About the Clark's Spinning Blocks
The blocks are made of solid hardwoods, maple and walnut, hand planed and beveled on all edges. Each is finished with a hand rubbed Danish oil to highlight the natural qualities in the wood. The smoothly rounded pin is solid brass and the background stripe is bright white for a high contrast with silks and dubbing materials. Each block is tested with waxed silk to ensure the holding abilities of both the bottom and side notches.
On many of Hidy's hand made blocks he used a pencil mark at half inch increments on top.
Richard Clark sometimes scratched measurement markings with an awl to help gauge the amount of dubbing needed. These are useful reference markers when considering bodies designed for different sized flies. I have made a fine, permanent cut using an 1/8" bench chisel to produce the half inch increments along side the background stripe.
At this point there are a limited number of blocks. The level of interest and my
own time constraints will determine if more blocks will be produced. It's a very
enjoyable project for me. I hope to have crafted something that is modest,
efficient and effective. Something that would speak to the nature of the men who
invented the blocks and the flies they produced. Its an effort to get these into
the hands of as many people as would like to add this technique to their tying
and will now be able to do so.
The bottom of the block has two large suede leather pads for a solid
non-skid surface keeping the block in position as you maintain tension on the
spun body and transfer the spun bodies to the cards. The leather has a much better resistance than either felt of cork.
Each block carries the label of the International Society of Flymph
Fisherman, the name used by Pete Hidy on his materials and many
publications. Lance Hidy has generously licensed the use of the name for the
blocks as well as designed and produced the labels. The blocks are each given an
individual production number and the maker’s signature on the label. The walnut blocks are marked as 1 through 10 of the limited edition.
Spun Body Cards - Set of 10 - By Lance Hidy - $3.00 each pack
Spun Body Cards used by Pete Hidy
Lance was kind enough to share an original card from the collection of materials. This card shows different dubbings on different colors or silk as part of an archival set. Typically Hidy would fill several cards with the same combination of materials destined for a specific flymph pattern. I find this image one of the most remarkable examples in describing the methods for constructing these flies.