photo 3I am not going through every step in detail, because this is part of the learning experience and everyone will have their own way they do things. I am just going to cover the basics.

Turn the barrel of the call: Put your drilled blank on your mandrel, on the lathe and turn your lathe on. Turning speed is different based on various opinions. I like turning very fast. Using your gouge tool, true the blank so it is round. If you haven’t decided the shape you want to make your call, this is the time you may want to figure that out. Roughly shape your barrel shape. If you will be using a band, use your caliper to measure the width and inner diameter of your band and turn the end of the call towards the head stock of the lathe to just a hair bigger than the band diameter and just a bit longer than the band thickness. This leaves room for find turning it to the exact diameter. If you are making a lanyard notch, you can measure where you want this, and turn that. Once the basic shape is there, you can now start finishing the call by sanding. You can very carefully turn the band area down to where the band will fit on snug when tapped on. I prefer to cut a couple grooves in that area for the glue to go. Finish sanding the barrel moving up in grit until it is as smooth as you would like. You can now finish the call with whichever method you have chosen. Using glue, put a small amount on your barrel where the band will go. Tap your band on and let it set and dry. Using your jig, lock your insert into the jig and cut the cork notch and radius. Once the glue is dry on your barrel, you can place the barrel back onto the lathe using your mandrel, this time reversed, with the band end facing out. You can now trim off any excess to be smooth with the width of the band. You can now finish the end of the barrel and if needed, flip it around to sand inside the barrel. The barrel is now complete.

1013586_434164503347803_636123033_nTurn the insert: For a solid blank, I start with my tailstock with a live center pushing a blank between the head stock and tail stock. Rough shape the exhaust and turn the rest of the insert down to exactly 5/8″ that tapers up just a hair towards the exhaust bell so it will sung into the barrel. The insert will be longer than you need right now and that is fine. Once you get it turned down, you can remove it from the lathe and place it in your collet chuck. If you are using Pintail Waterfowl’s precast insert blanks, you can skip this step and put the insert blank directly into your 5/8″ collet chuck.

Now you can begin shaping the exhaust bell. Once your exhaust shape is how you want it, you can do most of the final sanding and finishing. You  can also drill your tone channel before finishing. Whichever way works better for you. I prefer to drill first so I can finish the sanding in one shot. You will want to use a drill chuck on the tail stock of your lathe. By putting a 1/4″ drill bit in the drill chuck, and spinning the insert, you can index the bit in to drill your tone channel. This will take some time to learn the depth. Typically drilling stops 1/2″ before the end of of the toneboard. LOTS of measuring will help. Putting a piece of tape or a stopper on your drill bit will ensure you drill to your desired depth. Once drilled, you can use a stepper bit or tapered bit to taper the inside of the exhaust bell. It is also okay to reverse these steps and drill your taper before drilling the tone channel. Lastly,  you can finish your insert with whatever method you have chosen if you didn’t previously complete it before drilling.

Next you will need to cut your insert with your toneboard jig. A band saw works best for this and I have found,  smaller blade tends to work easier than a larger one, but is also more prone to breaking. Carefully cut the toneboard radius from the end of the jig, all the way back to the back of the bottom cork notch. Next you will cut straight down in front of the cork notch. Your last cut is the top of the cork notch. You can make a few small cuts inside the cork notch then a slight twist will usually knock out the rest of the cork notch.

Duck Call Barrel Part 1

Duck Call Barrel Part 2

Duck Call Insert Part 1

Duck Call Insert Part 2

You can now proceed to tuning your call!
Duck Call Toneboard Cutting on Jig and Installing Reeds