of a closed-reed call you need to tune the reed. Custom predator call making is all about tuning reeds! This may be over simplified, so here is my list of important things in a custom call:
1. How the reed is tuned
2. Type of reed used
3. Type of wood used (cocobolo, african blackwood, or any stabilized wood)
4. Shape of call and detail
5. How the call is finished
I decided to turn a call for my upcoming bear hunt that will hopefully show how simple it is to turn you own great call. The steps are simple and I hope that the pictures will help anyone understand the basics of making a closed-reed predator call.
I can usually get 3 calls out of an 18" piece of Cocobolo. Cocobolo is relatively inexpensive, easy to turn and helps give a natural sound to your call.
Using basic turning techniques and tools work the block of cocobolo into the basic outside shape you want your call to have. Keeping in mind hand size and general comfort for the end user.
Ruff-in a basic shape:
The three tools I use the most; you can complete an entire call with these three chisels:
In Part Two I will drill-out this call, sand and finish, install and tune the reed, and prep it for field use. Stay tuned...
Just a quick note on reference material you might find useful... I recieved a signed copie of Turning Custom Duck Calls from Greg Keats many years ago. I am not a big duck hunter, but this book gave me endless ideas and inspiration in my own predator-call making. I can not say that I have seen a more beautiful call than Greg's Signature Double Reed Duck Call in Locust Burl. His work is first-rate.
You can't hardly screw-up a predator call, but duck calls are functional pieces of art, a true musical instrument and very difficult to custom make. Under the influence of some undue praise for my predator calls, I thought I could make a duck call. I ended up with a stick that had a hole in it and sounded like a squeeling pig. I will not endeavor to make a duck call again. It is a much better use of my time to just order a custom duck call from Greg Keats Custom Calls.