How to Make a Fly Tying Bench

Written by danny donahue
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How to Make a Fly Tying Bench
Tying flies is a relaxing hobby enjoyed by many. (Yellow Foam Grasshopper Fly For Fly Fishing image by Chuck Alexander from

You, as a fly fisherman, are a rare breed. The solitude of the secluded river calls to you with every breath. The yearning for a lone battle between man and beast with a unique set of weapons fills your fisherman's soul. The patterns of the insects you use for bait lead you to tie your own flies. Boxes of feathers, pieces of yarn and spools of thread surround you and begin to cause clutter. It is time to make a fly tying bench.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Adjustable drafting desk
  • Drill with complete set of bits
  • Wood glue
  • Wooden dowels, 1/8 inch by 3 inches
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Jigsaw
  • Plastic containers with lids
  • Pencil
  • Clean, wet rags
  • Fly-tying tools and equipment

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  1. 1

    Load the 1/8-inch bit into the drill. Drill a hole through the table centred between the left and right sides and 12 inches from the side of the desk where you will sit. Squirt a drop of glue into the hole and slide a dowel into the hole. Drill holes every 3 inches in a row 3 inches from the opposite edge of the desk. Fill the holes with glue and insert a dowel into each. Allow the glue to dry for two hours. Slip a spool of thread from your fly-tying equipment onto each dowel for easy access.

  2. 2

    Place a plastic container on the table so that the edge of the bottom of the container is 3 inches from the dowels in the rear of the table and 3 inches from the left side of the table. Trace around the bottom of the container with your pencil and remove the container from the desk. Install a 1/4-inch bit in the drill. Drill a hole inside of your traced outline. Slide the jigsaw blade into the hole and cut out the outline. Apply glue around the edge of the container just under the rim. Slide the container into the hole, wipe around the edge to remove excess glue and allow it to dry for two hours.

  3. 3

    Mark and cut more holes in a line 3 inches from the rear dowels. Space the containers so that their edges are 1 inch apart. Glue containers into the holes and wipe away the excess glue. Allow the glue to dry for two hours. Place feathers in one container, yarn in another and so on until your materials are all stored in their own containers. Remove the metal tab at the front edge of the table (where you would normally hold your drafting pencil) with the screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Install the 1/2-inch bit in the drill. Drill a series of holes 3 inches apart and 3 inches from either side of the desk. Slide your pliers into a hole point first. Place your surgical clamps into a hole. Continue placing your fly-tying tools into the drilled holes for easy access. Place a desk lamp onto the table, adjust the slope of the desk and tie a fly. Move your tools and materials around so that you are comfortable with the layout.

Tips and warnings

  • Thanks or the catch. Made the changes. Thanks for all of your hard work and attention to detail. sincerely, Danny

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