that job, and do it well. problem with the regular bits is that they have the flute, and the edge between the flute and the cutting edge will cause tearout. if you can’t get a countersink bit, try using the largest bit you have… 1/2?, at high-speed, with VERY LITTLE pressure… let the bit do it’s thing, just like working a router… take small light pressure passes, if you force the bit, it’ll dig in the wood, and tear it out. let the cutting edge do it’s job cutting small amounts.

2. uneven small half circles – 2 solutions. 1-> practice practice practice if you go the freehand route (pun intended) it’s not easy, your muscles and eye-hand coordination have to be trained at this. won’t happen tomorrow, but the more you do it- the easier it’ll become. option 2-> make a pattern and follow that with the router – all the cuts will be identical. you’ll need to MAKE that template though – either by freehand routing it (lol) or with a large drill bit (forstner bit) or exacto knife… take your time on the template, and make it as perfect as you can, no rush. then follow it with the router with a flush trim/ template bit

3. finishes usually don’t change the color of the wood. Stains do. for a nice not expansive finish you can use satin Poly (mild shine, but can be rubbed off with steelwool to become matte), or boiled linseed oil.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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