Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby slayer73 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:48 am

Awesome! I know this was posted a while back but I am wondering if you liked the Restle Coat you put on them. I am in the process of carving my first Foamer and I am wondering if I should Restle Coat or Burlap. You said the coating wouldn't be durable (Restle) but that is exactly opposite of what I have heard on workingdecoys. Thanks!
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby goldfish » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:30 pm

So how did these turn out? Where did you get the foam? How long do you boil them? I just found my dad's old goose molds and wanted to give making some goose floaters a shot. Do you have a picture of what you used to boil them?

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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby suicidal_scaup » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:37 pm

Man...I forgot I even posted this. I am hoping to get some time to finish all of them. It is sad to say that I never even got them on the water this year. The restle coat turned out great. I think it is real durable and it actually covers up some of the blemishes if the foam doesn't expand perfectly.

I got the foam from a site called IASCO/TESCO. It is an industrial arts supply site but anyone can order from there. It is actually based out of Minneapolis which may save on shipping for some of you city folks...

Just be careful because it says it has a shelf life of only a few months. I had some for over a year and it still worked fine but I think the beads didn't expand as full as when they were new.

One big problem I had was finding a pot perfect for boiling. I used a turkey fryer pot at first but the mold had to be vertical which made the beads float to the top making a void on the end of the mold that was at the bottom of the pot. I found a nice aluminum pot at a garage sale and now I can mold them horizontally making the mold process better.

I will find a picture to post of the heads that are restle coated. I did it with sawdust that was classified using a mesh screen. I have heard that corn dust is better but as a shop teacher, sawdust is what I had.
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby beretta24 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:41 pm

How did the coating compare to what was on the Rambler decoy?
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby suicidal_scaup » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:54 pm

I haven't painted them yet...

The rambler seemed to have more of a sandy grit...didn't it? My coating was real fine and gave a furry appearance to it. I just brushed glue on (Titebond III) and sprinkled sawdust over it. Then I gently patted the sawdust and when it was dry I repeated it two more times. It was nice because I just left the bill and the eyes without glue and they stayed smooth. I think the restle coat will take a lot of the shine off the head as well when I do get at painting them.

Man...just talking about this again makes me want to fire up the turkey fryer and start boiling the mold.

Goldfish- the body mold was boiled for about 20 minutes. To do a head and a body took a total of about 35 minutes. Once the water was boiling, I would get the body mold ready and set it in the pot. While this is cooking, I would prepare my head mold and start that. It was a good system because by the time I got the head mold ready and in, I would only have to wait about 5 minutes or so and then could take out the body mold and start the process over. I'm a bit of a dork and wrote down the times I put each mold in and took them out, so if you are interested in exact times, I could get them for you.

If anyone is real interested in this process, let me know. It may be a good chance to make some blocks...heck, I could almost bring the turkey fryer and decoy mold with to our ice fishing extravaganza and we could have a decoy making party as well!
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby goldfish » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:06 pm

You guys are going to force me to that ice fishing even though it's on the weekend, lol

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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby hillbilly.. » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:12 pm

what about a 55 gal drum cut off???
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby beretta24 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:15 pm

goldfish wrote:You guys are going to force me to that ice fishing even though it's on the weekend, lol

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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby goldfish » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:39 pm

hillbilly.. wrote:what about a 55 gal drum cut off???

That might work... I suppose I could weld up something at work too that isn't much bigger than the mold so I don't have to heat as much water.

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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby xrated » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:29 am

Those look good.

Have you given anymore thought to taking orders?
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby suicidal_scaup » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:37 am

A 50 gallon drum would be perfect....it only needs to be about 6" tall though and a cover is needed to keep the heat uniform around the mold.

As for selling them, I almost feel I would need a "Beta Test Group" before I would take money. I don't want to sell anything that isn't a good product. Hopefully I will have a few dozen done for next season so people could use them if they wanted to share their opinion about 'em with the group...
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby beretta24 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:41 am

I volunteer to sacrifice my time and skills to help the cause Sir.
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby mauserfan » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:57 am

Hey Scaup-How did your keel turn out? If you have a shot of the keel that would be great to see. As far as the paint, my opinion is that for Bills-it just needs to be durable. And the brighter the better. Thanks.....mauser
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby goldfish » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:45 am

suicidal_scaup wrote:A 50 gallon drum would be perfect....it only needs to be about 6" tall though and a cover is needed to keep the heat uniform around the mold.

Oooh, a cover. Never thought about that... Honestly think I'll just make something at work this weekend, but I wouldn't have thought about a lid.


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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby xrated » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:26 pm

I'm pretty good at shooting into decoys and generally abusing them if you must test them first.

Heck I'd probably even have room for ya in the boat if you wanted to shoot em too.
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Re: Handmade Foam Decoy Opinion Wanted

Postby SECOND SHOT » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:44 pm

THE OLD MAN REMEMBERS HUNTING DUCKS ON A BUDGET. YEARS AGO A COWORKER OFFERED ME A DOZEN HAND MADE FOAM DECOYS IN EXCHANGE FOR PAINTING A DOZEN FOR THE COWORKER. I REMEMBER MY YOUNG SON AND DAUGHTER HELPING ME PAINT THE DECOYS ON THE KITCHEN TABLE. I USED THEM FOR SEVERAL YEARS. I HAVE FEW MATERIAL TREASURES IN LIFE. ONE OF MY FAVORITES WAS ONE OF THESE DECOYS. WHEN STU WAS PERHAPS SIX YEARS OLD HE STARTED COMING DUCK HUNTING WITH ME. WHEN HE WAS OLD ENOUGH TO SHOOT A BB GUN WE USED TO SET OUT ONE OF THE OLD FOAM DECOYS WITH THE REST OF THE SPREAD. WITH THE BLESSING OF THE DNR STU WOULD SHOOT TO HIS HEARTS DELIGHT AT THAT FOAM DECOY. IT IS RIDDLED WITH STEEL SHOT FROM THE BB GUN. YEARS LATER WHEN THE RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER WE HUNT WITH STARTED TO BRING HIS YOUNG GRANDSON. WE DUG OUT ANOTHER ONE OF THE FOAM DECOYS FOR HIM TO SHOOT. STU STILL HAS HIS FOAM DECOY FULL OF BB'S. BEING THE SENTIMENTALIST THAT I AM, THE SIGHT OF IT IS ALWAYS GOOD FOR A SMILE AND PERHAPS A TEAR OR TWO. THE GRANDSON IS NOW LIVING IN MONTANA. I LIKE TO THINK THAT FROM TIME TO TIME THE OLD DECOY IS DUG OUT OF HIDING AND MEMORIES OF YESTERDAY RELIVED. IF YOU CHOOSE TO SELL YOUR DECOYS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE ONE OR TWO. THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO KEEP A YOUNG DUCK HUNTER INTERESTED THAN TO PLINK AWAY. IF MEMORY SERVES ME RIGHT, WE ALL PUT SOME SHOT IN THAT DECOY. THE OLD MAN
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