Luckily with duck calls, there isn’t many “parts” involved. Most of the parts are fairly inexpensive, other than some wood types and acrylic.
- Wood Blanks: These are simply blocks of wood. Usually around 2×2″ square cut down to 3-4″ in length then drilled with a 5/8″ hole before turning on the lathe. The wood is usually dried in a kiln or left to dry over time. Other woods, such as burl, may have spots where the wood has deteriorated, also known as “punky”. In order to use these woods, they will need to be stabilized, by a process where acrylic resins is pressure forced into the wood to fill in any voids.
- Acrylic/Polyester Resin Blanks: Cast acrylic or polyester resin blanks come in tons of colors and sizes. They are usually already round in a rod, but some are still in a square shape. They make great looking calls, with a different sound that wood. They can be a little more difficult to turn and take more care and time to drill and turn than wood. Some acrylics, known as extruded acrylic are very hard and brittle and not usually advised for hand turning.
- Other Blanks: Calls can be made out of nearly anything. Legal ivory, antlers, plastic, metals, pressed/laminated wood, etc.
- Reeds: Reeds are thin pieces of mylar (sometimes other materials like metal) that make the sound in the call. Typical thickness is .010″ or .014″. A thinner reed will move easier than a thicker reed.
- Cork: Rubberized cork or rubber pieces used to hold the reeds in the call.
- O-rings: Some call makers use o-rings to hold the insert into the barrel, while others use a taper on their insert to “wedge” the insert into the barrel. Neonprene O-rings are better than nitrile if you can find them.
- Bands: Metal rings that are glued on the outside of the barrel. These are not mandatory but do help to keep wood calls from cracking as the insert is forced into the call and the wood shrinks and expands from moisture. They come in unfinished or finished with intricate details. You can also get them anodized and laser engraved. I highly recommend doing a search for Ron Gould’s Bands.
- Inlays: These are optional. You can buy premade inlay material or use things such as coffee grounds to give a unique look to your call.