Making a Box Call

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Sooner44
 
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Making a Box Call

Postby Sooner44 » April 28th, 2008, 9:17 pm

Does anyone make their own box call ? I made one today out of oak, sounds okay, but seems like a need a softer slide / handle. What do you guy's that make your box call use for the slide ??
 
Thanks
 
Sooner

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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby Fan Club » April 29th, 2008, 4:41 am

I don't make my own box calls but I have a fairly extensive collection. I also tune and tweak my own calls and have a pretty good ear as I'm a professional musician as well.

To your point, a call lid made of oak is unusual. I would think the wood is too dense, the grain is too tight, or both. In fact the only all oak box call I have ever seen was fashioned by Amish craftsmen and they prefer to use oak for almost everything. Unfortunately, it was on E-Bay and I didn't get to hear it.

Most of the call lids I have are made of softer wood such as cherry, cedar, sassafrass or butternut. All of these woods are commonly used for box construction as well. Leaning toward denser wood, black walnut and mahogany are commonly used to construct entire boxes (lids and boxes.) To my ear, my best sounding boxes have cedar or cherry paddles and walnut box rails. My field research indicates that the turkeys agree.

I play guitar and spruce or cedar comprise about 99% of all acoustic guitar tops owing to their inherant resonant qualities. This should give you a place to start.

JB
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

swpatrkyhunter
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby swpatrkyhunter » April 29th, 2008, 12:47 pm

Ceder will work good for you. Also try coating the underside of your lid with Penn woods call water proofing. That will make a little differance too. Good luck.

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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby Fan Club » April 29th, 2008, 12:58 pm

Also try coating the underside of your lid with Penn woods call water proofing. That will make a little difference too.

 
Funny you should mention that, Frank. I just picked up the Penn's Woods waterproofing kit today. Out of over a dozen boxes, about half are collectibles and won't ever see the woods. Out of the hunting boxes, none were waterproof. I'm going to start on an inexpensive call, my little Quaker Boy "Butternut Junior." I leave for Missouri on May 1 st.
 
Sooner, the waterproofing kit is a great idea to add friction and make your oak call huntable until you can try another paddle.
 
Jeff
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

Sooner44
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby Sooner44 » April 29th, 2008, 5:29 pm

Thanks for the advice !!
 
I scrapped the oak call today, shelved it as prototype #1 [:@]
 
I made another call tonight out of Poplar, it sound much better. I think this call will hunt. I have experimented with wall thickness, angle of the rails and depth of the hollow interior. All affect the frequency and sound quality.
 
I'll mill a cedar call in the next few days and see how that sounds. I have heard of butternut wood, but don't have a source for that particular wood. Don't guess Lowes or Home Depot would carry it ?
 
Again, thanks !!!
 
Sooner

TheRev
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby TheRev » August 26th, 2008, 4:10 pm

I've only made about a dozen or so box calls. Having said that, I've noticed a few things...As with all aspects of the call, what is important is the straightness of the grain, and the density of the grain...for me, not to dense...I've liked to use mahogany for the lid. Oak and Ash are fine for the box. Still, one of the nicest sounding ones I made has a Spanish Cedar lid. I've also used Exotics. Midwest Turkey Supply can provide 'pre-thicknessed' wood (even in exotics) if you don't have the tools to properly thickness the wood.

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hoosierhunter
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby hoosierhunter » August 28th, 2008, 12:29 pm

I've been absent from the forum for a few days as I've been doing seminars and events for Mossy Oak and Hoosier HunterCustom Calls. I've been a master call maker for some time now, and making custom single piece box calls for quite a few years, so I'll give you my insight into the boxcall questions you have raised.
     Oak can be a quite good box call, and mainly because of the density. Diferent wood species require different thicknesses of the sound rails, because of the density and grain. When I build a box call I work within thousandths of an inch, not fractions of an inch. As a rule the straight to quartering grain woods work very well and the softer the hardwood the easier to get a yelp. The paddle must be as dense as the box or denser for proper sound and tone, take for example, Mohagany box w/ Purple Heart paddle or Poplar box w/ Walnut paddle. A quartering grain will generally enable two different yelp tones, but this may be attained in other ways also. In my opinion a cedar box should never have anything but a cedar paddle, just because it would be ugly. A cedar paddle should have no white wood in it, because it adversley affects the tone and pitch.
    As far as wet box call paint, well,I would suggest you learn to blow a mouth call that will get the job done cause I've never heard a good box call with the stuff on it. The first requirement of a box call that I craft is to yelp, cut, and purr without chalk! If it don't, it don't get any further work.
   
                                             Good Luck, God Bless, and Stay Safe!
                                                             L.K.Leslie

stormshooter4
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby stormshooter4 » October 16th, 2008, 5:16 am

Has anybody built a box call out of silver maple? Does the sound compare to others?
  A few weeks ago I took down a big one and thought of using some of the wood and try making a  call. The core and pattern is neat and I thought that would look good at least.

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mark hay
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby mark hay » October 16th, 2008, 12:56 pm

i have thought about it  but i guess i just don't have the patience. but to comment on an earlier reply[from back in april] i have one of those Amish made oak boxes. it'll make some fine high pitched yelps, cutts , cackles , purr and clucks ,,,if you keep it in the house where it stays dry . i've only taken it to the woods a couple times . it seems to draw moisture rapidly and lose its capabilities of telling a good lie to an unsuspecting tom. but it's a pretty thing . nice for showing off with ,,,in the house of coarse. good luck with your endeavors .  ''oldschoolturkeytactics''

stormshooter4
 
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RE: Making a Box Call

Postby stormshooter4 » October 16th, 2008, 11:57 pm

Morning Mark,
  Thanks for responding. Think I'll try my hand at it and only make it decorative vs functional. That way I can use it as a pattern vs ruining good wood. It can always be tossed in the woodstove if it doesn't turn out.[:)]
  At least I'll have fun and it'll keep me busy when I'm not out in the woods.

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