Foaming The Day Away

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Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:28 pm

I am spending my weekend casting foam bodies and heads with 50 lbs of EPS resin. I plan to get it all done over a three day weekend. So far I have cast a mix if diver, puddler, and goose bodies with an emphasis on Blue Bill bodies.

Here are a few pictures of some of the results.

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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Norsky » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:52 am

Very nice. Where do you get your supplies?
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:49 pm

Molds from a guy on fleabag. Fine bead EPS for heads at IascoTesco. EPS for bodies from Polysource.
The project is rocking right along. Ask any questions you would like.
.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Slack Tide » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:45 am

Looks like Bella is eying up a new chew toy....

Can you give me the Reader's Digest version of this process? That looks more like beer cooler foam vs the E. Allen...rock solid stuff.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby callumcuffumkillum » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:41 am

How well do those things hold up? How much does it cost to make duck decoys? I'm interested in learning how to do it!
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu May 02, 2013 2:04 pm

Reader Digest version.

Buy Mold
Buy Foam
Cast Decoy Head
Cast Decoy Body
Mount Keel
Restle Coat / Burlap / or Primer Decoy
Paint Decoy
Kill Ducks Over Decoys

Cheap? No. Cheaper than buying good decoys? Yes. If you make a lot of them then yes is worth it.

You can start with two body molds - diver and puddler and a few head molds and make a nice mixed spread. Mallard heads work for pintails, blue bill, and mallards if you don't worry about a perfect match. The birds don't seem to notice. You can even just use the puddler body and paint the divers black and white on that body and the birds still don't care. Saves the priced of a body mold for divers.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Thu May 02, 2013 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu May 02, 2013 2:09 pm

Slack Tide wrote:Looks like Bella is eying up a new chew toy....

Can you give me the Reader's Digest version of this process? That looks more like beer cooler foam vs the E. Allen...rock solid stuff.


Head to WorkingDecoys.net and you will find the long and short versions there. Look in the molded decoy forum.

EPS foam is exactly what those crappy white coolers are made out of. Put EPS under pressure, cook it longer, and use a couple of different specific techniques and you get a very hard shelled highly buoyant decoy. My decoy bodies are coming out with a hard plastic like shell at about an 8 lb density foam inside. The EPS heads are rock hard on the shell and around 12 lb density inside. Your standard foam cooler is about 1 or 2 lb density foam.

I am going through all the steps to make a 200+ decoy spread. I have a bunch of water swatting bastards for hunting buddies. Most of my craigslist repaint decoys were submersibles by the end of last season. With a foamer spread I can just patch them all up at the end of season. Plus, I won't have a silly looking spread with 1/3 of the decoys sunk by the end of a hunting day. That and I won't be struggling to put together enough decoys that won't sink to hunt at the end of season.

Bella never messes with the decoys. She was hoping for a treat.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Thu May 02, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu May 02, 2013 2:14 pm

callumcuffumkillum wrote:How well do those things hold up? How much does it cost to make duck decoys? I'm interested in learning how to do it!



If you are serious about learning, start at workingdecoys.net. It is where I learned the most. If you want to get started I have some molds that I cast enough heads and bodies from to never need to use them again. I was going to post them on fleabay or craigslist. If you are interested drop me a pm and we can talk price. I will be happy to send pictures. The molds are fully polished and ready for casting.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu May 02, 2013 2:31 pm

Slack Tide wrote:Looks like Bella is eying up a new chew toy....

Can you give me the Reader's Digest version of this process? That looks more like beer cooler foam vs the E. Allen...rock solid stuff.


Decoy Bodies

EPS resin - buy for ridiculous price and pay haz mat shipping - Cost about $2.00 in beads per decoy body
Pre-expand beads in boiling water
Coat body mold with corn oil and then cover oil with EPS hard resin beads
Fill one mold half with pre expanded beads - Heap beads up to almost fill the full mold
Clamp mold closed
Boil mold for 30 minutes
Cool & remove decoy body from mold - cool in water bath for a while - if the beads are hot they keep expanding and crack the cast
Clean up excess foam at seams
Wash with Dawn Soap and water to remove excess oil residue
Put Keel on body casting
Restle Coat - cover body with Titebond III or paint - cover wet glue with fine saw dust of 40/60 ground cob - allow to dry
Apply coat of Titebond III or paint over first coat
Prime decoy
Paint decoy
Mount head on decoy body
Hunt em

