Foamer Process - 101

Share tips and ask questions on all types of duck decoys. Including working, classics, collectable, and carving decoys.

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Postby canvas slayer » Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:10 pm

This is a great post. I am currently making my own. Though in the south no one carries the thick styrofoam. Although I did find some 4" thick sheets at a local craft store. They were 1x3 @ $20. Anyone no where could find online cheaper maybe. Only getting 3 dekes per sheet.
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finding foam

Postby flatfoot » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:19 pm

you may find at a refrigeration repair /rebuild shop. around here its called A-B foam. its a 2 part mix and it is used inside cooler panels. the panels are used for walkin coolers like at meat markets.Might find some old panels that are not useable anymore. Just have to strip the outer skn off.Panels are mostly 4 x 8 ,skin is almoast always aluminim. good luck!!!
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Postby chezz » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:25 pm

Maybe locate a commercial roofing supplier (Flat roofs) and ask about a product called felt faced polyiso..
It's a urethane foam in a sheet form (Mono in a sheet)
comes either felt or foil faced but you can glass right over the felt facing if need be..It can be a bit of a chore to peel the facing off as it tends to take chunks of the foam with it so just carve the deke as normal and you'd be good to go..

We sold a huge amount of it here for boat building, surfboards..etc.
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Postby rook » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:25 am

Great thread, very informative. I am getting ready to start a couple deeks myself and I have a couple of questions. How well does the keel hold by just screwing it in the foam, seems to me that it would pull farely easy. I read on one of these threads that someone inserted a small peice of lauan between the foam section before glueing tham together to help support the keel when screwed in, seems like a great idea. But is this extra step needed or does it hold fine without the extra support?

I read about the burlaping and about the restle coats that different people do to there decoys. This might be a trick question but which do yall think is stronger and more durable. From what I have read the burlaping takes a little more time but it just seems to me that it would be a lot stronger, but I am just guessing here.
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Postby Dead Ringer » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:15 am

It's been a while since I started mine. I went large scale, cutting 250 blocks and then being overwhelmed by the remaining material cost. I now plan on working on them at a slower pace, a few dz a year.

I would not recommend white foam. It can absorb water, unlike the closed cell pink or blue stuff. I bought my foam at a construction supply warehouse, since no one insulates homes in Miami.

I did a little variation on the technique, gluing 2 4x8 sheets together (gorilla glue and cinderblocks), then using a table saw and band saw to cut the blocks.

A few people have expressed concern over weight. The guy who introduced me to burlapped foamers did not put much weight (a single strap weight) in his blocks, and did not use a keel or tail board. They were VERY light, about on par with water keel plastics. That said, they worked great in calm water, but would likely roll over in open, choppy water. In my pile are a few dozen puddlers that I intend to make ultra-lightweight for walk-in hunts. The divers will have more weight for sure. I'm a little rougher with my dekes, so I may bolt on the keels.

For right now, I'm ordering Herter's heads. At $0.88, it's much easier than carving a bunch of heads (and about the same price). Eventually, as the Herter's heads get damaged, I'll replace with basswood heads.

Also, I've made some variations on the poses. I made a few puddler butts and a few standing decoys. You can also vary the attitude of the decoys with the tail and head.

Best of luck. As for me, I have some rasping to do!
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Postby Dead Ringer » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:18 am

PS. There are a few great books to help with the process. I checked one out from the library that had stencils for the blocks for everything from mallards to eiders. I had to freehand the blackbellied whistling ducks ;)

A few more offer painting templates and mixing guides.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby 1ynggun » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:41 am

okay, i have everything lined up and ready to go..got my foam, need to buy paint, and got my toledo mallard heads...

My only question, what is the best way to attacht he head to this foam? I dont want a head to fall off when i am getting set to hunt. :hammer:
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby usmchunter » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:27 am

This thread has been unused for a while so I hope it is still being looked at...

what do you use for the molten lead? What is the source of the lead and how do you melt it? :help:
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby mox » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:04 pm

usmchunter wrote:This thread has been unused for a while so I hope it is still being looked at...

what do you use for the molten lead? What is the source of the lead and how do you melt it? :help:

You can go to most fishing tackle/bait shops and check out their jig head mold section. Most will have melting pots made for melting lead for jig heads/fishing sinkers. We make our own heads by melting old tire balancing weights, and also any old lead weights we find while fishing. The same can be melted to make a keel for your keels.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby bayraider » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:31 am

This is a great sticky thread. I hope its not taken down off the board. Very helpful as a reference.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby Mokan Jeff » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:25 am

cool stuff
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby scottywannaquacker » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:53 pm

hey thanks for the directions. i just used them to build my own decoys and they look great. i will post some pictures up in a little bit.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby 20bolt » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:34 am

How do you guys deal with attaching wood heads?

