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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since it seems a lot of folks don't know what these are (understandable) I thought I would do a couple of how to posts to show most of what it takes to make one. This post is a bit pic heavy but it helps to show what I am doing.

Here we go. First take a blank in this case 4"x4"x1" since I am making a call with a 3 1/2" playing surface and mark your center. I also mark 4 sound holes 1 1/8" from the center on these lines. The size and placement of the holes is really up to you but here is what I did here.



I drilled the center hole out to 3/4" to fit on my chuck. Then got it on the lathe with the marked side toward the headstock.



Once you do this simply turn the corners off to get things round. Then make a mark to cut the blank down to the 3/4" thickness of the finished piece and cut this portion away.



Once you do this you need to make a recess for the playing surface. Carefully working from the center to the edge make the recess to fit the playing surface. I do mark a line to help me but use the playing surface to check as I go to get a close fit.





Now you need to cut the inside down to 1/2" deep leaving a small rim at the edge and a pedestal for the sound board at the center. Do not cut the pedestal down yet that is the next step and one of the most critical.



Slowly begin to turn down the pedestal using the sound board for reference. I put mine about 1/32" below the rim where the playing surface sits. Go too deep and it goes flat get too close and it goes too high. This is very important so take your time.



Now you are ready to take the call off, go back to the drill press to drill the final sound holes. Drill from the outside to the inside so you don't have to worry about the tear out. Then reverse the call and place it back on the chuck so you can finish the sides and bottom.



I leave the sides a little thick so I can true them up and thin them down to the final thickness. I usually do this step with my skew chisel. The outside can be as simple or as fancy as you like. This one just has the edge rounded over and then sanded to 400 grit.



If you followed the steps this is how the interior of your call should look.



If you use a fancier wood even this simple shape can be beautiful as this piece of spalted buckeye shows.



In the next post I will go over finishing, assembly and tuning. Hope this helps show how much call makers go through to produce what looks like a very simply turning.
 

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Hay Ghost don't feel bad I feel the same way especially when you put a great deal of time taking photos etc. I make these calls as well, but mine are the 9 hole version. I got my tutorial from Custom calls online forum years ago. It is good to see how someone else makes theirs. If I get some time I will post my sequence, but right now I am making gun and fishing rod rack for an upcoming gun show. If you would like PM me I can send you the tutorial. We had a fixture demo last night at the turning club and a numbers of members brought their different fixture so I demo'd mine for turkey calls. There was one member a few years ago on this forum who made them as well, now he has a business, making these calls. I think he said he even sold or gave one to the governor of his state. He also made duck calls and was in the process of making his own inserts.

I forgot to mention nice looking call.

Also my favorite call is made with a ceramic surface. I am a little biased because I worked with glass for over 20 years and the ceramic surface really does not require resurfacing. I guess I am just rambling!!
 

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Thanks glad you liked it but since no one bothered posting any comments I didn't see the need to waste my time to be honest. I am happy to help but it seems that it doesn't really interest the folks here.
I would really be interested in learning the last steps to making this. I would love to make one myself.
 

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Im also interested in part 2. I didnt post because I always blast you with questions in all your threads. I figured I would give you a break.

I have enough parts sitting here to make 3 calls just havnt read enough yet to give it a go.
 

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Hey Ghost, how we coming on part 2? Im just about ready to spin a couple calls and I have some questions about finishing that Im hoping part 2 may cover.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Ghost, how we coming on part 2? Im just about ready to spin a couple calls and I have some questions about finishing that Im hoping part 2 may cover.:thumbsup:
Sorry guys I got sidetracked turning other stuff. I just got parts in today and I will turn a pot or two and finish up the thread. Thanks everyone for reading and the interest.

One tip for new call makers, stick with a 3" playing surface and a 2 1/2" soundboard, you will be much happier with the results.
 

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One tip for new call makers, stick with a 3" playing surface and a 2 1/2" soundboard, you will be much happier with the results.
Too late, I purchased 3 1/2" playing surfaces and 3" sound boards.:thumbsup:
 
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