To jdjr and others - here are the instructions for how I make seaduck sleds........
4x8 sheet of luan*
bundle of strapping (usually this is 10 1x3's)
stainless steel course 2" screws
flat black exterior latex paint
flat white exterior latex
*luan seems 'floppy' or light, but will be lightweight and very sturdy - mine have lasted many seasons!
Total cost for the first go round is about $42 getting a gallon of black and a quart of white paint - Walmart brand exterior latex is fine. From there the cost slides down to less than $30. I once had a set go at a DU auction for $175, but have sold them without rigging at a couple of shows for $125.
jig or band saw
The 4x8 sheet of luan will get you sixteen silhouettes allowing for eight sleds.
Basically the construction is easy......
> cut out the silhouettes, sand them smooth to your liking
> cut the braces at the designated lengths and angles, sand - - when cutting them all out it is easier to keep track of them by putting a through h or 1 to 8 on each set of braces - it's just a way to keep yourself organized, especially on your first go-round
> screw braces onto silos (two screws per end of brace), and drill 3/8" hole in middle of front brace - be sure the silo is on the outside of the braces - shorter brace in front of silo
> rig to your preference
Here are the sizings..............
front brace rear brace
A 21" 33
B 22.5 34.5
C 24 36
D 25.5 37.5
E 27 39
F 28.5 40.5
G 30 42
H 31.5 43.5
ends need to mitered at 22.5 degrees
The measurements are to the longest end of the brace and the miter cut starts there. You can decrease the number of sleds as desired, but I suggest starting at the smallest and if you only want 6, stop at the F sled.
TIP: Hank Garvey makes the same sleds...but he angles the front brace up in front and feels this prohibits any 'diving' if moving them into place when already on the water - makes sense so I will try this method next time I make a set.
I tried something different on one set I made. The outside of each silo I painted as eider and the inside as scoter. It really adds a second line of different birds and was very effective. You may wish to seal the luan. I have not and I hunt in salt water and have used my sets for years. They have not warped or lost their rigidity.
I rig mine in the following manner...... from each hole in the front braces I tie a two foot section of line and attach a large long line clip. I take a 50 foot section of main line and every six feet I make a loop and on the ends. I use an anchor line of 50' parachute cord - for anchors I use window sash weights. When setting the sleds in the water just attach the clip to the loops and the anchor line clip to the end loop. The sleds drift in the current or wind, out behind the boat and you are set to go. In slow current or low winds it takes longer to spread out. Motoring forward as your partner drops the line of sleds allows you to motor them into the position you want them and decreases set-up time. Of course there are many ways to set out the sleds - this works for me but you could ask for input in the forum. I still use some Herter full bodies, and with two sets of sleds, two lines of full bodies I get alot of action. The sleds stack neatly in the boat but do not take up more room than full bodies in a bag.