I see some guys attached the bolt through the keel, while others just use a fender washer. I was using the fender washers, but I have 2 problems: On smaller decoys, the screw is at a terrible angle relative to the keel, and when the screw it tight, it deforms the decoy.

For my part, after loosing 2 decoys to the tide and towing (once the keels ripped off), I am adding wood bottoms to my decoys. I saw this done on D3 Tv with cork, but I figured it would work for foamers. I think this might prevent both the keels from ripping off, and also the heads from crushing the foam and coming loose.

S
Several Stages.jpg
Holes in patterns are for a 1/4" ped to "rivet" wood base to the foam
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby Fowlmouth421 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:30 am

This thread is awesome, I can't believe I just decided to read it. Does anyone have any plans for making Goose dekes this way? I'd love to make some floaters over the winter to save some money.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby moknducks » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:46 pm

I have used the same process and made magnum size goose decoys and magnum duck decoys, I however carved the heads out of styrofoam also and used fiberglass mesh tape over the body instead of the burlap. I used PVC for the keels and used PVC inside the heads and down through the body so the heads are movable. Once I get computer inclined on loading pics I will post them up, I do this in my spare time along with trying to make a hybrid boat I seen on this site. This has to be the best and most informative site for duck hunters I ever seen and posts info that is in a budget mostly anyone can afford.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby MaineHunter » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:49 pm

I cant seem to find the pink foam near me for less then $30 for a 2''x4'x8' sheet
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby MrsOW » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:42 pm

All of these are so good!!! Great job guys. I am very impressed. What a good/informative tutorial!
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby Posted Land Nocturnal bandit » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:00 am

VERY VERY GOOD SITE. I READ THE HOLE THING. I AM GOING TO GIVE THIS A TRY FOR SOMETHING TO DO. NEVER THOUGHT OF MAKING DECOYS UNTIL I READ THIS. HOPE MORE TAKE NOTICE AND GIVE IT A GO. POST UP MORE PICS OF THOSE HOME MADE DECOYS. THANKS TO ALL FOR THE GREAT INFO.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby vacuum6 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:55 pm

I realize this is an old post but I could use some suggestions on attaching keels to some old flat bottom herters durolon geese. I made about 3 dozen divers using the decoys unlimited molds 30 years ago. I did insert wood inside the molds for nailer back then so I had meat for the keels and weights. I am not certain, but I do not think these herters 92's have any meat inside for me to attach keels and weights. My question is. should I just glue and screw a bottom board on the entire bottom of the decoy...and then just screw the keels to that? or is there some newer glue that will hold a keel to the foam? I have messed a little with titebond !!! and cork dust once when I was filling holes in a cork block. I cannot say that is proof of titebond 111 holding to foam. Any thoughts? I have used gorilla glue to try repairs on decoys before and it bubbled and became very brittle so I am done with gorilla glue....unless there is a newer formula. I also could cut a trench into the bottom of the geese and drive the keel in with some kind of glue. does that sound like it would work? I cannot imagine screws holding into foam for very long. I am going to hunt these goose floaters in potentially lumpy water and I am not interested in babysitting them to keep them upright. I did do that once with some old herters suc ducs. those would not stay upright in wind. they are gone...thankfully.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby HENDU3270 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 5:59 pm

Probably gonna have to use some type of adhesive. You're correct screws won't bite into the foam. I'm just not sure what kind of adhesive you'll have to use. May have to experiment a little. What ever you find out, post back up though.
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Re: Foamer Process - 101

Postby vacuum6 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 6:09 pm

I am looking at some sort of 2 part epoxy paste. I can find a hobby lobby store and ask them about it. I will likely try one goose with a full bottom board and attach the keel to that. if that does not work, then try cutting a hole the size of the keel and gluing the keel. Just kind of hoping someone has tried some of this already and I do something already proven.
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