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Fly Tying Bench - P.Dieter

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My tying desk needed to share space with my office desk on an 8' countertop allowing the computer to face both seating areas depending on need. The space is divided by a bank of drawers of salvaged pieces from the shop. I thought the top drawer would be for the office station but of course the whole thing was tasked to tying supplies. Certainly the most unique aspect of the desk is the built in vacuum under the vise base. I thought about this for a couple years while I was remodeling my house, dreaming up how I wanted my tying space. I was fairly sure it was a good idea but I've also had enough great ideas turn out to be busts in my time; this one turns out to be a great one. It is operated by a floor switch with a mini shop vac in a foam lined box and the duct work is just two long turn electrical conduit elbows with a PVC 'T' fitting cut into the desk under the vise base. The vise base (stone scrap) sits on a 3/8" foam "gasket" with a slot cut for the vacuum port. (I got the idea from a toe-kick port in a whole house vacuum system). It does quite well in helping keep the space clean but it excels at managing deer hair. The reason for the 'T' fitting was originally for just a clean out and to maybe hook a hose to for general area cleaning. That was before I started making my own balsa and cork popper bodies. Turning cork at my desk lead me to construct a dust collection add-on where I can hold my dremel tool and shape poppers while all the dust gets collected. I thought I was going to have lots of wall space but it didn't end up that way. I don't really care for peg or slot-board so I decided I would try glueing sheet metal up and putting peel and stick magnet tape onto items I wanted within easy reach but off the desk, like dubbing, hooks and thread. The wall idea didn't work but the leg space under the desk was easily wide enough to accommodate some storage so I put the sheet metal there. It's a good place for the items mentioned. I thought I'd include something I've had for years, that I keep just next to the desk. A little rig I call the fly studio that I use to take photos of flies at times. It's just an opaque cylinder that has some mirrors attached to it with bonsai wire. A single light source above give general diffused light through the cylinder and the mirrors can "bounce" hard light back into the fly to create spectral highlights and contrast. Just a piece of construction paper propped up for a background. Paul Dieter Seattle

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