Introduction: Fishing Rod Stand

Step 1: The Dream

My idea to create a fishing rod stand for the garage of my new house was spawned from the idea of another. I had been browsing the web for ideas and saw something that I thought might work for myself. While the original image had no schematics or instructions I figured I could sort something out for myself.
This is my first attempt at any kind of woodwork in 22 years since a woodwork GCSE grade of an 'F'. For me, sawing wood correctly will be challenge #1!

Step 2: The Plan

I had an idea of how I wanted to adapt what I saw into something that would suit my needs. The major difference is that unlike the short, American style, single piece rods shown in the image with reels attached, my rods are different. Most of my rods are of two carbon fibre sections or approximately 5-6 feet in length. There is no need for these to be constructed as shown in the image from step 1, but I need them secured to avoid damage, and accessible depending on my chosen quarry for the fishing trip. I decided to sketch a quick plan of what I might go for on the back of an envelope (I warned you that I am a beginner!)

Step 3: The Reality

As an absolute beginner, I had no idea of dimensions of wood, wood types etc... I went to the timber section of my local DIY store and checked out what I could see. I really had no clue so the measurements on my schematic weren't set in stone. As I have a LOT of fishing rods collected over the last 28 years, and I fortunately have a lot of space, I had a lot of room to manoeuvre. I found four planks of 2400mm x 150mm x 22mm x, prepared on two sides at a reasonable price, and selected a length of 2400mm x 47mm x 50mm to complete the materials.
I had a couple of old, old tools including a power drill, had borrowed some tools like a saw and G clamps from a friend at work and my wife bought me a bag of basic tools to compliment the collection.
I cut the 47mm x 50mm into four lengths of 150mm to act as my corner supports.

Step 4: Measuring and Marking Up

I possessed a 50mm diameter hole saw which I figured would house the butt sections of my rods. I measure my initial plank in 100mm markings, 75mm across the plank. These I marked with a cross before attempting to remove these pieces with a power drill and hold saw.

Step 5: Cutting Out the Rod Housings

Once I had my markings on the plan (with space for 23 rods) I now needed to cut the holes on my middle plank. These were cut out from the centre of the plank and cut with the hole saw. The drill bit part allowed me to get the saw set in the right spot and offer support for the drilling process. Early on I learned a valuable lesson that might will not help my efforts, I pushed through with too much force and while I punched out a circle of wood to the diameter I wanted, I also took some of the prepared surface with it!!! I really should have practiced first but as I had no scrap material I had to wing it.
For the second attempt, I drilled until the centre part had just broken through the bottom surface. I then flipped the plank, set the hole saw in the hole I had previously made and with very little effort cut a perfect hole in the plank! I then proceeded to cut 21 further holes in the same way without any further unnecessary damage.
Throughout the process I secured the planks with two borrowed G clamps, they proved invaluable in all stages of this process.

Step 6: Preparing the Top Section

With the middle piece prepared, my next challenge was to prepare the top piece. Having learned from preparation of the Middle piece I was keen to make sure this stage went well. In order to avoid the vertical fishing rods falling out of the stand, I wanted to set them at a slight angle. In my brainstorming I thought about having the rods coming out of both 'sides' of the rack. I settled in having one side against to the wall and the rack accessible from the front side only.
I decided to make the top set of holes 10mm further back (towards the wall side) than the bottom set of holes. This would allow the rods to stand at a slight angle and would help recent them from falling out.
I'm sure this was definitely not the best way of achieving the desired results, but as my work day was drawing to an end as my neighbour with a baby was home I decided against marking out my new drill points using pencil and rule as I had done with the first piece. I laid the 'middle piece' on top of the top piece 10mm over. I clamped the Middle piece securely and made sure the dimensions were right. Once I was satisfied I began to drill through the pre-drilled hole in order to use this a a pilot hole in my next session.

Step 7: Marking and Cutting the Rod Slots

I used the hole saw to cut out the circles on the rack top taking care to saw half way through the unprepared side of the wood. I made the final cut though the (reversed) prepared side in order to avoid damage to the prepared top surface. In retrospect I'm not sure this method of cutting out the circular disks was best as I burned out my drill (a very old cheap drill) so I was able to buy myself a new cheap drill!
The next stage was marking up and cutting out the slots to allow the rods to slide into position. I cut these out by hand using a rip saw, I forgot the number one rule of letting the tool do the work and caused a bit of splintering by using too much elbow grease during the sawing but the edges worked out fine after sanding.

Step 8: Preparing the Bracing Blocks

In order to provide stability and provide a surface to screw in to, I had previously cut lengths of 101.6mm x 101.6mm (4x4 ins) to position in the corners.
I used G clamps and scrap wood to secure the wood in position before pre-drilling then inserting two 50mm long by 5mm thick screws. To avoid splitting the wood I also drilled counter sink holes after my first attempt caused some damage.

Step 9: Attaching the Stabilising Legs

In order to make the stand secure, I cut two lengths of 101.6 mm x 101.6 mm (4x4"). That would act as stabilisers. The stabilisers would stand proud of the bottom piece by 75mm on each side. These were clamped to the stand and pre-drilled before being attached via two screws.

Step 10: Avoiding the Sag

Once the stand was placed on the ground following the attachment of the legs, I noticed the middle section (with circular holes and no slots) was sagging considerably under the weight of itself. I cut another 4"x4" section and screwed it in between those two sections.

Step 11: The Final Addition

Bracing blocks were added to the top, slotted section in the same way as the bottom two pieces. This next step required the help of my wife to hold the top section secure so that I could G clamp it into position. Once it was secured by clamps I inserted two screws on each side as previously described.
With the unit completed, I used a hand sander to remove the corners at an angle of approx 135 degrees.

Step 12: Final Thoughts...

So my first DIY project is complete* (I haven't decided if I am going to stain, paint or leave the stand at time of publishing). I'm really pleased with it as it does exactly what I wanted it to do. It is very different to the original image that I wanted to recreate but my version will offer more protection for my fishing rods/poles.
I have learned to valuable lessons along the way.
Next time I will aim to use some actual woodworking joints as opposed to just using screws, but as this is a first project I am happy with how it all ended up.

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