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Inexpensive Dubbing Mixer

Mike G

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Apparently I will never be able to get over the 33 years I spent as an Industrial Engineer. Retired for six years, I still cannot look at anything without asking myself if I can do the same thing just as well or better with less cost. My Engineer surfaced earlier this year with the use of inexpensive drape hooks to replace a Hands Free Fishing hooks..

Here we go again. Feather-Craft recently promoted a dubbing blending board priced at $100.


Its advantage over a coffee grinder is that it handles long fibers up to five inches while the grinder maxes out when fibers exceed one inch or so. When I saw the Feather Craft promo and read the accompanying instructions, I realized that I could do the same with two slick pet hair brushes that I already had. Since the brushes sell for about seven dollars each, buying two of them beats the $100 outfit from Feather Craft. If your spouse is into carding and spinning wool, you already have the tools you need in the house. The dubbing board and slick pet brushes are both based on wool carding paddles.

I have two brushes. The larger is 3 X 5.


I used the underfur from craft fur in this test run.


I mixed two samples, RGB and CMY. According to the Feather Craft instructions. See the results.


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Part Deux




Angelina Fibers


When I googled using pet slicker brushes to mix dubbing I came across a discussion on the topic. One of the participants recommended adding Angelina fibers to give the mix some sparkle. Then someone suggested that Gartside sold the same fibers as "magic stuff" with the usual GS markup. Are any of you using the stuff? It looks like a good idea.

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it just so happens that at our most recent Central IL fly tie last Sunday, a young man, Colin, had some of Jack Gartside's special stuff with him that we had a chance to play with. It's very similar to Angel Hair tying material but you get a huge amount for the money. It would take several bags of Angel Hair to equal the one bag of Jack Gartside's stuff. I'm not sure one could ever use that much of one color unless you were tying commercially.


Have you tried your technique with smaller shorter fibers like mixing regular hair's ear dubbing with tiny pieces of cut up angel hair, just curious of the results compared to the old coffee grinder.

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The sparkle fur tufts that I mixed had 1-2 inch metallic strands mixed in. The brushes had no trouble blending them in. So I think they would handle shorter strand as well.


I see Gartside sells a .75 oz bag of GSS for $6. The .6 oz assortment shown can be had for $8 on Amazon. You get a little less for your dollar, but you get more colors. GS only offers 5 colors.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Rest of the story.




I went ahead and got the sample assortment shown. The fibers are impressive at about 3 inches or so long. Besides dubbing they would make decent streamer wings for small-medium flies.

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