How to build a custom wood fly fishing landing net

Removing one of the frame laminations from the steam box, after about 15 minutes of heating. You will notice the good amount of steam coming out of the box, and off of the lamination as it’s removed, showing the wood is hot and ready to be bent. Also shown is how easy they are to bend around the forms with just spring clamps to hold in position until the thin wood strips cool enough for them to set. It usually takes 15-30 minutes for them to cool enough so they can be removed from the mold or form without losing their new shape, however it’s better to let them set overnight, and if they are not used right away, they’re better left on the form, if possible. This is especially true if the shape has sharp corners or compound curves. There will be some tendency for “springback” (the tendency for the wood to want to return to it’s original shape), but when it comes time to glue the laminations, the clamps will usually be able to form the strips into the proper shape and make firm contact with all surfaces to ensure a good glue bond if there are no sharp bends. Simple teardrop shapes can usually be removed from the form after they are set without distorting too much, and if the laminations are temporarily clamped, or tied together at the point where they would meet the handle, then they can be set aside until needed. The cooled and  bent wood strips can not be forced by high clamping pressure into tight or compound curves, without breaking, so they need to be shaped as closely as possible at the time they are steamed, and stored on the form until gluing. The laminations should be bent in the same order they will be glued so that the inner ply is bent first, and the outer strip is bent last, but if you need to re-arrange the order after they are bent, it should not be a problem when gluing. You can do all the laminations for one net on the form, by adding each layer one at a time, or if the wood is thin enough, you can try doing them all at the same time. It helps to make a visible pencil mark in the center of each strip on the edge to help match it to a mark at the top of the bending form, so that the sides will be equal length after being bent around the form. You can temporarily clamp the actual handle or screw an identical pre-shaped form in it’s proper position when bending, in order to match the re-curve of the handle, or you can simply clamp the laminations together at a single point without a form, if the handle will have straight or gently curved sides. I also bend an extra strip of 3/16”-1/4” (4mm-6mm) wood, usually Ash, to use as a caul when gluing.

Removing one of the 1/4” (6mm) frame laminations from the steam box, after about 15 minutes of heating; You will notice the good amount of steam coming out of the box, and off the lamination as it’s removed, showing the wood is ready to form, and showing how easy they are to bend around the forms with just spring clamps to hold in position until the thin wood strips cool enough for them to set, usually 15-30 minutes before they can be removed. However it’s better to let them set overnight, and if they are not used right away, they’re better left on the form, if possible; this is especially true if the shape has sharp corners or compound curves. Simple teardrop shapes can usually be removed from the form after they are set, without distorting too much, if the laminations are temporarily clamped, or tied together at the point where they would meet the handle. Although there will be some “springback”, when it comes time to glue the laminations to themselves and to the handle, the clamps will usually be able to form the strips into the proper shape and make firm contact with all surfaces to ensure a good glue bond. The cooled and  bent strips can not be forced by high clamping pressure into tight or compound curves, without breaking, after they have been formed; they must be closely shaped as closely as possible at the time they are steamed, so it’s good to have a pre-shaped handle, or mock-up handle in position when forming the steam bent laminations. The laminations should be bent in the same order they will be glued so that the inner ply is bent first, and the outer strip is bent last. You can do all the laminations for one net on the form, by adding each layer one at a time, or if the wood is thin enough, you can try doing them all at the same time. It helps to make a visible pencil mark in the center of each strip to help locate it to a mark at the top of the bending form, so that the sides will be equal length after being bent around the form and handle. .
Removing one of the 1/4” (6mm) frame laminations from the steam box, after about 15 minutes of heating; You will notice the good amount of steam coming out of the box, and off the lamination as it’s removed, showing the wood is ready to form, and showing how easy they are to bend around the forms with just spring clamps to hold in position until the thin wood strips cool enough for them to set, usually 15-30 minutes before they can be removed. However it’s better to let them set overnight, and if they are not used right away, they’re better left on the form, if possible; this is especially true if the shape has sharp corners or compound curves. Simple teardrop shapes can usually be removed from the form after they are set, without distorting too much, if the laminations are temporarily clamped, or tied together at the point where they would meet the handle. Although there will be some “springback”, when it comes time to glue the laminations to themselves and to the handle, the clamps will usually be able to form the strips into the proper shape and make firm contact with all surfaces to ensure a good glue bond. The cooled and  bent strips can not be forced by high clamping pressure into tight or compound curves, without breaking, after they have been formed; they must be closely shaped as closely as possible at the time they are steamed, so it’s good to have a pre-shaped handle, or mock-up handle in position when forming the steam bent laminations. The laminations should be bent in the same order they will be glued so that the inner ply is bent first, and the outer strip is bent last. You can do all the laminations for one net on the form, by adding each layer one at a time, or if the wood is thin enough, you can try doing them all at the same time. It helps to make a visible pencil mark in the center of each strip to help locate it to a mark at the top of the bending form, so that the sides will be equal length after being bent around the form and handle. .
Steam box 120” (300cm) long, 10” (25cm) wide x 10” (25cm) high, 1’ (25mm) thick Poplar. Fastened with coated self tapping screws. Doug Fir support legs.

Spring clamps being used to hold the first lamination in place, after steaming and waiting for the next lamination to be taken out of the steam box and be bent around the form. This will be similar to the gluing process with the first lamination in place and while the next layers are having the glue applied. The handle should be firmly clamped in place with C-clamps prior to starting the glue up..

Spring clamps being used to hold the first lamination in place, after steaming and waiting for the next lamination to be taken out of the steam box and be bent around the form. This will be similar to the gluing process with the first lamination in place and while the next layers are having the glue applied. The handle should be firmly clamped in place with C-clamps prior to starting the glue up..

Steam box 120” (300cm) long, 10” (25cm) wide x 10” (25cm) high, 1’ (25mm) thick Poplar. Fastened with coated self tapping screws. Removable racks and divider to accommodate different lengths of  wood to steam. Doug Fir support legs. Propane burner and 2.5 Gal (10 liter) boiler, with exhaust hose and brass plumbing fittings.