Turning strikers

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Turning strikers

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » August 24th, 2013, 8:02 pm

When turning strikers for calls, I've noticed that most call builders keep the same size, shape, design, to all their strikers. Here is an example of different woods and their weights, all of these blocks are cut to the exact same size, as you can see there is a diffrents in their weights. A striker is your tuning fork for your pot call, it's what gives a call it's sound, volume, and tone. If all your strikers are exactly the same then only a few of them sound decent, some just rock, some have a softer dead sound, and some are real high pitched, that all comes from the weight of the striker, and form the wood it's made of. If your strikers are all the same then the differnt woods really aren't doing their jobs, a little bit, but your not getting the full effect of the woods sound. Most production calls are sold with a 2 piece striker, yes it's cheaper, but more importantly it a lot easier to control the weight of the striker, then the only difference is the weight of the peg, but it keeps the strikers all very close to the same weight. These blocks will show you how much difference there is. Lets say you tunered a striker out of Walnut (.04) and Purpleheart (.07), your walnut striker would have to be almost twice the diameter size of the purpleheart striker in order for it to play/sound right. If your strikers are balanced and weight adjusted they will play great on any given call, no matter what the calls surface is.
These 4 strikers are all very close to the same weight (with in a gram or two), but as you can see there is quite a bit of difference in the size/diameter of the weighted end of the strikers. They are dymondwood, yellowheart, bloodwood, laminated birch.
The blocks are,,Walnut, Shedua, Maple, Canary, Rosewood, Padauk, Yellowheart, Hickory, Granadillo, Bocote, Purpleheart.
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Last edited by WillowRidgeCalls on August 27th, 2013, 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Steve_In
 
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby Steve_In » August 25th, 2013, 1:59 pm

Are you saying the final weight of the striker is what determines how it will play? That just sounds too simple to me. It would seem to me that as the wood gets less dense a smaller diameter would work better as the additional wood would dampen vibration. On your displayed strikers the shaft length seems to be close to the same while the diameter varies. The weighted ends all vary in length and diameter. I need to get out my powder scale and do some weighing to compare the sounds produced by my strikers. I always felt the more experienced call makers just knew through experience what a good striker should look and feel like. I figured they played and tuned them right at the lathe to work on whatever surface they needed it to play on.
Scott I am not arguing these are just my observations. Keep these post coming as this old dog is always willing to learn a few new tricks. :D
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby kygobbler » August 25th, 2013, 3:52 pm

Ok Scott, you're going to have to explain a little more because Im like Steve I would think there would be more to it. I have only had about 3 or 4 custom strikers so most of my experience is with manufactured strikers. I have had some that sounded good but majority have not. I would think there is more to it than just the weight. The first thing that popped in my mind was the old trick of taking a lighter to a striker to change the sound. Something else that comes to mind is, if you have a striker that has 4" shaft and one that has a 1" shaft but have the same weight then they should play the same? I might be throwing a big curve ball on that one but that is how Im understanding it.
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » August 26th, 2013, 1:31 am

Both of you guys are very close to understaning the point I'm pushing for. Your headed down the right track but you only have 3 of your four wheels on the track :) . Yes the weight of the striker is what makes a call sound good and play easy, you have to have a striker that is balanced between the weighed end and the peg end. Lets say you have two strikers as you can see in the pic, a walnut top/purpleheart peg on one and a turned purpleheart striker. In order for those two strikers to play and sound the same on any given surface, the weight of those two has to be the same. These both have 4", 5/16 diameter pegs, but as you can see there is a huge difference in the diameter of the weighted ends, because the purpleheart wood weighs almost twice as much as the walnut. They both play and sound exactly the same on any call because the weight of these two are exactly the same. It's the same with two piece strikers, you may have a walnut/hickory striker, and a birch/hickory, one may sound great and the other doesn't, it's because of the weight difference between the walnut and the birch even though your playing a hickory peg in both strikers, the weighted end is different and that's what causes that striker to play good or crummy. It goes back to which weighs more a pound of lead or a pound of feathers? They both weigh the same, but the pile is different
Yes Bryan, if you had a 4" hickory peg and a walnut top, and a 1" hickory peg and a walnut top, as long as they weighed the same they would play the same, but you'd get a difference in sound, because on the 4" hickory peg you be holding the peg, but on the 1" peg you'd be holding the walnut top. It's the same as to how you hold your striker, if your holding it in the center of the peg you get a different sound than you would if you where hold close to the tip, because you thowing the balance off and changing the weighted end that striker.
That's why if a call maker is turning strikers, if they turn all their strikers exactly the same, some will sound good and the other just so so, because of the weight difference between the woods, so you'd need to adjust that to make it play as good. That's a real problem with a fancy turned striker styles, you'd need a cad system on your computer to make the adjustments to your striker style
to give you the diamentions of the different woods you were tuning.
Yes Steve, more mass does deaden the sound of a striker, but if you had a 5/16 diameter shaft, your end weight would have to be the same no matter if you used ebony or balsa wood.
Just like if I turned that purpleheart striker to the same size and shape of that walnut striker, so they both looked exactly the same. That purpleheart striker would sound like crap because it would weigh twice as much as the walnut/purpleheart striker does.
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby kygobbler » August 26th, 2013, 8:22 am

