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making your own tools

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Anyone have some cool and useful tools they have made themselves.save a bit of money by making your own tools. Any tools would be nice to hear about.

 

Thanks

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I make dubbing needles, bobbin threaders, and whip finish tools. I make these as novelty items and usually end up giving most of them away. I also make dubbing twisters, and dubbing teasers. Its pretty easy to make any of these items, but since tools are a one of or two of kind of thing, you can't really save all that much. Short section of copper tube makes a good hair stacker. I have a couple of hair stacker I "made from old rod ferrules. Old brass shell casings also work for hair stackers.

 

Dubbing needle, stick the back of a needle in a handle of some sort

 

Bodkin threader, Loop of mono, guitar string, or a dental floss puller. Glue or wrap to a handle.

 

Whip finish tool, bend a large safety pin to shape add some beads for bearings, and glue into an old pen barrel.

 

Dubbing tiwster, a bent safety pin bent into a hook and glued into a half ounce sinker.

 

Dubbing teasers, glue the hook end of velcro to a Popcicle stick, or use a small piece of saw blade, Fret work or small band saw bladed work good. Or cut down the bristles on a tooth brush.

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I make hook removers for bluegill, or deep hooked fish. I just take a. 6" section of small wood dowel(chopsticks, or similar) cut a small "V" in the tip with my dremel, then mount the other end to a wooden handle. Very simple, but works great. Better than the store bought for small fish. I also have a little brush from my wifes manicure kit that is a multi tool. Hard plastic comb with a soft bristle comb opposite, on the same end of handle. Of the other end I put a piece of velcro for dubbing. I use it for dubbing, and combing out deer hair.

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some of the self-closing tweezers make decent wing burners. You just have to use a grinder to get the rough shape you are looking for and then finish up with a file and then sandpaper. You don't have to keep squeezing them like regular burners while you mess with a lighter. Also, if Im burning more than one or two feathers, I light a candle instead of flicking my bic every time. The little tea lights are great for this because they are small and easy to store when not in use and are unscented.

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Hey utyer, is that a Shotgun shell deer hair stacker haha

 

No, the first picture of a single stacker is made from a half inch copper tube and cap. In the second picture of three stackers, the top one is the first one I ever purchased, the middle one is made from an old boat rod ferrule. I simply cleanded it out, and put the closed end on backwards. The mall tube on the bottom of that picture is a small ferrule used as an open end stacker mostly for small bunches of hair for tails. I have one made from old brass (45 calaber) shells. I think other large shells would also work. Glass tubes and metal tubes will make fine stackers, but plastic will NOT work, there is too much static charge built up in the plastic to allow the hair to stack.

 

Zach, I have a similar red brush pictured in my photo of various dubbing teasers. They make great brushes for removing the under fur from deer and elk hair.

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utyer reminded me that I use a .40 cal case to stack hair for the tiny flies. Also, I have a few different caliber shells that I have sharpened for cutting foam disc. Spent pistol rounds work better than rifle rounds because they dont get bigger and swallow your disc. I have them in .22 cal. .38 cal. .40 cal. and .45 cal but I need something between the .22 and the .38. One more thought...I carefully dropped a couple drops of clear lacquer into the .40 cal I use for stacking and set it upright for a few days so that it would dry. The lacquer filled the place where the primer is and gives it a nice level bottom

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utyer reminded me that I use a .40 cal case to stack hair for the tiny flies. Also, I have a few different caliber shells that I have sharpened for cutting foam disc. Spent pistol rounds work better than rifle rounds because they dont get bigger and swallow your disc. I have them in .22 cal. .38 cal. .40 cal. and .45 cal but I need something between the .22 and the .38.

 

I probably have a .32 acp shell or two around, if I can find them in the bucket of range brass. You could also cut the head off a rifle shell, that would solve the swallowing the disc problem. Lots of .32 stuff to choose from if you can use a necked case. There are also lots of steel cases in .30 that would hold up better than brass.

