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TylerS

Anyone Make Calls?

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I've been playing with the idea for a long time, and this year I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a lathe so I can start turning calls. Not for a profit, I have absolutely no desire to turn a hobby into my business, but just so I can possibly create something that fools ducks. I've always been fond of woodworking, and this feels like the perfect way to combine two pastimes.

So anyone else make calls? There's hundreds of videos and tips online to get started, so I'm not worried about that. But it would be nice to know if there's someone on here with experience that I could turn to if I hit a roadblock. Or hey, maybe swap calls when/if I finally get rolling! Christmas is right around the corner, so I'm hoping that helps with my equipment procurement.

I'd like to start by making duck calls, and then maybe advance to goose calls once my skills have improved enough. I saw a tutorial the other day about turning wooden goose guts that really piqued my interest...

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I have a bit of experience making duck and goose calls. I have been making them for about three years and am finally to the point where I feel comfortable in my skills. The biggest advice I could give you is to not get discouraged. It takes a lot of skill to learn how to safely operate the lathe if you don't have any experience.

You could probably get away with a cheaper lathe, but from my experience, don't go cheap on the accessories. You will need various different chucks and mandrels. If you are looking for a good company to get these from, check out webfoot waterfowl. Their customer service is fantastic and will help you with all your needs for supplies to make calls. There are other suppliers out there, but I found these guys to be top notch.

Another tip I would give you is to practice on cheap wood. I made the mistake of wanting to make these beautiful calls with exotic wood and ended up making lots of expensive firewood. Use crappy poplar or other cheap wood that you can get from Menards or Home Depot. Once you have it mastered, there are many online suppliers for exotic wood.

This should get you started. Let me know if you have any questions. I had to teach myself and had many issues. I can try to help you out as much as possible.

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Nik,

Thanks very much for the tips. I've actually browsed webfoot waterfowl, and they definitely have a lot of stuff for call makers.

And I hadn't thought about wood! You make a very good point. Luckily, I have a ton of scrap wood in my garage I can work on. Would be a good way to perfect tone boards before moving on to the exotics, I bet.

Do you put metal bands on your calls? I personally like the look of an all-wood call, but it would be nice to play with aluminum or brass bands at some point. I've seen calls recently where the bands are actually turned with the call. Makes them appear much more a part of the piece, instead of an afterthought.

Thanks,

-Ty

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Here are some calls that I made last week. I do use a band with my logo on it. I can't really say what the company name is as I have not formally formed the company. I don't plan on trying to make a living with these calls, it is just something that I do for fun and if I can make a few bucks off it, even better. If you are looking for custom bands, I can hook you up with my guy. I believe he is out of Illinois. The price is a bit more than I want to pay, but he is the only one that I have found that does custom work. full-27089-50496-fullsizerendercopy.jpg

full-27089-50497-fullsizerender.jpg

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Love your design. Sleek. Simple. So many calls these days are waaay too flamboyant. I'm not going to copy your lines, but that style is the essence of what I love. Way cool, and thanks for the offer on your band guy. If I ever get to that point, I'll give you a shout.

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One more thing to think about that I struggled with at first is hole drilling. If you don't have a straight and accurate size hole, your tone boards or guts won't fit properly and you will go insane trying to correct it. Everything starts with the hole. One way I found to get the best and accurate hole is to not use a drill press, but buy the proper drill chuck for your lathe and actually use your lathe to drill the holes. Your lathe will be centered perfectly, so your hole should be centered. This should help you with lots of frustration. Just a thought...

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One more thing to think about that I struggled with at first is hole drilling. If you don't have a straight and accurate size hole, your tone boards or guts won't fit properly and you will go insane trying to correct it. Everything starts with the hole. One way I found to get the best and accurate hole is to not use a drill press, but buy the proper drill chuck for your lathe and actually use your lathe to drill the holes. Your lathe will be centered perfectly, so your hole should be centered. This should help you with lots of frustration. Just a thought...

Great tip. I'd seen that in a few vids, but it makes a lot of sense.

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full-10233-52074-calls.jpg

I had a set made by Jason too, he says it's a lot of work, but man do they sound sweet!

I saw pictures of yours before they look nice. I am working with him now on a new predator call in development. I will be testing and helping him find the perfect sound.

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