If your making a one piece striker then how do you know if the both ends are weighed the same?
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » August 26th, 2013, 10:44 am

There really isn't any way of knowing that, unless you'd cut your striker in half, but the total weight is the same. Even if the two strikers are made of the same wood, out of the same board, there would be a little difference in their weights because of the different dencities between each pieces of wood, but the total weight is very close. Lets say you have a favorite striker that is your first choice striker that you reach for every time you hit the woods, and you wanted another striker just like it but made of a different wood, if you had that striker turned to the same size and dementions of your favorite striker, it wouldn't play the same or sound anything close to what your favorite one would. Yes you'd get a different sound out of it because of the different woods, but it may be real high pitched or a flat sounding striker because of the different weight of the woods. You only get the different sounds out of the different woods if the strikers both weighed the same. The weight of it makes all the difference in the sound and how well a striker plays. Like you said, you only have a few turned strikers, but you have more manufactured strikers (two piece), you said some play good and some don't, if you weighed a good sounding striker and a bad sounding striker there is probably a difference in their weights, that difference is what makes that striker sound good/bad. Take WoodHavens strikers for instance, they sell a two piece striker with their calls, but they also sell turned strikers. There is quite a difference in size between the two, because the turned striker has to be about the same weight in order for it to play on any given call surface. That's why they only make them out of a couple different woods, because those woods weigh about the same. If they used a bunch of different woods they would have to change the diameters of each striker to each woods weight, time is money in production, the more time spent to change the more it cost.
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby Dixie Belle » August 26th, 2013, 11:03 am

Hi guys,
What Scott is describing in scientific terms is vibrational inertia. Think of the counter weight of the striker like a load you are trying to move. Which would be easier for you to push an empty Volkswagon or a Volkswagon full of lead? That's what is happening with the striker when it tries to vibrate. A very heavy counterweight is harder to move and has a tendency to want to vibrate slower, a lighter one is easier to move and wants to vibrate differently. All this changes the vibrational frequency of the system, so you have to use different diameters and/or lengths on the counterweight to compensate for different densities in woods. Even then you still wind up with a few rejects and have to start over with a new striker. Hope my input didn't cause the water to be muddier.
Ted
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » August 26th, 2013, 12:10 pm

Ted is exactly correct. That's why the weight in every call you make determins how that call will play/sound. No matter what type of call it is, pot calls, box calls, push pin calls, scratch box calls any friction type call. A friction call has everything to do with weight. Take box calls for instance, some combos sound better than others and play easier. What makes that is the weight of the paddles in balance to how your box is made. Some builders don't like certain woods, but a dang good builder pays attention to what a woods weight is, that is why they can make a call out of any given wood combos and it will play great. Lets say you have two butternut boxes and you put a purpleheart and cherry lids on them. You'll like the sound of one better than the other, because the weight of that lid balances with how you made that box, if you like the purpleheart/butternut sound better than the cherry/butternut, that's because the cherry is a lot lighter wood, so the lid would have to be thicker to get the weight to balance the call out and play the same.
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kygobbler
 
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby kygobbler » August 26th, 2013, 7:13 pm

Great info guys. I have never really thought about the weight of a striker. I thought it dealt more to the density as in soft wood compared to hard wood. I also just figured some woods play better than others. So if your making a striker what is the ideal weight that you would want it? I know each wood weighs different so I'm just going to make up some numbers for example. Do you want them to weigh between 10-15 grams.
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Re: Turning strikers

Postby bcknuts » August 27th, 2013, 5:07 am

That was a very interesting thread.Great job explaining Scott learned a lot thank you.


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