Decoy Heads
Mix EPS hard bead resin with corn oil until the beads just stick together
Fill 1/2 of mold with mixture and place nail in head and bill for strength
Head bead / oil mixture to heaping
Clamp mold closed
Boil for 15 minutes
Cool and remove head from mold
Clean up excess foam at seams
Wash casting with Dawn Soap and water to get rid of excess oil residue
Prime head
Paint head
Put glass eyes in head if you use them
Mount head on decoy
Hunt em
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Norsky » Thu May 02, 2013 5:52 pm

Waiting to see them done. Very cool.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Slack Tide » Thu May 02, 2013 6:15 pm

Sounds like an insane pain in the arse.......
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri May 03, 2013 8:26 am

That totally depends on your personality. I love the process of creating new things. I enjoy using things that I made to enhance my hunting experience even more. I am always working on one project or another in my spare time.

I do most of the decoy work in the evenings. Once I get everything in the house handled for the night, I get the water boiling and cast 5 or six decoy bodies. Since that is wrapping up now, it will be mounting keels, then restle coating, and on to painting. On the weekends I mix the process in with whatever I am doing around the house. I don't let it mess with my having fun or heading out to do things with family or friends.

It would seem a lot less daunting if I was working on a dozen or two for next season. Instead I am going for broke and making over 200 decoys. I sold all my plastics so I didn't give my self any options. Which of course ensures I will be done with them before season starts. :thumbsup:
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Slack Tide » Fri May 03, 2013 9:22 am

I just think of all the set up and clean up...like burlapping deeks....it's a mess..
How do you do a few at a time? You have multiple molds?
If not, doesn't the mold have to be cleaned between pours? If so, isn't the ready foam expanding and curing as you are doing that?
I'd have to see the process to fully get it.
good luck
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri May 03, 2013 4:14 pm

I have multiple head and body molds. I will not be using the two part expanding foam in the future. It makes a nice head and is messy. The expandable EPS is much cleaner, makes a great head and body, and forms to the mold perfectly every time. No air or gas pockets in the heads or bodies. No need to worry about failed castings to throw away, etc.... With EPS if the casting fails, you just add more beads to the failed area, toss it back in the boiling water and pull it out after a while. Perfect casting complete.

I fire up the pot and get the water boiling. I pre-expand a set amount of EPS bead and fill the first mold. While it is boiling I fill in the next couple of molds. A mold comes out of the water and into a tub with cold water to cool. The next mold goes in to boil. I can fit three or four head molds in with each body mold. If I plan to run multiple body molds, I get out the 80 qt pot and can run 3 or 4 body molds and 4 head molds at one time.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri May 03, 2013 4:26 pm

The mess is why I will avoid two part foam and do not Burlap my decoys. Trestle / Restle coating with Tite Bond III is a lot cleaner when done properly than the burlap / mastic process. EPS is cleaner than two part foam. You can sweep or wipe up any of the beads that you lose control of during the process and use them later.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Slack Tide » Fri May 03, 2013 4:59 pm

Now I see. I looked at a few things on you tube etc.....I thought u were doing the two part stuff and the clock was ticking etc,...
I see its easier your way...
Cool...
Send me one!
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby War Wagon » Sun May 05, 2013 3:59 am

Lots of fun !!!
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby Slack Tide » Sun May 05, 2013 5:26 am

Jees scaup I was only kidding...
Thanks for the offer

Pm sent
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Mon May 06, 2013 10:55 am

I will get the foam body, head, and keel piece sent your way this weekend Slack.

It will be a Herters 63 size Blue Bill body, alert head, and a piece of Trex Lumber for the keel. Fair warning, if you open the box and start to play your gonna get hooked. I am really enjoying the process and can't wait to kill birds over the decoys.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Mon May 06, 2013 10:56 am

War Wagon wrote:Lots of fun !!!



That is a sweet pile of bodies right there.

I have more EPS on the way. Only another 100 or so bodies left to mold.
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby NickJ. » Tue May 07, 2013 10:55 am

Those came out really good! :thumbsup:
This is such an interesting process, Id like to be able to try it out I think after seeing how good the goose and duck came out. Ive been wanting to try my hand at making my own decoys. Any chance I can get ahold of one of these to use a a guide/model?
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue May 07, 2013 5:00 pm

I don't have any completed decoys. I reccommend getting on workingdecoys.net and doing a bunch of reading. If you still interested after doing some research drop me and line and we can work something out.

Slack and I have a little history on the CI forums. I owe him for a smack or two and figured I could make it up to him with the parts for a decoy. :smile:
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Re: Foaming The Day Away

Postby NickJ. » Tue May 07, 2013 6:55 pm

I will do research on there, thanks!
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