Build Your Own Duck Call




About: I enjoy building things and being creative.

There comes a time in every mans life when he watches way too much "duck dynasty" and feels inspired to build his own call. I do not claim or pretend to be an expert on ducks, duck calls or duck hunting. Heck I don't even live near ducks! I built this after watching them make this on tv and looking at photos. This is how I did it and it works pretty well.

Step 1: Materials

3/4" wooden dowell - 8"
2" hard wood branch - 4"
Strip of plastic (unsure of thickness)
Wood stain
Clear coat
Drill press
Band saw
Flat file
Belt sander
5/8" hole saw
1/4" drill bit ( long)

Step 2: Drilling and Shaping

Drill through the center of the dowel with the 1/4" bit and drill through the hard wood with the 5/8" hole saw. Make sure these holes are centered and straight. Cut a 2" notch in the dowel as pictured. I'd guess around 12 degrees Trim the dowel to fit in the 5/8" hard wood snugly and with little gap. A lathe would be handy here! Round the tip of the dowel as pictured and file the cut smooth. Shape and round the wood to your liking and comfort.

Step 3: The Reed

This is the most important and critical part of the call. I suggest trying a few different types of plastic. You want to cut the Reed to fit the dowel perfectly, about 1/8" from the tip and fit snugly in the slot. Crease and fold the rear of the reed to help keep it in place. Cut 45 degree notches in the front of the reed. Using the cork, cut a small piece to wedge in the upper part of the hole. Tuning; This is by far the hardest part, and I am far from an authority on the matter. Basically I just toyed and trimmed the reed until I got a sound that was duck like. Playing; Again I'm a huge novice, but I'm willing to share what I have learned. The best methods I have found is by puffing my cheeks and forcing my tongue forward. Finding what works is key!

Step 4: Finishing

Sand to 220 or so, stain the wood then clear coat. You can add a metal band or something you like. I used a part from an old hard drive.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

It sounds great but is not as loud as I like. Still toying with it though. I think a bigger hole in the dowel would help. I'll keep you posted as I develop better sounds! Any thoughts or advice is welcome. Thanks

Step 6: Reed Update

A slightly longer reed seems to produce the desired sound. About a quarter inch hang over from the dowel tip.

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago

    nice good job


    4 years ago

    That looks good enough to take to a duck hunt.

    hey its like learning what duck dynasty do they make duck calls so why can't we learn and before you know BAM a duck trophy and thanks desertsniper


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great Instructable....It's similar to the ones my Grandad used to make..... We used Elderberry branches for the mouth piece because it's got a soft pith and doesn't need drilling... Then you have a whistle or duck caller 100% Nature..... Good job ....

    1 reply

    Thanks to duck dynasty a lot of men (and women) are growing their beards out.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! I'm not sure if mine sounds like a duck or not, but it was fun to make. I'll have a duck hunting friend try it out. Thanks for the Instructable.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Like I said you have to fiddle with the reed quite a bit to get it just right. Glad you liked the 'ible, I'd love to see a photo!