Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Creel final

February 25, 2010

Other than a bit of “aging” and minor mods to the tackle box lock, I think it’s done.


The Creel

February 23, 2010

Well, one assignment I had was to make a tackle box for the display.  After looking around for examples, I decided a creel would be more appropriate with a box inside to store lures and paraphenalia.  working wicker is not in my wheelhouse and not likely to appear in the near future, but I found examples of wooden creels…a little closer to my skill set.  I decided to make the box of white poplar, since it is light, yet sturdy.  It’s not as light as wicker, but not too bad. I still have to put on a leather strap that I’ve rounded up and hinges, but we’re pretty close.


February 22, 2010

In progress

Aged and accompanied by an old wallet
wallet & flies

a wallet and box of flies

my VB sign

one more of some of the hook steps

Leather Rod Sack

February 11, 2010

Later in the 1800s, makers made wooden forms to hold the rod sections while not in use and while in transit.  However, as far as i can tell, most Smith age rods were carried in cloth or leather scabbards….lucky I kept that steer hide I picked up for a couple bucks at some thrift store a few years ago….with a little help from the local shoe repair shop, it came out pretty nice, methinks:

Some bits and pieces about ferrule/guide making

January 16, 2010

Mike asked me to bare all and show you all my pain and suffering on the way to making ferrules and guides for the rod.  All I can say is that it’s like most things…the more you do it, the better you get.  I haven’t gotten to the point where I’d like to be, but here are a few things I’ve learned to date and procedures used.  I’m sorry about the order of the pics…seems this program doesn’t want to drop the pics where I tell it, but lumps it all together.  However, I think it can be sorted out.

The jig used for bending was made on the table saw by cutting a 45 degree V in the middle.  One might think you’d want a round surface, but as shown, the V provides the necessary leverage to make smooth bends in the brass, using round bar stock or dowel to apply pressure.  Once the bend is satisfactory, the edges are filed smooth and the tube is tied up using thin wire, leaving a minimal separation between the two edges.  you can also use hose clamps to do this.  However, you want to minimize the  surface area of the ties, since solder has a habit of tracking along the wire or clamp, making a mess on the outside of the tube that has to be ground and sanded.

One of the first lessons learned was that you don’t want to solder from the outside!  This just creates a lot of excess solder that has to be removed.  By soldering from the inside, you don’t make quite the mess and also, you increase the surface area bound by the solder and thus the strength of the joint.

Some of the Good, Bad, and downright ugly:

Note also that when soldering, you can use the thin wire ties to hold the work in the vise….key is to minimize contact with the vise so it doesn’t act as a heat sink…otherwise, you’ll spend lots of time and propane trying to get it hot enough to melt the solder.

Rod Update 12/26/09

December 27, 2009

Well, there was quite a learning curve in figuring out how to solder the ferrules and line guides and there’s still a bit of clean-up work to do.  However, we have a pretty good opening bid for  serviceable ferrules and guides in the style of the day.  Now, it’s off to work on putting on a suitable finish:

Even Charles Goodspeed got it wrong…

October 28, 2009

Even Charles Goodspeed got it wrong…

There have been many historians of presidential fishing. When it comes to Martin van Buren, almost all of them are dead wrong. Take for example Charles Eliot Goodspeed’s 1938 Angling in America: Its Early History and Literature. In it, he chronicles the angling of prominent piscatorial presidents such as Arthur and Cleveland, but dismisses George Washington and Van Buren as “fishermen of a sort.”

He was clearly wrong about Washington, as my experiences with Mount Vernon and personally inspecting Washington’s fishing tackle has confirmed. But he missed the boat even more about Van Buren. MVB was a dedicated sport fisherman.

Goodspeed, however, was not the last historian to misread MVB’s fishing history.

Bill Mares’ 1999 book Fishing With the Presidents was not much kinder. About the only time MVB shows up in the narrative was when Mares repeats Goodspeed’s error and declares “George Washington fished for recreation throughout his life. But if we look at the record of his sport fishing, we wouldn’t rank him much higher than John Quincy Adams or Martin Van Buren.” It is one of exactly two references to Van Buren in the entire book!

Over the next few months I’ll share some of the research I was able to uncover on Martin Van Buren as an angler. Hopefully, this will set the record straight once and for all about one of our more dedicated fishing presidents.

— Dr. Todd