Jan 242011

Well almost…  You’ll still need some time, skill, and spare lumber…

To begin, there are three things every man should know how to do:

1.  Fish –  If you don’t know how to fish you have reached an evolutionary dead end.  Your ancestors are rolling in their graves and one day civilization may crumble and you may also starve to death.

2. Build stuff –  Since the dawn of time men have been hunting, fishing and building cool stuff.  If you don’t know how to build cool stuff women will not take notice of  you and again, you are at an evolutionary dead end.

3.  Make a mess –  Men do not have to try hard to do this one;  It is also in our genes.  The skill of making a mess has been passed down over eons of evolution.  If you notice that most of the pictures in this post have horrible photoshopping that blacks out parts of the picture rest assured, this creative editing is there for YOUR protection from MY mess.  What can I say, it’s evolution!

If you are a man (or woman) who builds stuff, likes fishing, and has made a mess (aka has spare wood) this build is for you!  I have spared no expense to bring you the very best in affordable wood crafting straight from my cast away scrap pile.

Please note:  I am not a master carpenter.  This design is down right ugly but it gets the job done.  If you are working with tools make sure SAFETY is your top priority.  If you lose a hand working with wood, it is one less hand you have to fish with.  I take no responsibility for the loss of lumber or body parts from the undertaking of this project!

You’ll need the following:

  • 16x   2 1/2″ decking screws
  • 1″ and 1/2″ Forstner style (hole boring) drill bits
  • Wood glue
  • Ugly Stain (I chose PINK)
  • 2x  2″x4″ boards cut to 3′
  • 4x  2″x 4″ boards cut to 3′ 1/2″
  • 1x  2″x6″  board cut to 3′
  • 2x  2″x6″ board cut to 1′
  • 5x  1/2″ diameter dowel cut to 5″

The materials above are listed in their final dimensions so if you aren’t using scrap you may want to add them up to help you in purchasing the right boards.  I’ve used 2″x4″  “studs” and 2″x6″ decking for this project because that’s what I had on hand.  If you have better wood or better sizes please feel free to experiment!

Laying out top rails

The first thing I did was drill the holes in the top rails where the dowels would be placed.  On both of the 3′ lengths of 2″x4″ you’ll want to mark every 6″ down the middle of the board.  These marks are where you will drill the holes to hold the dowels in place.  Once you have everything laid out you’ll want to take your 1/2″ Forstner bit and drill down 1/2″ into the inside of both 2″x4″ boards.  This will leave 4″ of visable dowel in the middle when the rack is put together.

1/2" deep by 1/2" wide holes for dowels

These dowels are spaced to give each of the fishing rods their own space in the rack.  You could probabably add more rods to this rack but I personally like to keep everything evenly spaced so that things don’t get tangled.

Park your (rod) butts here

Next you’ll want to take the 3′ length of 2″x6″ and mark where the depressions for the rod butts will go.  Since we want these depressions in the middle of our spaces above you will measure 3″ from the end of the board for the first mark.  This will be followed by 5 more marks spaced 6″ apart.  When you are done each of the marks on the ends should be 3″ away from the sides with the distance between the other holes being 6″.  Once you have everything marked you’ll take your 1″ Forstner bit and drill down 1/4″ to make a depression for the rod buts to rest like in the picture above.

For the feet of this rack I took the 1′ lengths of 2″x6″ and cut angles to make angled feet.  If you don’t have the tools to do this you can leave these ends square as this is just for looks.  Clamp the 1′ board to 2 of the 3′ 1/2″ lengths of 2″x4″.  You’ll be putting 4 screws into this board to hold it to the 2″x4″s as well as to hold the two 2″x4″ boards together to form legs for the rack.  You’ll want to pre-drill the holes to make sure the deck screws don’t split the wood.

Attach the screws in a square pattern

One leg down

Once complete you’ll want to do the same for the other side.  I chose to make the feet face towards the center of the rack but this was just my preference.  Do what you think looks best!

Now for the top

The top rails are formed by gluing the five dowel rods into the holes in each of the top rails.  If you drilled perfect holes and cut perfect lengths of dowel rod good for you!  If you are human and don’t cut perfectly, I would suggest performing a non-glued “dry fit” to test the lengths of the dowels and depths of the holes.  You may have to adjust things on the fly to make sure only 4″ of dowel rod is showing in the middle all the way across.  Once you are happy with the fit glue and clamp the dowel rods and 2″x4″s together as shown in the picture above.

Next attach the bottom

The bottom is attached by placing two decking screws through each side into the ends of the 2″x6″ 3′ butt rest board.  Again, pre-drill holes and measure carefully.  If you’ve turned the feet towards the inside the board should rest comfortably on top of the feet and assist you in assembly.  You’ll want to place your screws almost in the middle of the 2″x4″ leg pieces.

Bottom works!

Attaching the top was the hardest part for me.  I had to clamp in a helper board below the top rails to assist me in lining everything up.  You can also try laying the rack on its side but be careful that you don’t snap off the bottom.  You’ll want to try to make the top rails even with the top of the legs on each side as shown below.

Lots of clamps

You’ll want to put two screws in each side of the rail to hold it in place.  The screws will go a little more to the outside of the side boards in order to end up in the middle of the rail boards as shown in the picture.

It should look like this

Here is the rack all screwed together and ready to party!

It works!

At this point if you haven’t cut off any fingers and the rack stands on its own, you are pretty much done.  I decided to give my rack a final sanding and add a little stain.  This may have been a mistake as my “redwood” stain should have been labeled “pinkwood”.  The following pictures are after about three coats of stain as I desperatly tried to keep myself from having built a “girlie” PINK fishing rod rack.

As you can see with a little bit of time and spare wood you can put together a rack to hold six of your favorite fishing rods.

Here’s what I would think about doing different next time:

Easier access for rods

Because of the thickness of the 2″x4s” the rods need to be placed at a fair angle to be put into the rack.  If the rack is next to the wall there could be some scraping as the rod is slid into the opening.  My original idea for this design was to have slots to place each rod into however during the initial build I broke the top and decided to scrap my original plan.  I think a single 2″x4″ with dowels and leather straps or bungee cords would work better and keep the wall from getting scuffed.

Needs love

Another area of this project that needs love is the tops of the boards used for the sides of the rack.  When I screwed everything together it pulled these boards apart a little bit.  If I did this project again I would either choose a single solid board for each side or perhaps some sort of trim or flat board on the top to hide any unevenness.

All together I’m happy with the build of this rack and it was a great weekend project that helped me satisfy my top 3 needs of manly know-how.

If you’d like to read more about building fishing rod racks keep an eye on:  http://followingghost.blogspot.com/ Tommy is a good outdoor blogger friend and I PROMISE the fishing rod rack he is putting together will blow mine away!

If you have a hunting or fishing woodworking project you’re working on I’d love to hear about it!  Let me know in the comments below.  Also, I know this post was a little fast paced so if you would like more details please let me know.  I’d be glad to provide any additional drawings, measurements or photos if needed.

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