 

 

One more thought...I carefully dropped a couple drops of clear lacquer into the .40 cal I use for stacking and set it upright for a few days so that it would dry. The lacquer filled the place where the primer is and gives it a nice level bottom

 

Epoxy would work well too, though it might need to be thinned a bit and that makes it soft. I use a urethane resin for some parts I make, that stuff is super thin and would work well both for filling the primer hole and flattening the bottom of the shell. Trouble is it's expensive, has almost no shelf life (absorbs moisture), and only comes in big bottles. I may make a few hair stackers though, next time I do some casting.

 

I used to use a .22 lr shell for small bunches, but mostly I just did without a hair stacker.

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i will never claim to be a master at woodworking but this home made tool should get me close :lol:

 

dubbing brush. velcro and a coffee stirrer

 

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Dubbing loop tool from a large paperclip, rubber band and empty ball point pen

Dubbing needle from a mechanical pencil and a needle of appropriate size

Dubbing brush from velcro and Popsicle stick

Hair compactor/half-hitch tool from an empty ball point pen. Also works well to push hackle back to hold with your fingers to fashion the head.

Hair comb from a small comb cut in half and all but an inch of teeth removed

 

Oh yeah, a bobbin threader from picture wire and a wooden dowel pin

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One of my favorite homemade tools is a velcro dubbing brush that I made using a piece of bamboo. I sharpened the non-velcro end to a fine point and use it to quickly soak up excess head varnish and to make sure the hook eye is clear. The bamboo does a good job of wicking up the varnish, and it is easy to renew with a few swipes of sandpaper.

I have made some stackers and dubbing twisters, but they all eventually got replaced with store bought items. However that stupid little bamboo tool has touched just about every fly I have tied in the past 3 years.

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Hey utyer, is that a Shotgun shell deer hair stacker haha

 

No, the first picture of a single stacker is made from a half inch copper tube and cap. In the second picture of three stackers, the top one is the first one I ever purchased, the middle one is made from an old boat rod ferrule. I simply cleanded it out, and put the closed end on backwards. The mall tube on the bottom of that picture is a small ferrule used as an open end stacker mostly for small bunches of hair for tails. I have one made from old brass (45 calaber) shells. I think other large shells would also work. Glass tubes and metal tubes will make fine stackers, but plastic will NOT work, there is too much static charge built up in the plastic to allow the hair to stack.

 

Zach, I have a similar red brush pictured in my photo of various dubbing teasers. They make great brushes for removing the under fur from deer and elk hair.

 

 

Who made the closed end hair stacker you bought??? I have one too and no name on it. I had a company make me some just like it as I think it is a great hair stacker.

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Hey utyer, is that a Shotgun shell deer hair stacker haha

 

 

Zach, I have a similar red brush pictured in my photo of various dubbing teasers. They make great brushes for removing the under fur from deer and elk hair.

 

Yep, now that I looks at the picture, that red brush is almost exactly what I use, then just stuck some velcro on the eld of the handle.

 

I also have a little circle of foam(from aquarium aerator piece). Imagine a small rubber band, but 1/4" wide, and made of a soft, stretchy foam. I put it around my bobbin at the base of the tube.

 

When whip finishing the head on a dry, I slip the foam tube thing off the bobbin, and onto the fly, holding the hackle out of the way while I whip finish, etc. Very handy.

 

My bodkin is a sewing needle glued into a piece of cypress I carved into a handle. One good thing from killing my cypress bonsai.

 

I also made a baiting needle the same way. (Used to thread bait onto a hair rig while carp fishing)

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I just thought of another little thing that might help. You can cut two pieces of foam a couple of inches long. One will be used as a base, so cut it a bit wider and the other is only 3/4 of an inch or so and glued in the center of the base piece on a 90 degree angle. Now, or before you glue the upright piece, cut some slots in it. You can use a sticky back foam for the base if you want it to be permanent. The purpose of all this is to have an easy place to stick ribbing wire or krystal flash or what ever between flies so you aren't cluttering up your area and knocking everything off in the floor. I have one that is about a foot long with wany slots and stuck horizontaly so I can hang tinsel or floss or even saddle hackle so it wont get messed up or missing. If you put a feather in, only pull it out by the but and not the tip so you dont bend the barbules backwards.

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