Author Topic: Recreating the Glodo Type Reelfoot Call Barrel  (Read 5824 times)

Offline FDR

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Recreating the Glodo Type Reelfoot Call Barrel
« on: February 23, 2013, 08:47:21 PM »

One of the early pioneers in developing the Reelfoot style duck call was Victor Glodo. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, Victor along with his brothers, John and Albert Glodo, were farmers in the Fountain Bluff, Jackson county area of Southern Illinois. They farmed but supplemented their income by hunting. I have also read references that claim Glodo was a blacksmith and/or a carpenter. A typical farmer of the period would almost certainly have developed all of these skills.
Victor made his first duck calls by hand. Glodo's duck call consisted of a barrel and a butt piece (insert) with a wedge to hold the tongue (reed) in place. Glodo’s calls used a flat tone board insert with a curved metal reed. The reed was a section of a 10 (ten) gauge shotgun shell. The shotgun shells used during this period were made of solid brass. Victor cut and tapered (filed) the metal to get the flexibility that was needed for making notes on his new instrument. Glodo also added checkering to the barrel of his calls. He was perhaps the first to do so. As better tools became available Victor turned and bored his calls and continued perfecting his call design. A two diameter tone chamber was one of the original ideas he pursued. Today, we refer to  this barrel design has having been “glodoed”.
During 2012 I had an opportunity to study an antique call from the early 1900’s that had a Glodo type barrel. The wedge and reed were missing from the call but the original insert remained with the barrel. The insert was of an early Glodo form made of maple or birch and the barrel was walnut.  The workmanship of the barrel and insert were top quality indicating that the maker was an experienced call maker from the period.
To create a Glodo type barrel is an interesting exercise in call making. The call I examined was built around a 5 inch long walnut barrel with a straight ¾ inch bore. The center section of the barrel had been relieved to create a section of approximately 7/8 inch bore for 2-3 inches in length. I was unable to determine, exactly, how the relieved section was originally created but the cut was extremely clean indicating to me it was drilled instead of being bored on the lathe. If the barrel was counter drilled to 7/8 inch a bore reducing insert would have been glued into the barrel to reduce the 7/8 inch section back down to ¾ inch. Because of the age of the call (dirt, grime and aged finish) I was unable to determine if the bore reducing insert was present.
I decided to recreate a Glodo type call barrel as a study in call construction and to also determine if a Glodo style barrel adds anything to the performance of a Reelfoot style call. 
Actually, there are two types of Glodoed call barrels.  The half Glodo is created when the call bore is expanded once and not again reduced. There are two ways to create this type of barrel. One is to simply counter bore part of the barrel to a larger diameter and then make your  call  insert to fit the larger diameter bore.  The second method is to modify the call mouthpiece to present a smaller bore to blow into and then counter drill the remainder of the barrel to a normal internal diameter (3/4 inch nominal).
 Here is an example of the modified mouthpiece:

The variable in this type of modification to the mouthpiece is the diameter of the input hole. The smaller the input hole the less air that can pass through to the reed and the quieter the call will sound. When the diameter of the drilled hole in the mouthpiece approximately equals the diameter of the throat of the call insert the call will reach full volume.  Could this be the earliest form of a “timber” call?
The full Glodo starts with a nominal bore (3/4 inch), contains a section of expanded bore (7/8 inch) and then again returns to nominal bore (3/4 inch) just as the wedge area of the insert is reached (last approximately one inch of the bore). When the call is assembled this configuration leaves the reed and insert/tone channel surrounded by the 7/8 cavity.
To create the full Glodo call barrel, I began by turning a 5 inch long conventional Reelfoot call barrel with a ¾ inch nominal bore from a wood laminated material. I used a ¾ inch expanding mandrel to hold the call barrel at the mouthpiece end while I counter drilled approximately 4 inches of the call barrel to a 7/8 inch diameter. At this point if I had created a 7/8 inch call insert I could have made a call with a half Glodo barrel. To create the full Glodo barrel I again counter drilled the first one inch of the barrel, to a one inch diameter, to accommodate a glued in insert to again reduce the barrel bore to ¾ inch.
The call barrel is pictured with the bore reducing insert glued in place:


The bore reducing insert turned flush with the end of the barrel:

At this point the barrel contains a one inch section at the mouthpiece of ¾ inch bore, next is the expanded section of 7/8 inch bore approximately 3 inches long and finally a one inch section with a ¾ inch bore that will be reamed (tapered) to accept the call insert with a wedge and reed installed.

Once the call insert is installed the finished call looks very much like any other Reelfoot type call.

 The finished Glodo style call performed about like any other Reelfoot call. Using a common insert I was able to evaluate the glodoed barrel against the half Glodo design and a straight through ¾ bore. What I discovered was that each barrel design performed about the same in this one example. The call to call variations from a group of Reelfoot calls were greater than the variations noted by using a common insert in all barrel types. Now I understand why Tom Turpin and Johnny Marsh adopted the “bored straight through” barrel design that a majority of their calls exhibit. The materials chosen for the call insert; the configuration of the tone channel (length, depth, taper and diameter) and the material, length and shape of the reed seem to be the driving factors in the successful construction of a Reelfoot call.
I am aware that the bores of early Reelfoot call barrels vary widely. I have examined Reelfoot style calls with 5/8 bores and 7/8 inch bores in addition to the more standard ¾ inch bore. The Glodoed call barrel just did not offer significant advantages over the straight bore used in Reelfoot call designs.
Fred Roe
Reelfoot, the original duck call. What's on your lanyard?

Offline Robert A.

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Re: Recreating the Glodo Type Reelfoot Call Barrel
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 08:32:29 PM »
Now that is pretty cool!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!
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