EPS foam decoys...thoughts

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EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby bass_slinger74 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:19 pm

Hello,

Let me start by saying this is not spam or a solicitation for anyone to buy anything. I am just trying to get an idea of the level of interest in EPS foam decoys. I am working on a proposal to do foam decoys similar to the old Herters decoys and want to make sure I am not shooting myself in the foot.

Please give me your thoughts on the interest level as well as what your thoughts would be for a selling price per dozen. These would be unpainted but would be complete meaning weighted keel body(black EPS), head and attachment eye bolt. There would be 2 sizes of puddlers and 2 sizes of divers available if this were to fly.....no pun intended.

Thanks for looking and I look forward to your feedback.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:47 pm

You are going to go broke. I make EPS bodies for my decoys. There is no way to sell them at a profit unless you make a huge capital investment and have multiple molds in one form with blown steam to expand the foam. If you want a hobby business that will kinda pay for itself you have a winner. If you want to make a living or get rich. Look somewhere else.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby Slack Tide » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:25 am

I've seen some really crappy brant on eBay from time to time. Very light and not durable.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby bass_slinger74 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:57 am

Actually, this isn't a personal venture and it would be a mass production set up. These decoys would be very similar to the 63s and 72s and would be durable. Unfortunately I cannot go into great detail at this point. I am a waterfowler myself and I wouldn't be chasing this if I thought it would be a "crappy" product.

Continued input is appreciated.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby Slack Tide » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 am

I was always surprised at how durable those decoys were. It was weird...somehow my foam cooler couldn't get through the weekend, but those damn things are 25 years old and they only really dent...if anything.
I do remember the keels rusting and then expanding and ultimately becoming the death of them.
If there's a way you could avoid that it would be an improvement.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby hankyorke » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:56 am

While I would have no use for them, there is a market.

Don't lose sight of supply and demand. Currently there is no mass producer of EPS foam bodies, so demand, and price, is high. Once supply is increased, logic says demand will decrease.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby bass_slinger74 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:26 am

You are correct about the keels, they were typically made of steel and is prone to rusting. I was toying with the thought of a hard plastic keel insert and although that would reduce the overall weight, I am not sure if it would be heavy enough to right a decoy from on it's side. Aluminum was another thought but can be more expensive than steel.

Supply and demand is definitely in my thought process. Not looking to rob the market until the demand goes away but to bring back a good product at a reasonable price. By offering them unpainted folks could suit them to their hunting situations and allow the selling price to be reasonable enough that for the longevity of the product, it is a good value. I realize the hollow body deeks may be less expensive typically but I believe those have a "planned obsolesence". I have gobbs of old hollow bodies that just sit because of holes or bad paint.

I appreciate the conversation....keep it coming.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby Slack Tide » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:50 am

How about a lead strip? maybe you could drop it in the mold and then pour the foam around it?
Also, I was thinking about carving a few large BBills to act as "head-birds" for the long lines. I didn't want to carve heads so I was thinking about just incorporating the head and cheeks in a very squat position into the body of the bird. I could make it look more pronounced with paint.
If you could find a way to do this with divers, just incorporate the head into the body, you could avoid a separate head. I've seen it done with other foamers, always divers, resters and sleepers to keep the head low, otherwise it would be brittle...
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby Capt Ahab » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:27 am

If you find a way to buy a gaylord [1200lbs] of eps for around $1a pound you are talking about $.60 cost for a Mod 72 size body. There are a load of people that will pay $4.00 ea for these. I have no experience with steam injection but based on the old Herters they cry out for burlap....these numbers are mine based on $1.10/lb eps and boiling 12-15 molds each 1/2hr with at least three shifts. The guy that said you need a lot of molds to be efficient was right....add to that natural gas, and no life!
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby Jim1648 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:37 pm

I molded 10 dozen decoys and 12 dozen heads in 2 1/2 days. Didn't spend a dime on the heat source. :thumbsup: Ahab is right about the no life part though..
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby Scduckmen » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:43 pm

i would use 2 part foam instead of the beads, from what ive researched the foam last longer and is harder, use number 8 pound density foam and your golden, you can use car wax for the release agent and the foam is completely paintable.
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Re: EPS foam decoys...thoughts

Postby longlakesd » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:53 pm

I have started using an aluminum mold with 2 part foam making decoys and i used 4lb density for the bodies and i am going to burlap all of my decoys. I am wondering what you guys think if I were to use 2lb density foam instead of 4lb density foam so then i can get more decoy for the money? I thought perhaps as long as I burlap my decoys that this should make them durable enough using 2lb density foam. What do you guys think? Sorry for kind of hijacking this post but I can't obtain any input and seems like you guys know what you are talking about haha ....

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