I have a coworker who I go fishing with on a regular basis. He told me that he was interested in buying a fishing rod holder so that he had a place to store his rods when they are not in use. The only requirements that he needed was a place to hold six fishing poles, a net, his cooler, and a small storage area for miscellaneous items. He searched high and low for something that would fit his requirements, but was unable to find anything that was to his liking. I told him that I would design one with Sketchup (Plans available here) and see how he liked it. So I spent a few hours making this prototype. Needless to say, he was thrilled with my design and asked me to make it for him. I agreed and told him that since he was a coworker, I would do my best to keep costs down. I normally don’t try to make large items from pallet wood, but I made an exception this time because I found some extra long pallets that would allow me to avoid the dreaded nail holes typically found in items made out of pallet wood.
I used this opportunity to brush up on some woodworking skills that I have not practiced before. The drawer on this fishing rod holder features dovetail joints on the front. I have never tried to make a dovetail before. I know they did not turn out perfect, but I do think they are fairly good for a first attempt. I also felt like the nature of this project would let me practice my smoothing with a hand plane. Since the sides and shelves were glued together, there were many uneven edges. I used my kanna (Japanese hand plane) as much as possible but the lack of a workbench made this task extremely difficult. All in all, I believe that the project turned out very well and I think that my coworker will be pleasantly surprised with the fishing rod holder.