How to Build a Fishing Shelter

How to Build a Fishing Shelter
Ice fishing is a sport for die-hard anglers and only the heaviest clothes are warm enough for this activity. Anything less and hypothermia becomes a real possibility. If you'd like to fish all year without sitting for hours in bone-chilling cold and blowing wind, a fishing shelter is the answer. All you need are some common tools, plywood and a tarp. You can avoid weak ice by heeding this advice, "Thick and blue, tried and true. Thin and crispy, way too risky."
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape Two pencils Skill saw Miter saw Screw gun Jig saw Orbital sander Three-inch hole saw String Scissors Needle-nose pliers with wire cutters Staple gun Three sheets of 4-foot-by-8-foot-by-5/8-inch plywood One 2-inch-by-4-inch-by-4-foot floor support (for back panel) One heavy piece of canvas or poly tarp (approximately 8 feet by 15 inches) One 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-7-inch ridge pole Three 2-inch-by-4-inch-by-7-foot floor supports/skis (for towing) Ten 3-inch hinges (three for each end piece and two for each door) Two handles per door Two barrel bolts per door Four 2-inch hinges (for floor opening) Assorted screws and heavy-duty staples Two 4-inch eye bolts (and rope for towing) Three 6-inch-by-5/8-inch plywood ridge poles Your choice of paint, stain, or varnish
  • Measuring tape
  • Two pencils
  • Skill saw
  • Miter saw
  • Screw gun
  • Jig saw
  • Orbital sander
  • Three-inch hole saw
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire cutters
  • Staple gun
  • Three sheets of 4-foot-by-8-foot-by-5/8-inch plywood
  • One 2-inch-by-4-inch-by-4-foot floor support (for back panel)
  • One heavy piece of canvas or poly tarp (approximately 8 feet by 15 inches)
  • One 2-inch-by-2-inch-by-7-inch ridge pole
  • Three 2-inch-by-4-inch-by-7-foot floor supports/skis (for towing)
  • Ten 3-inch hinges (three for each end piece and two for each door)
  • Two handles per door
  • Two barrel bolts per door
  • Four 2-inch hinges (for floor opening)
  • Assorted screws and heavy-duty staples
  • Two 4-inch eye bolts (and rope for towing)
  • Three 6-inch-by-5/8-inch plywood ridge poles
  • Your choice of paint, stain, or varnish
 
Step 1
Cut the floor and attach the supports. Use your tape measure, pencil and skill saw to layout and cut a 40-by-84-inch section of plywood for the floor. Measure and cut a 40-inch length of 2-by-4 and screw it to one end of the floor. Use your miter saw to cut a 45-degree angle at one end of each of the 2=inch-by-4-inch-by-7-foot floor supports and round the angled cuts with your orbital sander. Use your screw gun and 3-inch deck screws to attach the floor supports to the sides and middle of the floor, with the angled ends facing the same direction (the supports should be 20 inches apart).
Step 2
Cut arcs in the end panels. Measure 6 feet from one end of both remaining 4-foot-by-8-foot-by-5/8-inch plywood panels and draw a line. Mark the center of this line and measure 20 inches down from this mark. Make another centered mark here and drive a nail into each of the panels at this point. Cut two 20-inch lengths of string with your scissors and tie them to the nails at one end and pencils on the other. While holding tension on the strings, draw an arc at the top of each panel with your pencils. Use your jig saw to cut out the arcs from the panels.
Step 3
Cut doors in the end panels. Lay out centered 2-by-4-foot doorways, with 5-inch sills at the bottom, in the panels that have arcs, and cut out the doors. Reattach the doors with 3-inch top and bottom hinges and install the handles and barrel bolts in each door. Put the 3-inch hole saw in your screw gun and drill out a centered ventilation porthole 10 inches above the door on both panels.
Step 4
Assemble the sections. Attach your arced panels to the ends of your floor with three 3-inch hinges at the inside edge of each panel (one panel will be hinged to the top of the 2-inch-by-4-inch-40-inch piece you screwed to the floor when you started). Screw wire supports to each corner, by stretching wires from the edges of each panel to the floor. The wires should be taut when the panels form a 90-degree angle with the floor. With the end panels up and the corner wires taut, push the ends of the ridge pole in place between the arced panels until they rest in the center of the arc of each panel.
Step 5
Attach the canvas or tarp. Stretch your fabric over the frame and staple it every 3 inches to the edges of the arced panels and floor (don't attach it to the ridge pole). Cut off the excess with your scissors. Cut a 10-by-14-inch rectangle from the center of the floor and reattach it with four 2-inch hinges on one end and a barrel bolt on the other. Attach the eye bolts above the angled left and right floor supports, and thread the tow rope through them. Put a coat of paint, stain or varnish on the outside surfaces and let it dry.
 

Resources

Article Written By Dan Eash

Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.

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