Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Stream Walker Nets - A Look Inside The Shop

I think that I've mentioned it before that I have a fascination in handmade landing nets and Leif Mermagen of Stream Walker Nets is doing some very fine work in his small garage shop in Rochester, New York.

Leif sent along a large album of photographs showing his recent net work and I picked out a few favorites to share in this T.F.M. post.  It's always neat to see inside the shop where all the work gets done.

Leif wrote...  "I try my best to source the wood locally from near here where I grew up in the Finger Lakes Region.  A friend from high school is a Forrester here and mills the wood for me to rough sawn lumber.  I then plane them to width and cut them into strips for bending.  I can generally get away with soaking the strips to get them to bend but I have a DIY steam tube consisting of a Coleman camp stove, a large pot, some rubber hose and a large PVC pipe for steaming thicker strips.

The handles are all cut into roughly the shape I need and then fine tuned with a spindle sander.  From there they go into the bending jig and are glued one strip at a time, clamped up and allowed to dry (four times on average).  All this is the easy part.  The shaping and finishing consists of hand planing, rounding the edges of the hoop and handle, adding the recessed slot for the net bag, drilling the holes for the net bag, and hand sanding four times down to 400 grit.  The actual finishes vary slightly from Spar Varnish to hand rubbed oil sometimes up to 10-12 coats before the net is done."

Visit the Stream Walker Nets Facebook page for the latest shop news.  The website is in the works.

Interested in a landing net?  Send Leif an email.


Anonymous said...

You can never have too many clamps for net building!

As a fellow net builder, I'd love to see the process for routing the hoop for the net lacing.

Unknown said...

No matter how many clamps I have, it's never enough. As for the routing the hoop, there are two pics up above that show the jig on my router table. It works very well but you have to be very careful.

Unknown said...

as in ALL woodworking "never too many clamps"
I love my stream walker net!!!