Friday, December 28, 2012

DIY (or: More of "MacLoosh is cheap")

It’s renovation time at the Lab.

In the relatively short time that I have been tying flies, and even shorter time that I have been posting about tying flies, the Lab has seen several changes.  If I were to put this in a business context, it would be an outward sign of growth.

Well, it is time for another upgrade.  At this time, I am fairly content with the table that I have built: It is rough, and maybe even crude, but effective.  I am not a fine furniture maker, and I am a messy tier so generally speaking: rough and crude suit my current needs perfectly.

This project, however, is unexplainably important to me for several reasons, not the least of which is that I have a reference to work from.  And when re-doing what you already have…it wouldn't make any sense to go backwards in workmanship, size or functionality.

Perhaps, I should back up and explain a bit.

Roughly a year ago, I bought a second hand fly tying station complete with vise holder, pins for thread and predrilled holes for tools.  It was $10 and has served me very well.  But, as we all know, over time our style develops and we think to ourselves “Hmmm….if only I had a ____” or “you know, If I were making this, I would have put the tools over there….”. 

So the question becomes: When is that time that you finally say “Yep, that’s it…time for something new”?  For me it was my birthday.  Mrs. MacLoosh and the MacLooshkins were kind enough to take me over to Orvis to pick out a new vise (they had clearly fielded the hints I had been tossing…).  Unfortunately, the one I wanted (and was in our budget) was out of stock, so we had to order it. 
(At present, I look out of the front window for the UPS man in a way that’s not unlike my dog staring out the door of his crate.  No I don’t pant, but yes…I do whine)

So with a handy dandy new DanVise due in 5-7 business days, I decided that it just wouldn’t be correct to put that new vise into an old tying station.  The time has come.  So I also dragged my wife and kids through Home Depot as I searched for ideas and materials.  I had a rough idea in my head, and how it might shape up so I picked up some materials, figuring that I would start with them and see what how it takes shape.

As will happen from time to time, my mind drifted a little bit while in my office at work and I started to doodle.  The next thing I knew, I was deep into what has become a blueprint of sorts.  And conveniently, it works with the two pieces of wood that I bought at HD.  We are coming up on a 4 day weekend, which would normally be plenty long enough to get a good start…but it is another holiday weekend with New Year’s Eve plans that I wouldn’t change even if I could, so I am afraid that this little DIY project of mine will not be finished as quickly as I might like. 

I will, however, keep y’all updated on this as it moves along.  If it goes the same way my projects usually do, I will have plenty of fodder for some fresh rants and temper tantrums.

Last note: I'm fully aware that I haven’t stayed completely true to the original intent of writing a blog.  Fishing was to be a central focus, and admittedly I have been lax in that area.  To those of you who look for more fishing related content, please bear with me.  I have been re-tooling things a bit and I think the changes will more in tune with the originally intended theme of the MacLoosh Chronicles. 

As always, thanks for reading.  I sure am having fun, I hope you are too.

Til later,



  1. I dunno, fly tying is part of fishing, seeing how other people tie flies is interesting as well. Kind of like the serious episodes of your favorite sitcoms as a kid, you don't necessarily want them all the time, but now and again they are nice :)

    Being an apartment dweller with little extra space, I am envious of your laboratory and the ability you have to just leave the tying stuff out and available. If I want to eat at my kitchen table, I have to pack it all up again and make sure I don't get any extra deer hair in my macaroni and cheese.

    Happy New Year Mark!

    (nice pheasant tail doodle too)

  2. Thanks Tim! Happy New Year to you also. I think it's time to get together for a fly tying session--early season opens in just over 2 months! Will shoot you a message soon.