Author Topic: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?  (Read 1460 times)

Offline callingthewild

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Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« on: March 03, 2012, 07:04:54 AM »
Howdy everyone, I'm looking for the Old School of making calls.
What were the reeds made of, are there any tutorials on this (here)
Does anyone know of a supply company for reeds.
Where they Bamboo, like a wind instrument reed?
Looking forward to this help
And just to say and let those know WHO may ask why.
I'm OLD SCHOOL, I like the sound of wood, I'm an acoustic guitar player.
Its the tone of wood I like, so thats what I'm after

Offline Wes

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 09:40:58 AM »
I have never seen any duck call reeds made from wood, too much moisture would make them swell and change the tone. Metal reeds were pretty common in older calls, either Phosphor bronze or Brass . And then some started using hard rubber. Metal reed calls are still made and used in some parts of the county but now days Mylar pretty well dominates call making..

Wes
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Offline callingthewild

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 10:23:05 AM »
Thanks Wes, I thought the old calls were made with maybe a bamboo reed, like that of a clarinet?
So I'm thinking than if they are metal, its a gauge thickness for tone quality?

Offline tolbndfishin

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 11:13:52 AM »
Hard rubber was used before the days of Mylar, and I have a call made with a
Metal (I won't lie about the type, cause I have no clue lol) reed that was made in the 40s.  I know of a maker that still makes bamboo calls, but not the reeds.  His father taught him.  I still use hard rubber for my reeds, but it's not easy to find, except for maybe in India.

Dan
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They will fly away laughing.....

Offline callingthewild

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 11:41:15 AM »
Thanks Dan for that information, so are you saying to the best of your knowledge that the reeds back in the 40's or so. "Were not made of wood like a wind instrument reed.
And what do think of making one this way, do you think it would work?
I know one would have to maintain it, as so the wood would not dry out and split.

Offline FDR

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2012, 12:05:00 PM »
Here is a link to a good history of the early duck calls. I make my Reelfood style calls this way. I hunt with Jamie each year and he is very knowledgeable having grown up with the calls.

http://www.blackjackpocket.com/duck_calls.html
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline callingthewild

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 12:47:10 PM »
Great Information FDR, a wonderful read in reeds, lol.thanks a lot, that is very helpful.

Offline FDR

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 05:14:23 PM »
Here are the internals of a Reelfoot call. The tone board is flat and the metal reed is curved. Tuning is a learned skill. The pictured reed is stainless steel.
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline callingthewild

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2012, 05:45:29 PM »
That is some nice looking work FDR, is the stainless steel used primarily
because of moisture?, and ,or does it also give it a different tone quality?
The curve in the metal, you say, gives it a different pitch, does the gauge thickness allow for this to hold its shape. And are you using something to give it the right,correct radius say to form it over, mold its shape per say.
Sure would love to hear on now, after reading that article.
Thanks FDR

Offline FDR

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2012, 07:35:00 PM »
The thickness of the reed determines how much air is required to blow the call. The thicker material is harder to get a sound from. Stainless is stiffer than brass so the stainless reed material is thinner. As a rule of thumb 0.005 stainless blows about like 0.006 half hard brass. Brass and moisture equal corrosion so I use stainless to eliminate the problem. Early call makers would have used it also if they had a source. My first Reelfoot call, purchased from Earl Denison, had such a thick reed that I could not blow it so we had to change the reed to something thinner.
The variables in tuning are the reed curvature and the reed length. Each Reelfoot call is hand tuned. No fixtures here. There is enough variation in each hand made insert that very subtle differences in the reed curvature are required to hit the correct sound.  You sometimes have to adjust all three variables to get the correct sound. The Arkansas style call makers work with a straight Mylar reed and adjust the tone board curvature to adjust the tone of their calls.
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline tolbndfishin

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2012, 09:55:14 PM »
I would imagine the nature of a wood reed like ur asking about even with maintenance might end up a fruitless endeavor.  To get the proper flex would likely require soaking in something to bond the grain better, cause wood thin enough to flex on it's own in a call prob wouldn't stay together in a field environment.  Clarinet style reeds don't flex the same as we ask a duck call red to flex, nor are they expected to handle cold and rain daily for 3-4 months out of the year.  If you could figure out the right wood that might have some kind of natural bonding so it would flex and still be hard enough to straighten back out like Mylar, the metal, or hard rubber reed materials, it would definitely interest a lot of us, I'm sure.  My memory being poor, what I remember requires a reed too thick to flex enough to make duck sounds, but already quite fragile.  Maybe if it was longer, but working out the angle, tonechannel dimensions, those I don't think could be as similar as some of our calls are. You might have to reinvent the wheel, which in this case, since it's something that you are iterested in, could be fun. I say grab a reed and start simple, with PVC pipe and see if you can wedge it and get it to flex.
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They will fly away laughing.....

Offline Crawdad

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2012, 10:47:37 PM »
I am a proud owner of one of FDR,s calls & I might add, they are beautiful.

Offline tolbndfishin

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2012, 10:48:14 PM »
And i didnt answer the other question.  No, i don't know of any wood reeds.  Im not a historian, but my uncle has all of his dad's old stuff, including a couple receipts for some hard rubber sheets from late 40s/early 50s.  Don't really know if it was ever used in the arkansas style (i imagine it was) but I do know it was widely used in the LA and Cajun style.  I got some mylar reeds cut a couple weeks ago and tried them, and i still dont like them as much as the hard rubber in the calls we make.  But it's all about the specific sound that Im used to coming out of them, so there's that  lol  Personal preference is what it is, and I am not being negative about mylar because it's bad. 

I always wanted to start fooling with metal reeds and the reelfoot style, but that was because i just wanted to learn how, not because i wanted to make them as "my" call.  I like learning new things. 

I say pick a goal, and start experimenting.  You'll always get good help from these guys on here, if they can, so ask away.  If you ever have a question about LA/cajun style toneboards, let me know, cause I'm always up for a conversation (im not an expert, but i've been playing with them a while and have a notebook full of info lmao)  :1eye:

Dan
They will be seen.
They will be called.
They will come in.
They will fly away laughing.....

Offline tolbndfishin

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2012, 10:49:05 PM »
Every pic I've ever seen of them i drool at, so i bet crawdad isnt fibbing at all  :yes:
They will be seen.
They will be called.
They will come in.
They will fly away laughing.....

Offline callingthewild

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Re: Reeds, Wood Reed Making?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 11:25:41 PM »
Say, you guy's are giving me some great information, and I'm really interested to learn more about the sound board structure, and how this all works, Shorter longer. does the width play a difference here?
I would be interested in playing around with wood reeds, only to see if any thing might work, as in part of the article that the native Americans used.
As I said, I've been an Acoustic guitar player,and built soundboards, so I'm always intrigued in playing with wood tones.
I know what you guy's are saying with the cold elements of Duck season, as I warm up the truck anytime before I take my guitar somewhere to play, so that it is not in the cold for any time frame.
Well because I'm a beginner in calls,turning, I want to get really good at it. but i will start playing around with different things, and In the mean time, I'll start looking at marsh woods/reeds, knowing the trick her will be like soaking the reeds and not letting them dry out. Well again you guy's have given me a lot to look at, Thanks