How to Make a Fish Cleaning Table


With the explosion of popularity that fishing (both amateur and professional) has enjoyed, it's become a priority to keep costs down and the fun level up. Making your own fishing rods and lead weights, or other gear like lure and jigs, allows you to keep money in your pocket. Another fishing aid, the cleaning table, can be made in a way that's cost-effective and targeted to your own specific needs.

Things You'll Need

  • 4'x2' heavy-duty plastic cutting board
  • 4'x2' piece press board
  • Portable folding poker table
  • Epoxy wood glue
  • Jigsaw
  • 12 low-profile nuts and bolts (long enough to permeate both the cutting board and the press board for tightening)
  • Drill (with bit the same size as bolts)
  • Fine file
  • 32mm flat wood drill bit
  • 6 cinderblocks

Building Your Table Top

  • Take the plastic cutting board and apply epoxy wood glue to what will be the bottom. Apply it in long lines that go around the perimeter of the board, then make other lines to connect the outline you just put down. Place the cutting board onto the press board of the same size. Place two cinderblocks on top and allow to dry for 24 hours.

  • Remove the cinderblocks and drill 12 holes for the bolts--three per side, evenly spaced. Bolt the top and bottom tightly. Using the flat wood drill bit, cut one hole at each corner, 2" in from the edge. File the edges until smooth.

  • Use the jigsaw to cut two slots on what will be the far edge of the table. These slots will hold and store the knives you use to clean your fish. Because a mobile table is much more desirable than a fixed one, use the cinderblocks as your base, adding or removing them to change the height. Make sure the holes in the cinderblocks are located where you place the left and right sides of the table, as the bolts will steady the table and prevent it from moving while you clean your catch. The holes you have cut will allow the waste to run out, make cleanup easy.

  • To make a more permanent structure, screw your fish-cleaning table onto a portable poker table of the same size, and use longer nuts and bolts, to make sure they go all the way through. Using your flat wood drill bit, cut through the table as well when you cut out the cleaning holes. This will give you mobility and a solid platform to work on. These tables can be found cheaply in used-furniture stores and many Salvation Army shops.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always make sure you clean your table thoroughly. This will prevent the spread of bacteria and bad odors. Always use bleach and a metal scrub pad to get all debris off the table, and hose it down well. Do the same with your cleaning knives.

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