Published Nov 24. 2019 - 4 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 24. 2019

IKEA Fly Tying Board

How to make a 10 dollar tying station based on a cheap IKEA cutting board.

The IKEA board
The IKEA board
Noé Tirado Muñiz

I grew up in my grandad's farm in Puerto Rico. My family didn't have much money and as a child I learned to care and repair my toys rather than throw them away or replacing them with new ones.

I think that necessity helped me develop an "I can fix that" attitude that is as alive today as it was then. Now that I started tying my own flies, this "creativity" was awakened when looking at tying stations in the internet. I thought "why buy one when I can make my own"... and so, this project began.

why buy one when I can make my own

I started with a $10 cutting board from IKEA. I didn't want to spend too much on tools that would be used once, so again, decided to go with what I had (for the most part). I used a hole drill bit to cut 4 circles on the board.

Two would become wells for hooks, beads and other small items. The center 2 holes were to be united using a chisel to form an oval shaped well that would later become both a decorative accent as well as another place to put small items.

Hole for the vise
Carving the fish
The first holes
Taking shape
Noé Tirado Muñiz

I purchased a $12 wood gouge to make the well bottoms concave. That took a lot of time and patience as I had never done such work before. As I continued to develop my board, I decided to carve a fish on the center well... I was going to carve more decorations but decided against that idea.
I then drilled the holes for the vise shaft and attached a nut using JB weld. I continued testing ideas, developing the small details of the carving and eventually sanding, protecting the board with many layers of clear polyurethane and polishing it to a glass smooth finish using car polishing compound and an orbital polisher. I filled the center well with clear 2-part resin to protect the carving and prevent small beads from getting wedged in the small crevices of the carving.

With a tool caddy
The board with the vise mounted
With and without a tool caddy
Noé Tirado Muñiz

I added a tool holder made with a stick we found during a fishing trip. I drilled holes on the top (for the tools) and the bottom (for the 2 metal rods that attach to the board). To finish it off, I glued a rubber mat to the bottom to prevent it from slipping on the table.

My first beadhead Prince Nymphs
My first PTN's
Some of the first flies
Noé Tirado Muñiz

A short video showing the IKEA Fly Tying Board

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IKEA Fly Tying Board...

Brilliant! I love it!

I've been working on a flat top table and constantly have beads and "stuff" roll or slip off the edge (I tend to be messy). Your board with wells to keep hooks, beads or whatever contained is the perfect solution. I like the minimalist approach... readily available, inexpensive, simple, effective. Very nice!

I will go shopping for a cutting board and "steal" your idea. Thank you for sharing.

Kent Smith

Thanks for the idea!...

I read this article and had to go home and make my own. These was brilliant and really took my fly tying station to the next level for only 18$.


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