Fly Fishing Rod Tube Holder (Hopefully): Part I

Back in November, I decided that a great woodworking Hanukkah/Christmas gift for Tim, would be a fishing rod tube holder. I looked all over the internet for ideas and “how to” instructions, without much luck. I finally found someone’s blog post from 2011 that included an option I liked and some basic instructions. Here is a picture:

I bought the 2x4s, I had the 2x6s, and I had some 1×12 pieces someone gave me that I thought would work well for the bottom. In order to make this the most useful for Tim, I did ruin the surprise and talk it over with him. We decided that it would only need two rows vs three. That was the first of what would be multiple deviations from the original plan.

This build required 3″ holes, quite a few of them. I researched using a hole saw bit vs a forstner bit and the general consensus seemed to be hole saw. Besides the holes in the 2x4s, I planned to drill holes in one sheet of 1×12, then glue/nail it to a solid sheet for a sturdy bottom. I bought a hole saw bit at Ace, attached it to the drill press, and decided to try it out.

Let’s just say, using a hole saw bit is not my favorite. We have an ancient, hand-me-down drill press which gets the job done, but is not user friendly. I had used it many times with a forstner bit, but was definitely unprepared for how the hole saw bit would grab and turn the piece of wood when it touched. (I had to copy this picture from my Instagram because I lost the original when my phone imploded). After drilling the first hole, I opted to add a clamp and recruit Tim to help. It was a thick piece of wood, and none of us were happy…the drill press, the bit, me. You can see in the picture that the wood just stuck to the teeth, and it actually burned the wood in spots.

One of our good friends/neighbors heard what I was working on and thought it was a neat idea and something he might want to build as well. In talking with him and with Tim, the next alteration would be replacing the 2×4 legs with 2x2s. A few days later, our friend brought a bunch of boards from a garage clean out, all different types of wood, including one we believe to be cherry.

The next alteration in the build was to use the “cherry” (using quotes because I’m just not positive that’s what it is) board and have one flat row of four and four, to mimic the bottom. In addition, our friend said I should really have taller holes on the bottom for the tubes to sit in so that they wouldn’t slip out sideways. This led to the idea of drilling holes in another cherry piece in order to layer it over the pine board on the bottom.

After getting this board finished, the project sat for quite a while, repeatedly getting pushed to the bottom of the list. Flash forward to this past weekend, and a rare sunny day. Tim and I rolled the drill press out, and after a little trial and error, and some oil on the drill press, we were able to get a decent rhythm going.

We still had some tear out, but once the drill press lever moved more smoothly, it was less. Also, the “cherry” boards, though harder wood, aren’t as thick as the pine, which helped.

As Tim got a good look at the “cherry” wood, which is really pretty, he decided on the final alteration to this build. He wants two flat pieces of board on either side, instead of the 2x4s or the 2x2s. The board is a little wonky in spots ( you can see it a bit in the picture below), and it is on the dry side, so we’ll see how this all goes. Note the blue sky in this picture…the RARE blue sky…and Tim, prepping for more Winter weather.

Hey, if this actually works out, maybe I’ll find someone who can help me post plans for it that I can share.