Author Topic: New to Inserts - Reed Sticking - Please Help!  (Read 1293 times)

Offline Michael @ RK Custom Calls

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New to Inserts - Reed Sticking - Please Help!
« on: July 14, 2017, 10:42:58 AM »

I have read through many threads and I think I've pieced together some ideas to try, but I thought I'd start a different thread as my problem is slightly different than what I was reading about.

As the title suggests, I have started messing with inserts using a PJ1 from Wade at Webfoot.  I'm using 1" poplar to minimize the cost of learning.

I turned and cut an insert last night that looks good to the eye.  However, when I stuck a reed in it, I get very little sound.  With minimal air pressure, I get a slight "quack".  I use " " because it isn't a great sounding quack, but it's sound nonetheless.  However, if I try to give it any kind of real air, say the amount that you would normally use to produce a standard quack, it locks up.

From my reading, it sounds like this could be:

1.  Too short of a tone channel in relation to the toneboard overall.  This is fixed by taking a dremel and extending the tone channel 1/32" at a time.

2.  Incorrect slope of my toneboard - likely too flat.  I will address by lightly filing down the toneboard, testing as I go.

3.  I could try filing a little bit in the cork notch to allow the reed to be held off the toneboard slightly.  I'm not sure I understand this 100%.  Tell me if I'm wrong here - if you're looking at your insert from the side, toneboard up, I would need to file down the bottom of the cork notch, or essentially the end of the toneboard that is in the cork notch?

I have made sure the reed is placed with the bend out (bottom of the "U" on the toneboard), so I know it's a little more complicated than that!

Am I on the right track?  I will likely make several more inserts exactly the same and then change one of the above items on each insert so I can control which element is changing.

I will try to post pics when I get home tonight, as I know it's impossible to do much more than close your eyes and throw darts at a board with the explanation I've given.

Thanks in advance!


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Offline James Strickland

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Re: New to Inserts - Reed Sticking - Please Help!
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 04:46:05 PM »
Michael, it sounds like you're on the right track based on what you've described.  Pictures will surely help folks diagnose what could be the issue.  But, in the end, you're approach of things to try will give you some great knowledge into the workings of a duck call.  Take lots of notes.  Length of the reed can also affect a call locking up.  So, you may want to add that to your list.

Offline ben

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Re: New to Inserts - Reed Sticking - Please Help!
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 10:25:40 AM »
X2 per James.

I would add a couple of thoughts. I am not familiar with the pj1 and do not know if it is a flat tone board or if it is an up slope which would make a difference in what you are doing. At any rate the public jig should give you a pretty good sound if board is cut to the jig and the 1/4 in. hole is cut to the correct depth to fit the curve or slope on the jig.

With that said I would first be sure the board is filed exactly to the jig. If so the length or depth of the hole is not drilled deep enough to get the correct mate to the slope on the jig. If blowing real easy it works that would be my first thing to do is to extend the hole. When doing this that means the length of the reed will change also so a new reed. For trial and error if you get it too long just use some wood filler and  start over.

As far as filing in the cork notch filing at the back of the notch will raise the reed but too much there will cause the reed to not sit flat the length of the tone board.

Hope this helps. Good to post some pictures of the board on the side with a reed installed, and see where the hole ends on the slope with the reed installed.


Offline Wade@WEBFoot

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Re: New to Inserts - Reed Sticking - Please Help!
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 10:07:20 PM »
Cork fit can also cause issues...  too tight or too loose and things can get wonky in a hurry as you are inducing flex into the reed or not holding it solidly.

But I would agree - if you are filing to the jig, that the first place to play would be the tone channel depth and cork fit.

Be sure to fire up the note book...  youre going to want to track what you do, and what it causes.

Personally, I would suggest getting some acetal (generic delrin) or acrylic for tinkering.  Ive never cared much for soft woods, and dont know exactly where poplar sits... but guessing its fairly soft.  The down side of acrylic is its lots oversize... usually 5/8 acrylic is in the .650 range... where 5/8 acetal is usually more like .628-.630 - which you can handle fairly easily with sand paper.  I use the heck out of acetal and acrylic when Im designing a new sound board...  With a metal lathe its a quick trim...  with out, a bit of sanding while holding it in a chuck, add an oring groove and tone channel and go.  I usually end up making 30-50 of them when Im going to start a new board design... then they are all ready to go, and the ones I dont use go in a drawer to come out the next time :D

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Offline Scott Ward

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Re: New to Inserts - Reed Sticking - Please Help!
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 01:27:43 AM »
The only reason it locks up is the reed is long enough that it completely goes down and covers the tone board for the duration the air pressure is applied.  Trim it, and it won't lock up.  It may not sound good, but it won't lock up