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How to Make a Basic Duck Call #6024732 11/12/15 06:05 AM
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I started another thread like this on another site, and thought maybe some of you would like to also know. I thought it was time to start a basic course on duck calls making. This is a method that I consider the easiest way to start with out any major expense. You will need a drill press, a few drill bits, sand paper and a way to carve or turn on a lathe the duck call barrel. Along with wood, 1/2" wood dowels, Mylar, and some spar varnish. Mylar can be found at fabric stores like Joann's or Hancock's in the quilting section. Along with the tools and supplies you will need a lot of common sense and be able to jury rig ideas into operating tooling.

The easiest toneboard to learn is the Louisiana style board, it is a 3 piece board, tonechannel and slope in one piece and wedge to hold the reed in place. You have the board, the reed and the wedge, with these 3 pieces you can make a lot of easy adjustments with. You can learn how the parts interact with each other.

My advice to any newbie to duck callmaking is to buy a Faulks WA-22 and take it a part and play with it by taking it apart and putting back together changing the location of the reed, the wedge and the length of the exposed tonechannel. All the while you are doing this keep notes as to what happened to the sound as you change the parameters.

Watch this video https://youtu.be/Dg1ojlf0uVg It is a "How It Is Made" TV show of Faulks making a duck call. At the 3:50 mark you will see him assembling the toneboard, the reed and the wedge. Memorize that parts, and then take your WA-22 and figure out how to make the board and the wedge, and account for the .010 thick mylar in the 3 part combo. This is where common sense and ingenuity might get you a toneboard.

Now for the downside, there are no Louisiana style public jigs available that are worth a flip. You have to make your own. And be mighty good at jury rigging things to get from a round dowel to a toneboard with a wedge.


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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6024735 11/12/15 06:29 AM
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The Faulks WA-22 in 2 pieces. The barrel on the left and the insert on the right with the toneboard, the wedge and the reed.


Note on the right, after looking at the above video you should recognize the reed, the wedge and the toneboard parts of the insert. On the left is the barrel, it is simply a block of wood drilled with a 5/8" bit and rounded on a lathe. No lathe necessary, you can carve it with a knife or shape it with a belt sander. The insert, the hard part, start with a 3/4" dowel, drill a hole in the center with 1/2" bit, chuck that in your drill press using a 1/2" bolt as a mandrel with a nut and painters tape to wedge it in place. On one end start sanding that end so that it slopes to a little less than 5/8", it should slide about 3/4" into your barrel.

Now comes the hard part, drilling and shaping the toneboard and the wedge. One hint, use a vise and a handsaw. And a lot of ingenuity and you will think it out. I don't g=hand feed the info, I make you think about methods to get to the next step. You have to drill the tonechannel first, then shape the board, copy your Faulk's board. Same with the wedge. NO Mylar, use a slice of plastic Coke bottle or other plastic you have around. Even a gallon milk jug plastic will work for starters.


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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6024802 11/12/15 12:07 PM
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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6025368 11/12/15 04:19 PM
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First step is making a jig.

While you are waiting to buy or order your Faulks duck call, you can start making a flat jig. We will start off with a square piece of wood, I use 1.5x1.5 maple blanks, you can use anything you have for making the jig as long as it is square and about 3" long.

Study this jig, it is drilled in the center with a 1/2" bit. Then cut so that 1/2 of the hole is exposed. With the last 1/2" not being cut so that you can use a small bolt for a clamp for cutting the toneboard. After cutting the flat jig, drill and tap a hole for a 1/4" bolt to use as a clamp/holder to hold the dowel in place when cutting it. This jig is shorter, it is what is called an Arkansas jig, but the same process is used to make all wood jigs.

It is extremely important that you make the cut so that half of the hole is left and the top half has been cut off. Not close, this is not carpentry work, this cut has to almost exact, so that when you have the dowel in it you cut the center of the dowel.



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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6025798 11/12/15 07:26 PM
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From the beginning. The toneboard jig is made.

1/2" hole drill through the block of wood, then cut off 1/2 of the top of the drilled hole, leaving about 1/2" at the end to drill and tap for a clamp to hold the dowels that will be the toneboards.





Next is the painful part, drilling the 1/2" dowel that will be the toneboard. I drill a scrap of wood with a 1/2" bit and then saw into the block. When clamped the saw kerf allows the wood to clamp the dowel tight while drilling. You will drill off center almost as many times as you drill on center, it is the beast of this system, a lathe with a collet chuck is more accurate. But this is the cheap method. If you are serious spend the money on lathes and tooling, lots of money.

The drilling vise clamp.


If you are copying the Faulk's call, this is when you need to measure it, and then drill and set up your jig to match the Faulk's call. The drill depth, the length of the board, everything needs to be the same. Everything you do affect the sound, the length of the hole, the slope on the board, the length of the reed etc..

Now that you have the dowel drill to the correct depth, time to cut off the top. 2 ways to do this, by sight with a bandsaw or with a handsaw. First clamp the dowel in the jig, dead end to the opposite end of the clamp.



If using a handsaw clamp in a drill press vise, so that the jig is level with the jaws of the vise. Use the vise jaws as your guide while cutting the top half off of the dowel. Sometimes I use a coping saw when doing this by hand, but a hacksaw works better. Note the one cut on the left, that is bass ackwards. The dead end should be the cut end like in the jig.



Next is making the wedge, another piece that you will make a lot of firewood before you get it down. Cut a small piece of dowel, like the wedge of the Faulk's and cut it at an angle and get ready to sand by hand. Use a nice flat surface to sand the wedge to shape, always remembering how it all fits together.




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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6025824 11/12/15 07:45 PM
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Now we have the board, the wedge and almost ready for the insert and the barrel.

Note on the barrel and the insert, I cheat, I buy ready made dowels, the cost me the same as square stock. Use what you got, but I recommend a hardwood like walnut or maple, Both readily available and not expensive and your mistakes burn good in in the fireplace. The 1/2" dowels I get from Woodcraft, maple and walnut both work very good. The dowels I use for the insert and barrels are special order, for a hobby, skip that and buy what you can find locally in maple or walnut.

The barrel is 3.25" long, I step drill this piece, first 1 inch is 3/4" diameter bit, the rest of the way through the blank with a 5/8" bit. This is a deviation from the Faulk's call, but it lets me have more wood around the wood holding the toneboard resulting in less splitting of inserts.


Next is the making of the insert, the holder for the toneboard. I drill through a 2.75" long blank with a 1/2" bit, the diameter of the toneboard. Inserts is easy, straight through with a 1/2" bit, the shape the insert end to fit the 3/4" hole on the barrel. On this one I cheated and use my lathe, but you can whittle it, or use a drill press as a lathe with a rasp. If using the drill press, get a 1/2 bolt long enough to fit through the blank and cut off the head of the bolt and get the blank turning and use the rasp to remove enough wood so it press fits into the barrel.







The roughed out call, ready for shaping.



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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6025955 11/12/15 08:56 PM
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That's way kool! Thanks for posting...


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Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6026951 11/13/15 12:16 PM
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This is a great post but I didn't need anymore things to try to build and this post makes me have to try smile

Re: How to Make a Basic Duck Call [Re: dogcatcher] #6027093 11/13/15 01:39 PM
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True craftsmanship. up

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