Hail call to DUKHTR (? about decoys)

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Hail call to DUKHTR (? about decoys)

Postby Mike M. » Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:16 pm

DUKHTR:

I have been working on some decoys this summer and have been working on some eiders. I already painted up some model 72 herters foam diver bodies and bought some unpainted heads from Tom @ Toledo decoys. Just realized I have a bit of a problem here. Not only are the heads to big for this size decoy body (no biggie we are still dealing with eiders here) but The eider heads are to heavy for the light foam bodies and they are not floating properly. I remember you (I think it was you) mentioning this happening before (not sure if it was here or else where). Seems that I need to add 6 or so ounces of weight to the back of my decoy but am not sure what is the best way to go about doing this. What do you think and recommend for this situation? I know you have a lot of experience with this type of stuff and was hoping to get your input here.

Thanks,

Mike
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Postby DUKHTR » Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:07 pm

Hi Mike - before I reply, just wanted to say nice job on your blacks I saw earlier today!

Regarding Tom's heads.....I was worried about using them on my own bodies.....first of all I was fortunate because of the size of my blocks.....but the one way I made sure of a balanced float was to use more lead in the rear of the keel than in the front.

I make my keels with a hollowed out center which I pour molten lead into.....so for my eiders I make the cavity deeper than normal in the rear and shallower than normal in the front.......I had to try a couple of times to get it just right.....but as I said earlier, the sheer size of my decoys along with the bouyancy afforded by the foam, I am all set. Maybe I was just a bit lucky!!!!!

If your decoys are not burlapped yet, you could actually "insert" some lead or bell sinkers on each side of keel at the rear to offset the weight of the heads..........but before you make a cavity try the float test with them just taped on. I know that is not an exact science, but you'll know if you have enough or not. Then insert with Ultimate glue and burlap over. When I burlapped Herter's blocks I burlapped right over the keel anyhow.

Remember that the heads Tom makes are VERY solid....so you can cut down the necks a bit. I did that to have variance from decoy to decoy. That might get an ounce or two off the front. I used a fine toothed bandsaw blade.

On that same general thought....you might want to consider taking out some of the center of the neck and head. If you are glueing into place anyhow, you could clearly lose some weight there. Just be sure to keep enough base for a secure attachment. That is why many makers of the 2-part foam heads use balloons when pouring their beads. Of course that won't work if you use a lag screw or a bolt.

Maybe a bit of each of these suggestions will be the best overall affect!!!!

Sorry I do not have a definitive solution. As I said, I guess I got lucky! Please keep me informed and post a couple pics! In the meantime, I'll keep thinking about your issue.

D-
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Postby Mike M. » Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:41 pm

Thank you very much for the fast reply. I appreciate all of your suggestions and was also thinking of somehow adding weight into the decoy. I may try the bell sinker idea and do a float test at the lake and go from there. I cant figure out how to post pics here so when I finish I will post them where you saw the black ducks. :smile:

Thanks again,

Mike
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Postby Mike M. » Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:03 am

DUKHTR:

I added 7 oz weight to the back of the herters model 72 foamers. I made a hole in the rear of the decoy and put in a 7 oz fishing sinker. Duct taped it on and took it over to the lake. I threw the decoy out into the water and found that it does not self right! Very annoying. I then took the weight out and threw it back in the water to see what would happen. It self rights that way but of course then it does not float properly because of the heavy head.

Kind of a bummer for sure. I am considering just buying some cheap herters heads for $20.00 a dozen and just painting those as eider heads like the rest of my eiders.

This still leaves me with a dozen NICE eider heads from Toledo decoys. I think next summer I might buy a dozen more of those model 92 goose bodies, paint them as eiders and put the toledo heads on them like I did with those blacks I made. Those would be some magnum size eiders.
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Postby DUKHTR » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:07 am

bummer Mike....too bad my idea wasn't as good in real life......I really do think the heads are too big for the Herrter's 72's.....her's a pic of my own eider body with a Toledo head.....they matched up perfectly.

I HAVE to get you into making your own bodies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hammering:


Image


In the meantime....I have some 72's out in the barn and a few more of Tom's heads....I'll experiement on my end to see what I can come up with!! I encourage you to NOT get the puddler heads that Herter's uses....I know, they bring in the birds, but I am sure we can get more realism......that's the whole reason I use Toledo heads in the first place.
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Postby Mike M. » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:34 am

Thanks for your help. Adding the fishing sinker did make it float more evenly but they just did not self right. I might try a strap weight on one side of the keel and see if that helps any.
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Postby Mike M. » Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:45 pm

D:

I put a 6 oz strap weight on one side of the keel and took the decoy down to the lake. Between the 8 oz. weight in the back of the decoy and the 6 oz strap weight on the side of the keel, I think my problem is solved. The decoy self righted nicely and its floating nice and level now. Of course, it was like a mirror out on the lake so we will see how it goes come hunting time with some chop and wind.

Mike
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