Author Topic: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses  (Read 6736 times)

Offline Henry H

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 950
  • Location: SE North Carolina
    • HH Reelfoot Call Journal
Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« on: March 29, 2013, 10:25:45 PM »
After finding and blowing on my first antique reelfoot call, I have become very interested in making them.  The tutorials posted here are fantastic - thanks!  Are there sources for reeda, or do you all make your own?  Assuming the latter, can you offer me aome guidance on materials and sources, and also how I might go about having a die/press made without spending a fortune?

Offline J.Rode

  • Custom Call Maker
  • ****
  • Posts: 1200
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Ashland, MO
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 11:30:28 PM »
I do not have a reed press, therefore I cut and file my own.  I use .005 stainless steel shim stock for my reed material.  You can buy it in sheets and they are fairly inexpensive.  The last stuff I bought from Lyon Industries.  You can search SS shim stock and you will find the several people sell it.  You can also use phosphors bronze shim stock as well.  I have no advice on a press since I dont have one and not really in the market for one, but FDR might have some insight, I believe he has one. 

Good luck,
Jason

Offline dogcatcher

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 3950
  • Location: West Texas, New Mexico or on the road
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 12:45:27 AM »
For metal reeds I found some jeweler's tin snips at Otto Frei that were made in Germany.  Started with the cheap ones, $15, went with the straight blades and then went to the high dollar $23 ones with the curved blades.  They work better than anything else I have tried.  http://www.ottofrei.com/search.php?mode=search&page=1

Marvin
Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
Old style calls for today's outdoorsman
"Call and they will come."
Helping those that are helping themselves.

Offline Braz

  • THO Game Calls Asst Forum Manager
  • Administrator
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 8068
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Yuba City, Natzifornia
    • Calls by Braz
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 03:17:14 AM »
Marvin, I was never able to find the tin snips at th elink you provided.
Braz
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.. But I repeat myself."--Mark Twain

“Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic.”

Offline Henry H

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 950
  • Location: SE North Carolina
    • HH Reelfoot Call Journal
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 09:33:48 AM »
Thanks, guys.  Do you find repeatability of reeds difficult, or not much if an issue?  Do you use a basic flat jig for your insert, have a reelfoot specific one, or do youuse a homemade jig or solution.

Braz, I think the snips he bought are these part numbers:  153.800 and 153.802

Marvin, why the preference for the rounded?  Cleaner cuts, ease of use?

Offline dogcatcher

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 3950
  • Location: West Texas, New Mexico or on the road
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 04:07:02 PM »
Thanks, guys.  Do you find repeatability of reeds difficult, or not much if an issue?  Do you use a basic flat jig for your insert, have a reelfoot specific one, or do youuse a homemade jig or solution.

Braz, I think the snips he bought are these part numbers:  153.800 and 153.802

Marvin, why the preference for the rounded?  Cleaner cuts, ease of use?

Those are the right numbers, one cuts curves better than the other.   Research aircraft tin snips, the good companies make 3 versions of them, one for right hand curve cuts, one for left hand curve cuts and one tin snip for straight cuts.  I bought these based on the recommendation of a jewelry that said they were what I needed.  I have only used them a couple of times, but they seem to work better than anything else I have tried.

Marvin
Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
Old style calls for today's outdoorsman
"Call and they will come."
Helping those that are helping themselves.

Offline FDR

  • Global Mentor & Moderator
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 07:00:31 PM »
I get my primary reed material from ENCO and buy it by the roll. I use 0.005" stainless shim stock and sometimes  use 0.006 phosper bronze shim stock (not from ENCO) when I can find it.

To make a consistant call you need a reed punch.  The reed length dictates the optimal length of the tone channel. If you only want to make a few calls then just use your antique call (reed and tone board design) as a pattern and hand cut the reeds. If you want to use my tutorial as a starting point you will need my reed design or something close.  I will be glad to send you a few blank reeds to get you started.  PM me.

If you want to buy a reed punch for my or your design contact:

Jim Bugg
1609 Roosevelt St.
Henderson, KY 42420
1-270-860-2273

Jim makes a wonderful Reelfoot reed punch, not cheap but of high quality and works great.

Fred
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 03:19:33 PM by FDR »
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline Henry H

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 950
  • Location: SE North Carolina
    • HH Reelfoot Call Journal
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 08:13:52 PM »
Thanks, Fred!  I sent you a PM, and will try to contact Jim this week.

Offline Henry H

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 950
  • Location: SE North Carolina
    • HH Reelfoot Call Journal
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 09:09:43 PM »

Here's a pic of my "new" old reelfoot, along with what's left of the insert I turned today.  As you can see, I learned my first lesson... too much CA when I glued to stopper and waste piece back to the soundboard before final turning, so I destroyed the insert when trying to separate the pieces. :stickman1:  Oh well, this is how we learn, isn't it!?!  I was having a load of fun until that realization!  Tomorrow's another day.

Offline FDR

  • Global Mentor & Moderator
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2013, 02:37:43 PM »
That original call looks like an Earl Dennison.  If so that will be a good one to learn from as the measurements fall near the mean values in my study group of antique calls.  I am not an expert at cutting then re-glueing the insert. Maybe some of the other Reelfoot makers on the forum can share their technique and glue choice.  I do like the fact that whenyou use this type construction your wedge grain pattern matches the remainder of the insert.

Fred
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline Henry H

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 950
  • Location: SE North Carolina
    • HH Reelfoot Call Journal
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 06:28:12 PM »
I'm fairly certain it is an early Johnny Marsh, but either way will provide a great sample to learn from.


Have you found any good resources from Turpin or Dennison or Glodo on making and tuning calls?  I've been doing some research, but shooting blanks so far.

Offline FDR

  • Global Mentor & Moderator
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 1256
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 06:58:37 PM »
This 1988 book by Harlan has considerable information about Turpin including a reprint of a 193? article by Turpin that was published in Field and Stream. The article contains a detailed description of tuning the call.  There is also information on the Dennisons.

http://www.howardharlan.com/?product=duck-calls-an-enduring-american-folk-arts

There is also a new book by the same author that claims to have additional information about several call makers but I have not ordered a copy yet so I cannot comment on the contents. Other than that there is very little written on the details on building and tuning a Reelfoot call. Tuning is a learned skill that comes from practice.
Johnny Marsh and Turpin's call making career overlapped a bit. Whether they knew each other I do not know/remember.  Turpin was from Memphis and Marsh was from Nashville and both hunted at Reelfoot.
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline J.Rode

  • Custom Call Maker
  • ****
  • Posts: 1200
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Ashland, MO
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2013, 09:29:47 PM »
On the glue, I have found that a few (5-8)drops of ca works for dense hard woods and wood glue with  newspaper works for softer (cedar) woods.  The newspaper will also work for the harder wood but i found it to be an extra step.

Jason

Offline Henry H

  • Tutorial Contributor
  • Custom Call Maker
  • *
  • Posts: 950
  • Location: SE North Carolina
    • HH Reelfoot Call Journal
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2013, 10:07:35 PM »
Thanks, Jason.  What thickness CA?  I used medium, just because it was close at hand from a prior finishing job on a Ark call.  Would thin be better?  I may go with the newspaper as a precaution.

Offline J.Rode

  • Custom Call Maker
  • ****
  • Posts: 1200
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Ashland, MO
Re: Reelfoot reeds/reed presses
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 10:43:36 PM »
I use just a medium.  The only thing with the newspaper is that you have to make sure to get all of it off after you split them apart.

Jason